Julia Child's White Bread

Recipe by Gay Gilmore
READY IN: 3hrs 25mins
YIELD: 2 loaves




  • Pour 1/2 cup of the water into a bowl and mix with yeast and sugar til foamy.
  • Let sit for 5 minutes until creamy.
  • Put the yeast mixture, rest of the water and 3 1/2 cups of the flour into the mixer with the dough hook.
  • Mix slowly until blended then add the rest of the flour.
  • Increase speed and scrape down the sides til the dough comes together.
  • (If it doesn't add a tbsp of flour at a time til it does.) Add salt and mix at medium speed for 10 minutes (or do half in mixer and half kneading) til dough is smooth and elastic.
  • Back in mixer add butter 1 tbsp at a time (dough may come apart, but mixing will pull it back together).
  • Turn dough out on lightly floured surface and shape it into a ball then place in a large buttered or oiled bowl.
  • Turn dough so it is completely coated in the fat, then cover in plastic for 45 minutes to an hour, til it has doubled in size at room temperature.
  • Butter 2 loaf pans.
  • Deflate the dough, cut in half and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Roll out into a 9 x 12-inch rectangle.
  • With the short end facing you, fold the dough into thirds like a sheet of paper to go into an envelope, creating a roll.
  • Pinch the seam closed, and pinch the ends enough so it will fit in the loaf pan.
  • Drop in the loaf pan seam side down, and repeat.
  • Cover the loaves with buttered plastic wrap and allow to rise again in a warm place (80°F) for 45 minutes, until they double in size.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F and put the rack in the center of the oven.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes til they are honey brown.
  • Immediately turn out of pans onto a rack to cool.
  • Once almost completely cool, they can be cut.
  • Store in a brown paper bag for a day or two.
  • Once cut, turn cut side down onto a cutting board and cover with a kitchen towel.