As it turns out we are a big bread family. And since I've been baking bread like crazy around here, it was only natural that I'd eventually tackle making a loaf or two of white bread. Or maybe that should have been the first thing I made versus Artisan Bread? No difference at this point I guess, but today was the day for White Bread. And let me tell you, I don't know that we'll be able to go back to a regular Stroehmann loaf again ...
It was an extremely easy bread to make and less than 2 hours later I had two steaming loaves of delicious bread taunting me as they cooled on my counter.
I've had two slices so far (each with butter, thank you) and BB and my Mom have enjoyed a slice or two as well. Here's the recipe if you'd like to take a stab at making some delicious bread of your own this week:
Traditional White Bread
adapted from AllRecipes.com
4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 tablespoons white sugar
2 1/2 cups warm water (100-110 degrees F)
3 tablespoons lard, softened (or vegetable oil)
1 tablespoon coarse salt
6 1/2 to 7 1/2 cups all purpose flour
* In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let bloom for 10 minutes until the yeast develops a nice foam. Stir in the lard (or oil) and mix. Slowly mix in flour, a cup at a time until the dough is not too sticky. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
* Lightly oil or spray a large bowl, then place the dough in the bowl making sure to turn and coat it lightly with oil. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
* After it's had time to rise, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into two equal pieces and form into loaves. Place the loaves into two lightly greased 9x5 inch loaf pans. Cover the loaves with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let rise again until doubled in volume, about 40-60 minutes.
* Bake risen loaves in a 375 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Allow to cool on racks before slicing.
I plan on trying other recipes as well but this baby is totally a keeper. Maybe I should cut up a piece, slather on a little honey and warm up a small glass of milk to fill my belly before bedtime ...