If any of you feel the way I do that bread could probably sustain you every day, if you melt at the scent of it in the air when it’s in the oven, and you can’t possibly wait to cut off that first, savory, golden bite before the bread is cool enough, then I have a recipe for you.
I make bread a lot, both professionally and at home, and I’ve tried a lot of different recipes. Truth is, there’s no single bread recipe out there that fits all styles and types of bread. Sandwich bread, baguettes, cinnamon rolls, ect. all require different recipes which I will eventually share with you. Today I’m going to give you a recipe that yields a proven tasty and soft loaf of sandwich bread. You will not be disappointed! If you aren’t a bread maker, try this out to build your confidence, you’ll be so proud of yourself! And nothing beats homemade bread! FYI fresh loaves of bread last 3-5 days, but I’m sure it will be eaten by then 🙂
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter
2 (1/4 ounce) packages instant rapid rise yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (105F to 115F)
5 -6 cups all-purpose flour
Directions with a mixer:
Combine milk, sugar, salt, and butter in small saucepan. Heat over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm.
Add lukewarm milk mixture and 4 1/2 cups flour with the yeast (you don’t have to proof instant yeast). Attach bowl and dough hook. Turn to speed 2 and mix 1 minute. Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until dough clings to hook and cleans side of bowl. Knead on speed 2 for 2 minutes longer, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough will be slightly sticky to the touch.
Let dough rest in bowl for 10 minutes.
Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf and place in a greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour
Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.
When you start to smell what I can only describe as “toasty” then it’s done. To really tell a loaf is done on the inside is to take it out of the pan carefully with a clean dish towel, flip it over in your hand and tap the bottom of the loaf. If it sounds hollow, it’s done. The loaf will feel very hard when you first take it out of the oven but it will soften when it starts to cool.