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White Bread

I don’t know why I did this. I started making bread at around 9pm on Saturday night. Seriously, what was I thinking? I always forget about the second rise time which usually takes longer than the first. Oh well. At least the bread was awesomely delicious.

Because bread causes some people’s hearts to race quickly at the idea of using yeast. But honestly, it isn’t that hard, I took more pictures than I usually post but it isn’t an actual step-by-step post. I wanted to show what things look like at certain points that used to give me problems.

I got the recipe from The Sister’s Cafe. Now, their recipe is for  6 LOAVES. You CAN NOT makes this in your Kitchen Aid! It has 15 CUPS of flour in it. Please for the love of your Kitchen Aid, reduce the recipe. Luckily it’s easily divisible by 2 and that’s the recipe I’ll give you. IF you happen to have a Hobart or Bosch mixer handy – click the pretty link in the first sentence and it’ll take you to the full recipe.

In regards to the the yeast, the original recipe calls for three heaping tablespoons. Well, heaping is kinda subjective. One person’s heaping might be someone else’s slightly domed. And I added what I thought was 1.5 heaping tablespoons, but as you’ll see it didn’t work out so great. The bread didn’t rise quite enough, but don’t despair if this also happens to you. It is still a wonderful wonderful bread. At with some butter on it…oh lord have mercy. Here look:

Lord have mercy, I hate half a loaf like this without even thinking about it. Needless to say, I went to the gym today.

Alright on to a semi, but not really, step-by-step part.

So, first things first. You can either do powdered milk as the original recipe calls for, or you can use milk. Either way you’re going to need 3 cups of liquid. If you choose to do powdered milk, you’ll need 1/3 of a cup. Our powdered milk looked….creepy. So I didn’t use it. Instead I did 1 1/2 cup of milk and 1 1/2 cup warm water. Yeast likes liquids that are about 110-115, so the water was hot water, mixed with the cold milk it worked out well. I do take the temperature of the liquid with an instant read thermometer. I’m neurotic, I know.

Throw in liquid, sugar, yeast, shortening and salt in to your kitchen aid or other stand mixer. Add about 4 cups of all purpose flour. Mix with your paddle attachment until it looks like this:

At this point you’re going to want to switch out the paddle attachment for the dough hook attachment. And I have to say, I loathe the stupid dough hook. I think it takes far too long to incorporate new flour into the dough. But I like things to be done NOW. Patience, it’s not one of my virtues.

After this, keep adding flour. Now the original recipe calls for 15 cups of flour and I was making half a recipe. I THOUGHT at 6 cups of flour I’d be fine. But math, it works. I used 7.5 cups of flour, exactly half the original recipe. Oh math, you silly silly creature.

The main thing you DON’T want to do is add to much flour. You want to stop adding flour as soon as the dough pulls away cleanly from the bowl. And by cleanly – there was definitely dough bits left on the sides of my bowl, but after adding the the last half cup of flour the dough should basically clean out the bottom of the mixer. I kept thinking I’d reached this point at about 5.5 cups, 6 cups, 6.5 cups…but each time it’d ooze back to the sides and hang out.

After its pulled away cleanly from the sides of the bowl, allow it to knead for another 5 minutes. This is another reason I hate the dough hook. The dough rides up the hook, so I have to babysit it so it doesn’t go over the top of the hook. Maybe you don’t HAVE to, but I’m neurotic.

At this point, spray a piece of plastic wrap with Pam/non stick spray/whathaveyou and place it over the bowl. Like so:

Now, I made a mark in some of the dough on the side (you can see the dough on the side to the right) of the mixing bowl.  I just scraped off a piece to know where it was starting from.
Put this in a nice warm place so it can rise. My dough seemed to like about 78-79 degrees to rise. That’s the internal temperature, folks. I’m neurotic, remember? I tested it with an instant read thermometer. Once it doubles in size…it looks like this:

IT’S AAAAALIIIIIVE. So now it’s doubled in size. It’s also pretty airy from the yeast. At this point I was able to get three 1.5 pound loaves from the dough.

You roll out the dough into a rectangle about the size of the pan you’re going to be baking it in. Then you roll it up and fold the ends under:

After this put it in the loaf pan and let it rise until it reaches the top of the pan. Mine didn’t do it :(. I don’t think I added enough yeast. Oh well, it’s still delicious. Once its done with the second rise you’ll want to bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Enjoy! My parents said it made for EXCELLENT sandwich bread. I liked it toasted or warmed in the microwave for 15 seconds with butter. Oh lord. So good. I’m going to have to make some more this week.

White Bread
1/3 cup powdered milk (I used 1 1/2 cup milk, and it was 1% milk)
1.5-2 heaping Tbsp of instant yeast (The original called for 3 heaping tbsps…I think next time I’m going to do 2)
3 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp shortening
3 cups warm water (If you used milk add 1 1/2 cups hot water, it’ll cool in the milk)
Flour – AP (approx. 7.5 cups total)
Mix the milk, water, yeast, salt, sugar, and shortening in your mixer. Add about 3-4 cups of flour and mix until combined with the paddle attachment. Switch to your dough hook. 
Continue adding flour until the dough comes away from the side of the mixing bowl cleanly. It took me exactly 7.5 cups to get to this point. 

Spray a piece of plastic wrap with nonstick spray and place over dough. Place mixing bowl in a warm area and allow to double in size – about 1-2 hours. My dough rose the quickest when it was about 78-79 degrees.

After it has doubled in size, roll out to a rectangle the width of your bread pan. Roll it up length wise and fold the sides under. I kinda pull sides up and over to make a smooth end. Place in pan and cover with a damp towel. Allow to rise until it reaches the top of the pan.  Repeat this two more times. I was able to get 3 1.5 pound loaves. 

After the loaves have risen a second time place in a preheated 350 degree oven and allow to bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

3 comments to White Bread

  • Molly

    This bread looks *so* very fantastic that I think I must dive, headfirst, into the computer. Nom nom nom.

    (And, conveniently, I am reading about the prison industrial complex right now! How… er, fitting?)

  • Giynlith

    On doubling in size: It's the Blob! RUN!!

    If one were Kitchen Aid-less, how would one create yummy wonderful bread?

  • Rene

    Throw the milk, water, salt, shortening, and yest in a bowl and then start adding the flour. It's gonna get tiring stirring all the flour in though.

    I'd keep using, say a wooden spoon, until it gets pretty dough like then I'd start working it by hand. My guess is that you'd still want to add flour until the dough pulls away from the side of bowl cleanly.

    Does that help?

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