This is an excellent recipe for basic white bread. Not only does it taste great, it makes the whole house smell wonderful.
- 6 cups flour, more or less, divided
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 envelope active dry yeast
- 2 cups very warm water, about 100° to 110°
- 2 tablespoons softened butter
In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast.
Beating at low speed, add the water and butter.
Continue beating at high speed for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup flour and beat 4 minutes longer. Stir in 3 cups flour, or enough to make the dough soft.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic, adding more flour as necessary.
Place dough in a large buttered bowl, turning to butter top.
Cover with a clean towel and let rise for about 1 hour in a warm place, free of drafts. Punch dough down; knead until smooth.
Cut dough in half, cover with the mixing bowl and let stand for 15 minutes longer.
Roll each half into a 12x9-inch rectangle. Starting with the narrow edge, roll up, turning ends under to make loaves to fit pans.
Place rolls seam side down in greased loaf pans, 9x5x3-inches. Cover pans with a clean towel and let rise in a warm place until doubles it size, it will take about 45 minutes.
Bake loaves at 400° for 25 to 30 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped with fingers. Remove from pans to racks; brush with butter for a soft, more flavorful crust, if desired.
Makes 2 loaves.
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