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The Best Basic White Bread

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If you can’t tell by now, I love me some CARBS. Freshly baked bread is a delicacy all on it’s own, and I am a sucker for the smell of baking bread.

I’ve tried several different white bread recipes. Some had a few more ingredients, others were just very basic. This one has turned out the best of any bread recipe I’ve tried so far. The crust is lightly crispy and the middle is soft, yet dense.

This would make excellent sandwiches, or even be good for french toast! I made one regular loaf, and one braided loaf, just to test out how this dough would do in different situations. I know plenty of people who love to bake braided loaves and wreathes for the holidays, and my Grandma likes to make a braided wreath with nuts and cinnamon sugar. I’m confident that this bread could be easily spruced up with any of the fancy add-ons that you choose.

Ingredients:

  • 4 and 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast (or two packets)
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 and 2/3 cup additional warm water
  • 9-10 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted, for brushing the tops of the loaves

Instructions:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water with a teaspoon of the sugar. When the yeast is bubbled and foamy, mix in the rest of the sugar, the salt, the butter, and the warm water. Slowly mix in 5 cups of flour, mixing on low speed until smooth. Gradually add remaining flour, adding just enough to make a smooth and slightly sticky dough. Knead on low speed for 10 minutes, or knead by hand. Lightly grease a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in the greased bowl and turn to coat with spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place for one hour. I like to turn on the oven so it starts to warm and let my dough rise on top of the stove so the warmth of the oven helps the rising process.
  • Preheat oven to 425. When the dough has risen, punch it down and divide into three equal sized pieces. Roll each piece into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Roll each rectangle up into a cylinder, and place each seam-side down in a lightly-greased bread pan (I used 9 inch bread pans). Or, you can divide one of the dough balls into 3 equal pieces, form long snakes, and braid them together for a braided loaf. Cover and let rise in a warm place for one hour.
  • When the loaves have risen, place them in the preheated oven and bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter. Let cool before slicing.

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