Thursday, February 2, 2012

Basic White Bread

We all need a simple white bread recipe in our repertoire. It's not so much a "little black dress", but comfy pajamas. Not the good pajamas, like the ones you wear to the Walmart (I'm looking at you). But the worn flannel ones that wrap you up and soothe you when the world gets too loud.

And some sandwiches call for simple white bread, so as to let the bread be part of the supporting structure, rather than the star itself. Like a club sandwich. Wherein the bread is the scaffold for bacony poultry goodness.

This is such a bread.

Basic White Bread
adapted from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Bread
makes 2 loaves

Ingredients
5 cups AP flour
3 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
1 pkg (2¼ tsp) instant dry yeast
½ cup dry milk powder
2 cups hot water (120°-130°F)
3 Tbsp vegetable shortening, room temp

This bread has been YeastSpotted!
  • Grease two loaf pans (I use pyrex ones)
  • Mix all ingredients in your stand mixer with the dough hook. 3 minutes on low to combine, medium for 5 minutes to knead. Adjust hydration if necessary. 
  • Empty dough out onto a lightly floured board and finishing kneading until you have a lovely soft dough. Form into a ball and let rise, covered, about an hour. 
  • Punch down dough and divide into two equal pieces. 
  • Shape each into a loaf by pushing into a flattish oval and folding tightly in half. Tuck nicely into prepared loaf pans, seam sides down, and cover. Let rise another 45 minutes. 
  • Preheat oven to 400°F
  • Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350°F and bake about another 20 minutes, turning loaves for even golden brown colouring halfway through. Internal temperature should be 200°F and you should get a hollow sound when you knock on the bottoms.
  • Remove from pans and let cool on racks.

This club sandwich recipe, along with 2 others, will be posted Saturday

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