Okay, so I have a family favorite for all you carb junkies out there. There’s no better smell than that of freshly baked bread when you walk into the house, especially when it’s nice and cold outside. So, this is my Old World White bread for those of you out there that enjoy baking.
What you’re going to need –
2 packages of Dry Active Yeast
3/4 cup of warm water (about 110 F)
2 cups of lukewarm milk (scalded and then cooled)
3 tablespoons of shortening (I use real butter)
7-8 Cups of all purpose Flour (Half it with wheat flour if you wanna go a bit more healthy)
3 tablespoons of Sugar
1 tablespoon of Salt
2 loaf pans 9×5
And an extra set of little hands!
So the first thing I do is make sure my water is at the right temperature by using a candy thermometer, when it’s between 105-115 degrees I add both packages of yeast to let it dissolve in your mixing bowl. While its dissolving I scald the milk. You don’t want it to boil but get to the point just before it does. Let it sit until you can comfortably stick your finger in it (luke warm).
Add your milk, shortening, sugar and salt and mix until it’s smooth. (I use a stand up mixer and the whisk attachment for this part.) Add 4 cups of the Flour again, until smooth. Switch the whisk attachment with the dough hook, add 2- 2 1/2 cups more flour and let it mix on low for 10 minutes.
For those of you that aren’t lucky enough to have a mixer, flour the surface of your counter liberally and knead for 8-10 minutes until it’s nice and elastic.
Roll the dough into a ball, oil the bowl and rotate the dough once in it to make sure it’s coated. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let it rise for an hour in a warm place or until doubled in size.
Grease the loaf pans liberally with butter or no-stick spray. Separate the ball of dough in half, roll into a loaf shape and set it into the pan. Brush the top with melted butter. Again, let it double until it’s about 2 inches above the edge of the pan (about 45 minutes to an hour).
Preheat the oven to 425. If you like a darker crust, brush with 3 tablespoons of water and one egg white and place into the oven to cook for 30-40 minutes (depending on your oven).
Dump the bread gently, and tap the bottom. If it sounds hallow it’s done and if it doesn’t put it back in for another 5-7 minutes to continue cooking. Pull out and let cool on a wire rack. As it cools, brush the top with butter to soften the crust and voila! White Bread Goodness that the whole family will love!
Much Love and Happy Baking,