There's nothing quite like making your own bread! Really gives you a feeling of accomplishment! (and it smells amazing!) This bread bakes up soft and fluffy, yet sturdy enough to slice. It's great slathered with some butter and makes delicious sandwiches - hello best PB & J ever! The next day I love it toasted with jam or made into french toast!
I use my stand mixer with dough hook for mixing and kneading this bread. You can alternatively mix by hand.
Combine warm water, 1 teaspoon sugar and yeast in mixing bowl. Stir and let sit for 5-10 minutes or until foamy.
Meanwhile, heat milk and butter in microwave until butter is melted and milk is warmed. Stir in remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and salt until dissolved. Allow milk mixture to cool to 105-110 degrees or until just warm.
Add 4 cups of the flour to the mixing bowl with the yeast mixture. Begin mixing on speed 2. Add milk mixture and continue mixing.
Add about 1 cup more flour. Continue mixing, the mixture should start to transform from a shaggy mixture to a kneadable dough. Knead on speed 2. If needed, add more flour a tablespoon at a time until the dough starts to pull away/clean off the sides of the bowl. It should be tacky but not overly sticky. It's okay if it clings a bit to the dough hook.
Continue kneading for about 2 more minutes. The whole mixing/kneading process should take 5-6 minutes. The dough should be soft, smooth and stretchy. It should be tacky, but not overly sticky.
Grease a large bowl with some oil or non-stick spray. Gather dough into a ball shape, tucking ends under. Place smooth side down in bowl to get oiled and then place oiled side up in bowl. Cover with a clean kitchen towel or greased plastic wrap and place in a warm spot to rise. Should take 45 minutes - 1 hour (or more) depending how warm your room is.
Form Loaves & Rise Again:
While dough is rising grease 2, 8-inch loaf pans. After dough has risen and doubled in size, turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough in half. Gently pat each piece of dough into a rough rectangle about 8-inches wide.
Like folding paper to go in an envelope; fold the top 1/3 of the dough down, then the bottom 1/3 of the dough up. Pat gently to seal, then roll into log and fit seam side down into baking pan. Press gently to fit dough into the corners of the pan and lightly flatten the top. Lay greased plastic wrap loosely over pans and place in warm place to rise. Should take 30-45 minutes.
Meanwhile arrange oven rack to lower position, so top of baking bread will reach center of oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. F.
If using an egg wash. With a fork, beat together egg and water in small bowl.
When dough has risen about 3/4-inch above the edge of the pan, it's ready to bake. Gently remove plastic wrap and brush with egg wash if desired, taking care to not deflate the loaves.
Place in oven and bake 25-35 minutes or until dark golden brown. It will sound hollow when tapped. If you have an instant read thermometer, you can check for doneness by inserting into the center of the loaf from the edge near the pan. It should read about 195 degrees F.
Allow to cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then remove loaves from pan to cooling rack and allow to cool about 45 minutes or until barely warm. Slice and enjoy!
Freezing: The loaves freeze well for a month or so, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then put in zip bag or wrap in foil.Yeast: You can substitute with instant or rapid rise yeast, but you don't need to mix it with the warm water and let it sit for 10 minutes.Flour: You can substitute bread flour, but you may need a little more liquid.
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Simple Homemade White Bread https://www.epicuricloud.com/?p=8893 March 24, 2020