By Amy Lilly
Is there anything better than the smell of fresh baked bread? It feels like home and instantly sends waves of “please can I have some” to your body. As a young child I grew up watching my grandmother bake loaf after loaf and simply could not get enough. Here I have listed a very simple recipe for a classic white bread loaf. Its easy to follow and a great place for even those with no experience to start. Enjoy!
- 4 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast (two .25-ounce packets)
- 3/4 cup plus 2 2/3 cups warm water (divided)
- 1/4 granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed, at room temperature
- 8 to 10 cups all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (melted for brushing)
- In the bowl mixer, stir to dissolve the yeast in 3/4 cup of warm water and let sit for about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 2 2/3 cups water, sugar, salt, room temperature butter and 4 to 5 cups of the flour. Stir to combine just until mixed and moist.
- Using the dough hook, mix on low speed, gradually adding the remaining flour until the dough is soft and tacky, but not sticky (you may not need all of the flour) Remove the dough from the bowl and knead out onto a floured surface. Continue to knead until a soft ball of dough forms. This will take about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl and turn it over so it is completely covered. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set it in a warm place to rise until doubled in size. This will take 45 minutes to an hour.
- Turn the dough out again onto a slightly floured surface and press it down to get out any air pockets. Divide the dough in to two and, working with one piece at a time, gently pat it into separate 9×12 loaf pans. This will form the dough in the rectangular shape of the pan.
- Roll up the rectangle, starting at the short end, into a very tight cylinder. Pinch to seal the seams and the ends. Tuck the ends of the roll and place the roll, pinched side down, in the greased loaf pan. Loosely cover the loafs and place in a warm area to allow a second rise. This will take about 30 to 35 minutes.
- Position your oven rack in the lowest position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Brush the loaves with the melted butter. Bake the loaves for 30 to 35 minutes, or until golden brown, rotating half way through.
- Remove the bread from the oven and immediately brush with more melted butter. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and remove from the pans to cool completely before slicing.
- Store the bred in an airtight container or freeze for up to one month.
This recipe can be cut in half to make just one loaf if that is preferred.