Soft and Fluffy White Bread

Total Time
3hrs 5mins
Prep
2 hrs 30 mins
Cook
35 mins

This recipe is adapted from King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion. It produces a fine-textured loaf, very soft, fluffy and definitely delicious. And it's easy too. You may do it by hand/mixer/bread machine. Instructions are given for hand-method as i usually make manually. Update - I've included instructions for cinnamon rolls and ham & cheese buns.

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Ingredients

Nutrition

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients (reserve about 1/2 cup of flour) and mix thoroughly in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add reserved flour a tablespoon at a time to mixture until a soft, smooth dough is formed.
  3. You may not need the whole amount or you may need more.
  4. Anyway, add JUST enough flour until dough comes away from bowl and it doesn't stick to your fingers (ie the dough becomes manageable) Remember, the more flour you add while kneading, the heavier and drier your loaf will be.
  5. Turn dough out on lightly greased surface and knead for a while, about 10mins.
  6. Cover and let rise for about 1 hour, until puffy (dough might not double in bulk).
  7. Transfer dough to a lightly greased surface and shape it into a 8" log.
  8. Transfer log to a lightly greased loaf pan (8 1/2" x 4 1/2"), cover the pan with plastic proof cover (i just cover with a greased cling wrap, loosely).
  9. Let dough rise for about 1 hour, until outer edge has risen about 1" over the rim of the pan.
  10. Preheat oven to 350F.
  11. Uncover pan and bake for 35-40mins, tenting lightly with foil for the final 10-15mins if the top is browning too quickly.
  12. Remove bread from oven, take it out of the pan, and cool on wire rack.
  13. After 15mins, brush with butter, if desired; to give loaf an exceptionally soft crust.
  14. NOTE 1: I've tried substituting 2 tbsp lecithin granules for half of the butter (2 tbsp lecithin+ 2 tbsp butter)- it makes an even more tender loaf, and extends the shelf life a bit.
  15. NOTE 2:You may also use 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk+ 1 1/8 cup of lukewarm water to replace the milk called for in recipe.
  16. NOTE 3: Potato flour (1/4 cup) may be replaced with 1/3 cup potato flakes.
  17. Cinnamon Sticky Buns - Combine 3 TB brown sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon. Lightly beat 1 egg. Roll out the dough after the 1st rise into a rectangle about 1/3" thick. Brush egg over the dough, and sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar. If you like, you can also sprinkle 1/4 cup of dried cranberries or raisins, and 1/4 chopped toasted almonds/walnuts/pecans. Roll up dough, from the long side, into a log. Pinch the edges to seal (brush edges with egg glaze if necessary). Cut the log into 12-14 equal pieces. Place into greased muffin cups/two 8" round pans. Let rolls rise for another 45mins - 1 hr, brush egg glaze again and bake for 25mins until lightly brown. Brush with softened butter after the rolls came out from the oven, if desired.
  18. Ham & Cheese Buns- You will need 2 slices of ham, chopped (I use honey-glazed ham) and 2 oz. / 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated. Lightly beat 1 egg. Roll out the dough after the 1st rise into a rectangle about 1/3" thick. Brush egg over the dough, and sprinkle the chopped ham and cheese (reserve 2 tablespoon). Roll up dough, from the long side, into a log. Pinch the edges to seal (brush edges with egg glaze if necessary). Cut the log into 12-14 equal pieces. Place into greased muffin cups/two 8" round pans. Let rolls rise for another 45mins - 1 hr. Just before baking, brush egg glaze and sprinkle reserved cheese and bake for 25mins until lightly brown. Brush with softened butter after the rolls came out from the oven, if desired.