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Basic White Bread Recipe

Basic White Bread Recipe

Homemade bread is simply wonderful; an essential basic food but something many people have never experienced the freshness and pure joy of that bite into a homemade loaf. This recipe is made to mimic the texture and lightness of a classic American white bread but with improved flavor and crust. This bread makes any sandwich perfect or is simply just a bread to snack on with butter or to make toast out of. The slightly sweet buttery taste of this american style sandwich bread will forever be part of your memory after the first bite.

Tools Required

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  • Parchment Paper

Ingredients

Yield: 1 loaf of bread

%?

Weight*

Volume

[php snippet=9] 1 4g 1 teaspoons
Sugar 12.5 50g 3 tablespoons
Water, luke-warm 47 190g 7 ounces
Milk, luke-warm** 23 92g 3 ounces
Bread Flour 100 400g 3 cups
Butter, unsalted 9.4  40 3 tablespoons
Salt 2 8 1.5 teaspoons
* Use volume measurement for anything under 10 grams for digital scales measuring in 1 gram increments as measuring 5 grams on a 1 gram accuracy scale leaves you with a 20% possible variance at best.
** Almond milk, regular or unsweetened, makes a great substitute

Directions

  1. In a large size mixing bowl mix active dry yeast, sugar, water and milk together and allow to stand for five minute.
  2. Mix 300g (2.25 cups) of the flour into the liquid mixture. With a wooden spoon stir until combined. Let sit for 15-30 minutes.
  3. Stir mixture again then mix in remaining flour, salt and butter and mix until well combined.
  4. Cover and allow to rise for 2-3 hours or until more than doubled in size.
  5. Once dough has risen sprinkle top with a bit of flour. Press down to deflate and remove from bowl. Knead on a flour work table for a few minutes and fold under until you have a smooth top in a log shape.
  6. Lightly coat bread pan with butter or non-stick spray.
  7. Optional: Cut a sheet of parchment paper about 8″ long and leave the width of the roll. Place parchment paper down into bread pan so that the ends hang off the long side. This allows you to easily remove the bread after it has cooked by lifting up on the two ends. Its not necessary but occasionally will keep the dough from sticking if you miss a spot with the butter.
  8. Place the dough, seam side down, into the bread pan on the parchment paper. If its shorter than the length of the pan stretch so it fills up the pan end to end.
  9. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) with a rack in the middle of the oven. Use an oven thermometer to double check the temperature if you have one.
  10. Using a piece of cling wrap lightly spray with non-stick spray and drape over the top of the bread pan and allow it to rise 30-45 minutes or until the dough is up to the top of the pan on the sides. The non-stick spray keeps the cling wrap from sticking to the dough. Alternatively you can use a very large mixing bowl upside down if you have one. It is important to keep as much air from getting to the surface of the rising dough.
  11. Once the side of the dough has risen above the bread pan remove cling wrap and discard.
  12. Optional: Apply a light wash of butter to the surface.
  13. Optional: Once proofed using a very sharp knife or razor blade cut at a 45 degree angle a slash long ways across the top of the dough. This gives the bread room to expand creating that classic split top loaf. This process is called slashing / scoring the dough.
  14. Place in the preheated oven on middle rack and bake for 24-28 minutes or until golden brown.
  15. Remove and let sit in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan by lifting on the parchment paper ends or turning upside down.
  16. Crucial: Allow the bread sit for 1-2 hours before cutting, preferably on a cooling rack or screen. The bread is still setting by releasing moisture as it cools and is more fragile thus will not cut well.
  17. Slice with a sharp serrated bread knife and enjoy.

Bread Storage Tips

If you are wanting to store your freshly baked bread you need to let it cool for approximately 3 hours before putting it in a seal container. The bread even when cooled is giving off moisture, if you seal it in a container too early the bread will become soggy from condensation. If the bread is uncut it can set out overnight to cool as the crust protects the inside from drying out. Store in a breadbox and the bread will last for up to 4 days although for the best flavor 48 hours. Alternatively you can place the cut side down on your cutting board or in a paper bag and it lasts for two days but keeps a nice crust on it.

In The Making Photos

white-bread-supplies
Gather all the ingredients needed for making the dough.

white-bread-mixing-dough-1
Mix yeast, water, sugar and milk together in a large bowl and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir. Add 300g (or 2.25 cups) of bread flour and mix until well combined. Let sit for about 15-30 minutes.

white-bread-mixing-dough-2
Stir mixture again after it has sit. This process is called autolyse and allows the gluten fully hydrate. As you can see in the middle image the mixture has started to create gluten chains. Mix in the remaining flour, salt and butter. Work with your hands for a few minutes. This dough has a high percentage of water and will probably still feel a little sticky at this point.

white-bread-bowl-proofing
After the dough is well mixed the dough will look something similar to the left. Notice this hasn’t been kneaded as we are going to let time and the yeast do that. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid. Allow to sit at room temperature for about 3 hours. Once proofed sprinkle a bit of flour on top of the dough and remove from the bowl. Knead for a minute to remove all the air and fold under in a log form to create a smooth top.

white-bread-proofing-in-pan
Grease the bowl and cut a piece of parchment paper to fit across the pan and over the sides. Place parchment paper and dough seam side down. Cover with a greased cling wrap, extra large lid or gallon size plastic bag and allow to proof for 30-45 minutes. Optional: brush the top lightly with melted butter.

white-bread-make-split-top
Optional: Once proofed using a very sharp knife or razor blade cut at a 45 degree angle a slash long ways across the top of the dough. This gives the bread room to expand creating that classic split top loaf.

white-bread-split-top-before-after
Place in a preheated oven on the middle rack at 375°F (190°C) and bake for 24-28 minutes or until golden brown. Once baked remove the bread from the pan and place on a cooling rack. Allow the bread to cool for 1-2 hours before cutting as the inside is too fragile to cut while the dough is cooling and moisture is escaping. Use a sharp serrated bread knife to cut once cooled.