I suddenly decided one day to learn how to bake bread. From scratch. I should preface this by saying that I have never been much of a bread maker. Well, I take that back. The one time I tried a recipe for pull-apart bread that appeared to be so easy anyone could do it, it didn’t rise. At all. It was hard as a rock. It had no favor. Needless to say (or should I say kneadless – ha…ha), I didn’t have the desire to try again. Until, that is, enough time passed and I forgot how much of a failure the pull-apart bread was and I decided to give this thing another try. I found a few different recipes that were all very similar, and I tweaked it a little to satisfy my tastes, then off I went kneading away.
And it worked!!!!
1. Mix water and sugar / 2. Stir until dissolved / 3. Add yeast / 4. Stir until creamy
1. Add salt / 2. Add oil / 3. Start adding flour one cup at a time / 4. It will start to form dough
1. Keep adding the flour / 2. Dough is ready to knead / 3. Cover with plastic wrap / 4. One hour later
Place the dough in a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
30 minutes later, it’s a beautiful golden loaf of bread!
Sweet and Easy White Bread
Makes 2 – 9×5 inch loaf
2 cups warm water (heat to about 110-115 degrees)
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus an additional 1 teaspoon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
5 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon butter
1. In a large bowl, combine warm water and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Stir in the yeast. Allow the yeast to proof until it’s creamy.
2. Add the 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 cup oil, stir until combined. Add the flour one cup at a time. As it thickens, start to knead very lightly until the dough is formed. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and place a damp towel over the bowl. Let the bowl sit in a warm place to allow the dough to rise. It takes about an hour. Once it has almost doubled in size, punch down and knead lightly. Divide the dough in half. Place each half in a well oiled 9×5 inch loaf pan. Let the dough rise about an inch – this takes 30 minutes or so. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until it is a nice golden brown.
3. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Spread butter over the top of each loaf until it is melted, then sprinkle lightly with remaining 1 teaspoon salt.
I personally like a slice of warm bread with a nice buttery spread, but to each his own!
Give it a try and let me know how it goes.