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Back to Basics: How to Make Bread

Follow these steps for no-fail delicious golden-brown homemade white bread. If you have one, use a machine for kneading the dough. Makes three loaves.

Follow these steps for no-fail, delicious, golden-brown homemade white bread.

Imagine the reaction from family or guests when they arrive with your kitchen wafting of fresh-baked bread.  It’ll be hard for them to avoid the offer of a slice while it’s still a little warm.

As far back as I can remember, we’ve always had a tradition of homemade bread in our family.  I remember granny making it from scratch and even kneading by hand into her nineties.  If you’ve ever kneaded dough, you’ll discover that it requires a fair amount of strength and endurance. Homemade bread may be one of granny’s secrets to a long life.

My brother has been making this basic bread recipe for years and Marcel has modified it a little to include kneading with a bread machine and proofing in the oven.

Tip: Let a machine do the kneading

Dust of that old bread maker and avoid the hardest part – kneading the dough. I never liked using the bread machine to bake the bread since you end up with unmanageable block-shaped loaf with the paddle stuck in the middle.  You’ll want to use the machine to do the kneading but not the baking. So if it has a “dough only” setting use that, otherwise remove the dough before the baking cycle starts and turn off the machine. Another option, if you have a KitchenAid® or similar stand mixer, you can use it to efficiently knead the dough.  Making Bread in a KitchenAid® Stand Mixer

Use the dough setting on your bread maker for kneading but bake the loaves in the oven.

So, if you have the patience and you’ll be sticking around the house for a few hours then you’re ready to give it a try. 

Homemade White Bread

Follow these steps for no-fail delicious golden-brown homemade white bread. If you have one, use a machine for kneading the dough. Makes three loaves.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Proofing3 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 24 slices
Author: Kevin & Marcel

Ingredients

  • 1 package ¼ ounce or 8g traditional active dry yeast
  • 2 ¼ cups lukewarm water 110-115°F
  • 3 tbsp sugar plus ½ tsp sugar separated
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 6 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus a little to flour surfaces
  • 1 tsp oil or cooking spray to grease the loaf pans

Instructions

  • In a medium (3 cup) bowl, dissolve yeast and ½ tsp of sugar in warm water. Let stand until bubbles form on the surface.

Option 1: Preparing the dough by hand

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together remaining 3 tbsp sugar, salt and 3 cups of flour.
  • Stir the oil into the yeast mixture.
  • Pour the yeast mixture into the flour mixture and beat until smooth.
  • Stir in the remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, to form a soft dough.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured surface
  • Knead the dough until smooth and elastic (about 8-10 minutes)

Option 2: Preparing the dough in a bread machine or mixer

  • Add the oil and yeast mixture first then the dry ingredients. Select the basic white bread setting on the bread machine and allow it to knead the dough. Turn off the machine after the kneading cycle has completed (don't allow it to bake the bread) and transfer the dough to a large greased bowl. For mixers, follow the machine’s instructions for kneading bread dough.

Proofing

  • Boil 3 cups of water.
  • Place the dough into a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with a tea towel.
  • Put the boiling water in the loaf pan and place it on the bottom rack of the oven. If your oven can be set to 100°F do so. Otherwise do not turn on the heat.
  • Put the bowl of dough on the rack above the hot water, close the door and allow the dough to rise until doubled (about 1 ½ hours)
  • Remove the dough from the oven and turn onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Punch down the dough. Divide into three equal parts, shape into a loaves and place in 3, greased, 9×5 inch loaf pans. Cover and return to the oven for proofing. Allow to rise until doubled (about 1 ½ hours).
  • Remove pans from the oven and heat the oven to 375°F

Baking

  • Return the pans to the oven and bake until golden brown bread sounds hollow when tapped (about 30-35 minutes)
  • Remove from pans and allow to cool on wire racks.

Notes

After the loaves have cooled, they may be placed in a plastic produce bag to keep them soft and moist. The extra loaves may be frozen. If you prefer a crustier bread, place loaves in paper bags.

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