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Prep 15 mins
Cook 6 hrs
From Better Homes and Gardens. Of course you can double for larger families, or multiple days of bread. I will be making a cookbook of recipes that use this dough. For whole wheat version, substitute 1 cup whole wheat flour for 1 cup of the stirred in all-purpose flour. For cheese version, stir in 1 cup shredded cheddar or mozzarella cheese with the stirred-in flour.
- 3 3⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 (1/4 ounce) package active dry yeast or 2 1⁄4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried dill (optional) or 1⁄2 teaspoon sage (optional) or 1⁄2 teaspoon basil (optional)
- 1 1⁄4 cups milk
- 1⁄4 cup margarine or 1⁄4 cup butter or 1⁄4 cup shortening
- 2 -4 tablespoons sugar
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 eggs or 2 egg whites
- In a large mixing bowl combine 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the yeast, and, if desired, herb.
- In a medium saucepan heat and stir milk, margarine, sugar, and salt just till warm (120 to 130 F) and margarine almost melts.
- Add to flour mixture. Add egg. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping bowl. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining flour. Divide dough into halves or quarters.
- To chill, cover portions and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.
- Or, to freeze, wrap the portions in plastic wrap and place in freezer bags. Seal, label, and freeze for up to 3 months. To use let dough stand at room temperature about 2 1/2 hours or till thawed. (Or, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.).
- To make braided bread, use 1/4 of the above recipe.
- On a lightly floured surface divide bread dough into 3 portions. Roll each portion into a 12 inch rope. Line up the 3 ropes, 1 inch apart, on a greased baking sheet.
- Starting in the middle, loosely braid the ropes by bringing the left rope underneath the center rope, lay it down. Bring right rope under new center rope, lay it down. repeat braiding to end.
- On the other half, braid by bringing the outside ropes alternately over the center rope. Press ends together to seal. Tuck under.
- Cover braid and let rise in a warm place till nearly double (about 30 minutes).
- Bake in a 375 oven for 20 to 25 minutes for till golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Makes 1 loaf (12 slices).