For what feels like the past several months, I have been trying and continually failing to bake bread. Finally, I found a recipe from yeasty extraordinaire Fleischmann’s under the “Christ, you really can’t bake bread? We can hold your hand through this, but it may interfere with kneading” category.

The loaves were in the oven a bit too long, but that only led to well-developed crustiness. Oh, and: They were absolutely delicious. I’m never buying bread again, if I can help it.

Here is the recipe, courtesy of Fleischmann’s yeast.

Über Scrumptious Beginner’s White Bread

Place in a large warm bowl:

  • 0.25 cup warm (100° to 110°F) water
  • Sprinkle in and stir:

  • 2 envelopes Fleischmann’s active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Let sit 5 to 10 minutes, until foamy on top. Add:

  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1.25 cups water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 0.5 cup milk (I used 2%)
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour*
  • Mix well using the medium speed of an electric mixer, scraping bowl occasionally (I just did this part by hand). Stir in to make a soft dough:

  • 1.5 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover with greased plastic wrap (greased side facing dough) and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.

    Punch dough down. Divide dough in half. Roll each half to 12 x 7-inch rectangle. Beginning at short end of each rectangle, roll up tightly as for jelly roll. Pinch seams and ends to seal. Place, seam sides down, in greased loaf pans. Cover in same manner and let rise in warm, draft free place until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.

    Score each loaf twice (I used a fish knife plus this video tutorial). In a separate bowl, lightly beat together:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Brush over loaves and let sit for 5 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with:

  • Sesame seeds
  • Bake at 400°F for 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Remove from pans; cool on wire rack. Enjoy.

    * To make whole wheat bread, substitute 2 cups of whole wheat flour for part of the all-purpose flour.

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