Sunday, December 4, 2011

Traditional White Bread

6-7 c. all-purpose flour or bread flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
2 Tbsp. shortening
4 1/2 tsp. regular or quick active dry yeast
2 1/4 c. very warm water (120 - 130 F)
2 Tbsp. butter, melted, if desired

Mix 3 1/2 c. of the flour, sugar, salt, shortening, and yeast in large bowl. Add warm water. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, to make dough easy to handle.
Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead about 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. Place dough in large bowl greased with shortening, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place 40-60 minutes or until double. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
Grease bottoms and sides of 2 loaf pans with shortening (the last time we made this recipe, we just shaped the dough and placed them on a cookie sheet. It worked well)
Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Divide dough in half. Flatten each half with hands or rolling pin into a rectangle on lightly floured surface. Roll dough up tightly, beginning at the short side. Press with thumbs to seal after each turn. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Press each end with side of hand to seal. Fold ends under loaf. Place seam side down in pan. Brush loaves lightly with butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place. 35-50 minutes or until double.

Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 425 F.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until loaves are deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire rack. Brush loaves with butter; cool.

Recipe from Betty Crocker Cookbook

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