Edie, I made your bread ...
smelled wonderful while it was baking. I didn't have any until this morning when I made toast. Oh my goodness, that toast was so, so tasty. Thank you for the recipe. In case others would like it, I am posting here.
ediej1209 AL Zn 7
I am going to post the recipe as I first started using it. For my taste, the bread was too sweet so in parentheses I will put what I use now.
One of the reasons I love my bread recipe is that the loaves are soft and fluffy but still hold together for slicing (no dairy products in it.) One of the things I don't love about the recipe is that shelf life is only a very few short days and I don't always have freezer space for loaf #2. Burns me up when I have to toss part of it.
2 cups water - 110°-120°
3 Tablespoons sugar (1 slightly rounded Tablespoon)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Active Dry Yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt (slightly rounded)
1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
6 cups flour*
Fit mixer with paddle.
Put water and sugar in mixer bowl, stir to dissolve sugar. Sprinkle yeast over and let sit until foamy, 5- 15 minutes (I stir slightly to get the yeast into the sugar water.) I find that 5 minutes is generally sufficient.
Add salt, oil and 3 cups of the flour. Mix very well.
Change from paddle to dough hook, on low, add the other 3 cups of flour. Once most of the flour is incorporated, raise mixer speed to medium and mix until it becomes a cohesive whole, with no flour on sides of bowl.
Turn out onto floured surface and knead 4-6 minutes, using the most minimum of flour possible, just enough to keep it from sticking to your hands.
Place in a LARGE greased bowl, turn once to grease all sides of dough, then cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, punch dough down and form into 2 loaves. Place in greased loaf pans, cover and let rise until dough crowns to a little over 1" above pan tops.
Preheat oven to 350°
Bake loaves for 25 - 30 minutes, if browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil after 18 minutes.
I let the loaves sit only for a minute or 2 in the pans then turn them onto a rack to cool. Let cool completely before cutting.
*OK so here's the thing about flour. The original recipe called for All Purpose flour. I only use bread flour and just because I got silly and ordered a bunch of durum flour and need to use it before it goes bad, I actually substitute 1/2 cup of it for 1/2 cup of the bread flour. I am not scientific enough to know if that actually does anything to make the bread soft but still able to hold together when cut or not. If anyone here knows please feel free to chime in. If it really does make some kind of difference I will replenish my supply once it's gone. If it really serves no particular purpose I will go back to all bread flour. I probably have enough durum for 7 or 8 more batches.