Prep2 hrs 30 mins
I got this recipe from one of my cookbooks and I would not change a thing. I started baking my own bread to save money but this loaf is worth twice what you pay in stores for its taste. This bread is easy to slice and is perfect for everything you would normally use bread for. If any gets old then use it for bread crumbs or croutons. Recipe is for 2 loaves.
- 1⁄4 cup warm water
- 2 cups warm milk (recipe calls for whole milk but I use 1%)
- 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar (I always use the sugar, never tried honey) or 2 tablespoons honey (I always use the sugar, never tried honey)
- 1 pinch sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (margarine works well, too)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 6 -6 1⁄4 cups bread flour, plus extra
- canola oil, for greasing (I use regular vegetable oil)
- In a small bowl combine water and 1/4 cup of the warm milk. Sprinkle yeast and pinch of sugar over liquid and stir. Let sit until foamy, about 10 minute.
- Combine remaining milk, butter and 2 tbs sugar, salt and 2 cups flour in large bowl and mix until creamy. I mix everything by hand but you can use a mixer on med-low for about 1 minute.
- Add yeast mixture and one cup of flour and mix by hand or beat with mixer.
- Mix or beat in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough pulls away then switch to kneading until all the flour is mixed in, until smooth and elastic.
- Transfer the dough to an oiled deep bowl and turn the dough once to coat it.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours depending on the temperature of your kitchen.
- Lightly grease two 9X5 loaf pans.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and divide in half.
- Pat each half into a long rectangle.
- Fold one rectangle like a letter, overlapping the short sides into the middle. Press to flatten.
- Beginning at the narrow end, roll the dough into a log and roll the log until it is the same length as the loaf pan.
- Pinch the ends and along the seam to seal and place in loaf pan seam side down.
- Repeat folding with other half of dough.
- Cover loosely with plastic and let rise until dough is about 1 inch above pan about 1 hour.
- Bake in oven preheated to 375 degrees F until loaves are golden brown and pull away from the edge of the pans, about 40 minutes.
- Turn onto racks and let cool completely.