James Beard's Basic Home-Style Bread

Recipe by duonyte
READY IN: 5hrs 45mins
YIELD: 2 loaves
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition

DIRECTIONS

  • 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.