This is a basic white bread recipe that will produce one loaf. It has a soft crust with a moist crumb.
Preparation time: 3 hours approx.
Cooking time: 45 mins. approx.
3/4 cup warm water not hot
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. melted shortening
1/2 cup milk at room temperature
3 cups all-purpose white flour
1 package active dry yeast
Pre-heat oven to 375 F
Place warm water in a large bowl. Stir in yeast until fully dissolved. Allow to rest for about 5 mins. or until yeast is bubbly. If the water is to hot it will kill the yeast. It should just feel warm to the touch.
Next stir salt, sugar, melted shortening, and milk into the water mixture.
Mix in 2 cups of white flour. Add more flour one tablespoon at a time until dough forms a ball. Only use the amount of flour needed to form a ball. This may take more or less flour.
Place the ball of bread dough onto a lightly floured board and knead for approx. 5 mins. Add small amounts of flour to the board as needed. Use just enought to keep the dough from sticking.
Continue to knead the dough until it is soft and smooth. You do not want it to be sticky to the touch.
Place the dough into a well oiled bowl turning it until all sides a lightly coated in oil.
Cover with a warm damp cloth and let rise in a warm draft free place for 1 hour; or until double in size. I like to pre-heat my oven early so that the top of the stove is just the right temperature for proofing my dough.
Once the white bread dough has doubled in size punch it down. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 min.
Form the dough into a log and place it into a well oiled bread pan. Turn over in the pan until all of the dough has a light coating of oil. Cover again with a warm damp cloth. Allow it to rise for about 30 mins. or until double in size. I place it on the top of my warm stove.
Place the pan in the pre-heated oven and bake for about 45 mins. or until golden brown.
If you would like a crisper crust open the oven twice during the baking process and lightly mist your loaf with water.
Once the loaf of white bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped remove it from the oven.
Turn the pan upside down to remove the bread. Let cool on a wire rack or a dry clean cloth.
Allow to cool to the touch. Then slice, butter and enjoy.
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