One of the things I love about the somewhat cooler temperatures that we have been having is being able to bake. Not the all out "winter baking" but at least enough to make some bread. I've been using the bread machine for the past few months because of the heat. Now don't get me wrong, I love the bread machine but I think that it just comes out better in the oven.
I have found a new favorite bread recipe. I've made three batches from it and every one of them came out just amazing! This recipe, as written, is a wonderful sweet(ish) bread and reminds me of Hawaiian Bread. I've also tried it cutting way back on the sugar and it is just as good. The texture is light and kind of airy. Not dense like some bread can be. It also makes some wicked dinner rolls and is great to use for cinnamon rolls as well!
Awesome White Bread
2 cups warm water
2/3 cup white sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
6 cups flour
In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam.
Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9x5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.
(This review of the recipe really helped me out a lot. )
"This is a foolproof recipe provided you just follow the steps, watch your measurements of flour, have good yeast, and keep the temp at least 65 degrees. For those who have had failures try weighing out your flour instead of measuring. NOTES FOR KITCHEN AID MIXER USERS: Proof your yeast in the mixing bowl then add the oil/salt, the add the flour approx. 1 cup at a time with the dough hook on low speed. Once all the dry ingredients are in come up to medium speed for 5 minutes. Then take the dough out, fold it over on itself to redistribute the yeast, make a ball, and place it back in the same bowl after you drizzle a tablespoon of oil (veggie or olive) and turn the dough to coat evenly. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel. There are a number of tricks if you think your kitchen is too cool. Turn your over on for 20 seconds and then right off. Put the dough in to rise. I set mine about 4 feet from the woodstove and turn it once. However, get it over 115 degrees and you'll kill the yeast. Just kneading it in the KA will increase the temp of the dough. And by the way, I have cut the sugar down to 2 tablespoons and it is a classic farmhouse white bread. Hope this helps the few that are having trouble."
~~~~~~ Hey ... I'm Just Sayin' ... ~~~~~~