Hi, Everybody! I don’t know if there is any food that I love more than just a warm slice of freshly baked bread. With butter of course, and lots of it! There is something so comforting and reassuring about homemade bread. It’s not an easy thing to make and I’ve definitely had my share of bread-making disasters, whether it was when my bread turned out heavy and dense like a brick, and therefore completely inedible, or when it was burned on top and still raw on the inside, and so inedible again. After lots and lots of recipes that I’ve tried, I recently finally found “The One”! This bread has a perfect crust and yet is wonderfully soft, light and fluffy on the inside. Here’s the recipe…
CLASSIC WHITE BREAD
(Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart)
*Makes 1 loaf*
YOU WILL NEED
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 package instant dry yeast (1/4oz)
1 1/8 cup warm water
1 tbs plus 1 tsp honey
3 tbs unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp salt
1. In a small bowl stir together 1/2 cup warm water, 1 tsp honey and package of instant dry yeast. Cover and let sit for about 5 minutes, until the mixture is frothy. Then, pour it into your electric mixer bowl.
2. Add 2 tbs of melted butter, 1 tbs of honey and the rest of the warm water and mix well. In another bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Then, with your mixer running, begin adding the dry ingredients to the wet in portions. Mix until a dough begins to form. Then, using your dough hook attachment, knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until it’s soft and elastic. Then, form it into a ball and place it in a large greased bowl, cover it and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
3. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down, take it out of the bowl and knead it by hand for just a couple of seconds. Form it into a rectangle (don’t stretch it out too much), then fold the long sides into the middle of the rectangle, and pinch down the seams (basically make a loaf shape out of the dough). Grease a standard loaf pan and place your dough in it. Cover again and let rise for about 10 – 20 minutes. Preheat your oven to 375 deg F.
4. Once the oven is ready, brush your prepared loaf with the remaining tbs of melted butter, then place it in the oven. Bake for about 45 – 50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, the loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap it. (*Note: I covered mine with foil after about 30 minutes of baking, just so it wouldn’t brown too much on top.) Cool for a couple of minutes before slicing and eating.
Happy Baking, Everyone!