There’s really no better smell in a house than that of fresh bread! It has this strange way of making you feel warm and comforted and just at home!
After ever so many failed attempts with the bread maker, I finally set out to simply make my own bread in the oven. I scanned many recipes – including that of the bread machine, before settling with this one.
With a growing family of 6, we go through a LOT of bread! This basic white bread recipe yields two loaves at once and is so simple to do around other household chores.
After cooled, if it hasn’t been devoured yet, this bread can be sliced for sandwiches, french toast or eaten freshly as is. With 2 loaves at once, I try to get one into the freezer each time.
It can be a little tricky getting the right consistency with the flour, I usually use 5 and a half cups in the actual bread.
This is so easy that even a beginner breadmaker as I was when I began, can come out with beautiful, fluffy loafs every time!
After the first 5 cups of flour have been thoroughly combined, continue to add half a cup slowly as needed, just until the dough is no longer sticky. Be sure not to add so much that it no longer holds together.
- 4 and 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast (I use Fleischmann’s quick rise or traditional)
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature and cut into pieces
- 2 and 2/3 cup additional warm water
- 5 – 6cups all-purpose flour (I usually start with 5 and adjust up to an additional cup as needed)
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted, for brushing the tops of the loaves (optional)
- Additional butter or cooking spray, for greasing your loaf pans
- In your mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in 3/4 cup of warm water, for about 5 minutes.
- Add the sugar, salt, butter, additional 2 and 2/3 cup warm water, and mix gently to combine.
- Slowly add 5 cups of the flour, mixing gently until smooth. ***Slowly add more as needed if the dough is still too sticky.
- knead the dough for 10 minutes. ***If you’re using a smaller mixer, I would recommend kneading the dough in two portions so as not to burn your motor out-this – is a lot of dough. Alternatively, as I do it, you can knead all of the dough by hand.
- Lightly grease two loaf pans.
- Once the dough is ready, place it back in your bowl. Cover, and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
- After an hour, punch down the dough (yes!) and divide it into two portions.
- Working with one portion at a time, use a rolling pin to roll the dough into roughly 12″ x 12″ squares, making sure that the thickness of the dough is uniform throughout.
- Slowly and tightly roll up each square, sealing the edges firmly.
- Tuck the ends of the roll tightly under the bread and place it into your prepared loaf pans. Repeat with the second loaf.
- Cover the loaves, set in a warm place, and let rise until doubled, about another hour.
- Place one rack on the lowest position in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Bake the loaves for 15 minutes, then cover each loaf with aluminum foil to prevent the tops from browning too much.
- Once covered with foil, bake for an additional 15 minutes.
- Remove the loaves from the oven, place on a wire rack to cool, and lightly brush the loaves with the melted butter.