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Favourite White Bread



When I was married before I had a husband who made beautiful bread.  When he was home he would crank out about 5 or 6 loaves a few times a week and it would all get eaten.  He was really good at it and the kids practically inhaled it.  He would make the kitchen table dance across the kitchen floor when he was kneading it.  He also made a huge mess, which I got to clean up, but I wasn't complaining because his bread was excellent and it was worth the price of cleaning up!



 I have never made good bread.  I am not sure why.   I gave up trying a long time ago, but lately I have been wanting to try again and have been searching for just the right recipe.  I do have a bread maker, which I could use, but I have been wanting to bake a loaf from scratch with my own two hands.  Just moi and nobody else.

  (Looks promising doesn't it!  I was so excited when I saw this!)

I found a recipe the other day on the Brown Eyed Baker Blog called My Favourite White Bread.  It looked really good.  She got the recipe from someone's Grandmother. She doesn't say who, but she did say that it was such a good recipe that she was baking it a couple of times a week.


She was tempting me with her praise for this recipe. I went back and looked at the recipe a few times over the past few weeks, and then finally today, I printed it out and decided I was going to have a go at it!


I confess I did not follow her instructions exactly.  I did everything by hand.  Totally by hand.  I popped the LDS Music channel on and sat at the table and mixed and kneaded it all by hand.  It was very cathartic.


I kneaded it and I thought  . . .  I thought and I kneaded . . .  I listened to the dulcet tones of good music, and all the while I was channeling my mother earth insides . . .


I felt almost like Ma Ingalls . . .  seriously.  It rose like a dream with the first rising . . .  and then it rose like a dream with its second rising.  I didn't know whether I dared hope I would have some success or not  . . . I did cut the recipe in half as there are only two of us and I don't have enough room in my freezer for a loaf of bread  . . .


Colour me pleasantly surprised because I had tremendous success!  The loaf turned out perfect.  It is beautiful bread with a lovely taste and texture.  I was so happy!  I just might make it my goal to bake a loaf every week.  Todd was quite enthusastic about the results and we are both looking forward to sitting down tonight to a slice of fresh white bread with butter and strawberry jam for our supper.  Diabetes be damned!



*Favourite White Bread*
Makes 2 loaves
(can be halved)

Why is this my favourite?  Because it is good and it actually works well for me.  Bonus! 

4 1/2 tsp instant yeast (bread machine yeast)
178ml (3/4 cup) + 630ml (2 2/3 cups) warm water divided
50g white sugar (1/4 cup)
1 TBS salt
3 TBS unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into bits
9 (1.3kg) to 10 (1.4kg) cups strong flour (bread flour)
3 TBS melted butter, for brushing



Dissolve the yeast in the 178ml (3/4 cup) of warm water, stirring.  Let sit for 5 minutes.  Add the remaining water, sugar, salt, room temperature butter and 625g (5 cups) of the flour, stirring to combine.  Using a wooden spoon stir in the remainder of the flour a little bit at a time until the dough is soft and tacky, but not sticky.  Continue to knead until a soft ball of dough forms that clears the side of the bowl. This will take about 10 minutes.  Not a problem. Just put some music on that you love listening to and lose yourself in the music as you knead.  Shape into a smooth ball and place in a lightly greased bowl.  Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside in a warm draft free place for  45 minutes to 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size.  I finger inserted into the dough should leave a hole that doesn't fill back in.  Tip out onto a lightly floured surface.  Gently press all over to remove any air pockets.  Divide the dough into two.  Pat each half into a 9 by 12 inch rectangle.   Working from the short edge, roll tightly into a cylinder.  Pinch any seams shut and tuck in the ends.  Generously grease two  9 by 5 inch loaf tins.  Place the cylinders of dough into them seam side down.  Cover loosely and place into a draft free place to rise, once again until doubled in size.  30 to 45 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.  Place the oven rack to its lowest position in the oven.   

Brush the loaves with some melted butter.  Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating it halfway through the bake time until the loaves are golden brown all over and the bottom sounds hollow when lightly tapped.  Let stand for 10 minutes, tip out onto a wire rack and turn right side up, brush with the remaining melted butter and allow to cool completely before slicing.  Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.  Alternately it can be frozen for up to one month.



If you are looking for a really good bread recipe that is simple to make then look no further.  This one is a winner!  If I can have success with it, then anyone can!  Bon Appetit!
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Marie Rayner
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10 comments:

  1. Looks really great. Thanks for the info :)

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  2. I have been trying to get up the gumption to make some bread. Unfortunately I have poison ivy all over them so it will have to wait but this is the first thing I will try. Thank you.

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    Replies
    1. Ouch, Poison Ivy! Poor you! I hope you feel better soon! xo

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  3. Well it certainly looks as if you mastered it. The loaf is as beautiful as a loaf of bread can be. I used to subscribe to the Brown Eyed Baker's blog but she added SO many advertisements and especially the ones that pop up when you run the mouse over them and I couldn't move the mouse without having all this stuff come up all the time I became SO frustrated I finally unsubscribed. It's sad because I really enjoyed her site, especially everything about Einstein and Duke. I think her baby was turning one year old the last time I was one it. One of the things I liked best about the site were her goldens (I have one of my own) and at times (usually on their birthdays) she would give recipes for dog treats or dog cakes and so forth. Another site that has a very good recipe for another person who hasn't had the best of luck baking bread according to her is Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. On one of her episodes she does a lovely loaf of bread basically like this. I'm sure it would be on her website or else its on Food Network I'm sure. I also find working with bread very "therapeutic" and my mom gave me her bread machine years ago and I've never used it. I suppose if I had a family with several children and were going through numerous loaves a week I might break down and use it just to get things done more quickly but there just seems something "unnatural" about using a machine for this job. Now pie crust, that's a completely different kettle of fish. I use Martha Stewart's recipe which uses the food processor and I have no qualms with that at all.

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    Replies
    1. Now that is where we differ Pam! I love making pastry and doing it by hand. I have to admit I make pretty good pastry! I don't even use a recipe any more most of the time. I basically just do it from memory, and thankfully it works well. xoxo

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  4. I was wondering if I could do the mixing in a bread machine, what do you think?

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    Replies
    1. I can't see why not xspammie. The BEB uses a mixer for her kneading. Let me know how you get on! xo

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  5. I was just reviewing the bread recipe and I noticed it says to bake 30 to 30 minutes. I know its a typo but this is one time I don't want to guess at what the correct time should be.

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    Replies
    1. That should read 30 to 35 minutes Pam, sorry about that!

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