Thursday, October 15, 2009

White Bread

For some reason, everyone who eats this bread thinks it's manna from heaven. Seriously, they can't stop raving about how amazing it is. Kevin especially. I feel a little guilty taking any amount of credit for it when all I did was throw 6 ingredients into the bread machine, hit dough setting then roll it out and roll it up into a loaf pan to bake. Simple. So if you don't have a bread machine, I recommend one. Look for them at consignment shops or garage sales. That's where my mother in law found me...for $2.00!
The only reason I don't feel completely ashamed for saying "Thank you" after the compliments is that I actually can and do make bread by hand so it's not like I'm totally cheating. :D

Ingredients (for 1 pound loaf)
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 tsp shortening or margarine
2 cups bread (or all purpose) flour
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp yeast

Add ingredients to bread machine according to manufacturer's directions. (always add liquid ingredients first, then dry ingredients (should be floating on top of liquids), then make a small well in the dry ingredients and add yeast LAST--being sure the yeast never comes in contact with the liquids or it will be activated too soon.) Select your preferred setting. (I like to chose the "dough" setting so that I can bake it up in a loaf pan. The shape of our bread machine is not ideal for looks or for slicing, but you do what you want.) If you selected the "dough" setting, let the machine do it's thing. Then, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the dough and place a lightly floured surface. Let it relax for 5 minutes. Using a rolling pin, roll dough out into an 18x9 inch rectangle. Roll dough up tightly, beginning at the 9 inch side. Press with fingers to seal after each turn. Pinch edges of dough into roll to seal.

Place seam side down in pan. Brush lightly with butter or veg. oil. Cover loosely and let rise in a warm place (like on the preheating oven) for 35-50 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until loaf is deep golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to a wire rack to cool.

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