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Basic Bread Recipe

Photo source: Grandmother's Kitchen

This basic bread recipe uses simple ingredients and makes 2 loaves of delicious white bread

Ingredients

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups warm milk, 100 to 115 deg
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
1 Tablespoon salt
5-6 cups all purpose flour
Additional butter for greasing the pans
1 egg white, lightly beaten to brush onto the outsides

(Makes 2 loaves)

Directions

Grease with butter, two 9x5x3 bread loaf pans.

Start by adding the yeast to 1/2 cup of warm milk (100-115 degees F).

Stir in the sugar and stir until the yeast is dissolved.

Set aside to proof.

Pour the remaining milk into a large mixing bowl and stir in the melted butter and salt.

Add the flour, one cup at a time, stirring in with a wooden spoon. After you have added the third cup of flour, add the yeast mixture and stir in.

Continue to add more flour, you want the dough to be a little firm. It should take between 4 and 5 cups.

One the dough feels firm, remove it from the bowl and place onto a floured flat surface.

Continue now by kneading the bread, adding more flour as necessary until the dough is supple, not sticky and has a satiny appearance. Form it into a big ball.

Be sure you have removed any sticky bits of dough from the mixing bowl then use some butter and grease the bowl all over.

Grease the bread ball and place it into the bowl.

Cover with a clean tea towel and place the bowl in a draft-free spot.

Let it double in bulk for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Once the dough has risen punch it down and return to the flat floured surface. Knead the bread a few times more then cut the dough into two equal parts.

Form the two loaves and place them into the prepared pans. Cover with the clean tea towel again and let rise again until double in size.

Slash the loaves lightly with a very sharp knife, then use a pastry brush to pain on the beaten egg white.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

When the loaves have risen, place into the preheated oven and bake until the bread sounds hollow when you tap it with your knuckles.

Baking time should be about 40-45 minutes.

Once baked, Remove the loaves from the pans and put them back in the oven a few minutes longer to crisp them even further.

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