Perfect Sandwich Bread

By newmama on May 12, 2008

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Ingredients

    1. 5 -7 cups bread flour
    2. 1 2/3 cups milk
    3. 1/2 cup warm water ( 110 degrees)
    4. 2 tablespoons active dry yeast ( or 3 packets)
    5. 3 tablespoons honey
    6. 2 teaspoons salt
    7. 2 tablespoons oil
    8. 1 pinch sugar
    9. 1 egg, beaten (optional)

Directions

  1. add yeast and a pinch of sugar (to feed the yeast) to warm water, let it sit 5-10 minutes until very foamy. water should be warm, but not hot, about 110 degrees.
  2. put proofed yeast into a large mixing bowl. add milk, honey, oil, and salt.
  3. add flour, start with 3 cups. mix with a sturdy spoon until smooth.
  4. add in more flour, one cup at a time until it gets to hard to stir.
  5. turn out dough onto a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes adding more flour as needed. dough should be smooth, elastic and not too dry, but not sticking to your hands either.
  6. put dough in a greased bowl and turn it over to lightly grease it. cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel (you can use a damp paper towel and towel if you don't have plastic).
  7. sit it in a warm place (like on top of the fridge) for 1-1 1/2 hours until doubled in size.
  8. cut the dough in half as equal as you can. punch dough down, getting all the air out. form into a rectangle and roll up tight, tucking in the ends. it should look like a small loaf.
  9. place each loaf in a greased (I use shortening) loaf pan. cover again and let rise 45 minutes until about doubled in size.
  10. if you choose, brush with the egg for a nice glossy look (i prefer it).
  11. bake at 350 for 35 minutes on the middle rack (leave room, they will rise more in the oven!).
  12. the bread is done when it's golden and sounds hollow when you tap on it.
  13. remove immediately from the pans and cool on a cooling rack so the bottoms don't get soggy (check to make sure it's done by also tapping on the bottom-it should sound hollow also).
  14. cool at least 10 minutes before cutting.