"Beard on Bread" was one of the very first cookbooks I ever purchased. I found his recipes to be quite reliable. This recipe uses less yeast than you might think is needed - the slower rise helps develop the taste of the bread. Beard describes this as a quite light bread, rather fine in texture and much enjoyed when fresh with a generous spreading of butter and preserves. Also popular for sandwiches and toast. Please note the amount of salt - Beard tended to salt a bit heavily, but I am posting as he wrote it. Posting this in response to a request.
- Add the yeast to 1/2 cup of the warm milk, along with 2 tbl sugar, and stir well until the yeast in completely dissolved. Allow the yeast to proof.
- Place the remaining milk, butter and salt in a bowl. (Beard liked a lot of salt, and I would use less). Stir in the flour, 1 cup at a time, with a wooden spoon.
- After the third cup, add the yeast mixture. Continue stirring in flour until the mixture is rather firm, which should take about 4 to 5 cups.
- Remove the dough to a floured board and knead, adding more flour as necessary, until it is supple, satiny and no longer sticky.
- Butter a bowl and place the dough in it, turning to coat all sides with the fat. Cover and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Deflate the dough by punching firmly two or three times, return to the floured board, and knead 4 to 5 minutes more.
- Divide into two equal parts and shape into loaves. Place in well-buttered 9x5x3 in loaf tins, cover, and let rise again until doubled in bulk.
- Slash the loaves with a sharp knife and brush with lightly beaten egg white or water.
- Bake in a 400 deg. oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped with the knuckles.
- Remove the loaves from the pans and put them back in the oven a few minutes longer to become crisped.
This was a real pleasure for DH this morning as he's been asking for a loaf of "plain white bread" for awhile, poor guy. I made half the recipe for 1 loaf and did the mixing in the bread machine but baked it in the oven. I did need to add a bit more water but that is very common for me and I think we just have dry flour in this area. The end result was a good basic white bread with a very nice texture. duonyte, DH say's Thank You. :D
Best Bread Recipe EVER!!!! I am really picky when it comes to bread! I made one loaf and the second "loaf" got made into dinner rolls! Needless to say it didnt last threw the night!! Super Easy! Tastes great and awesome texture!!
This makes a very nice loaf of white bread. The texture is excellent. I used only half the salt added in the recipe and used 5 cups of flour. I only have one loaf pan so the second loaf was made in a round cake pan.