Home Made Bread
1 hour 20 min
1 hour 50 mins
Yield: 1 loaf
- 4 cups bread flour (all purpose flour works but bread flour works best)
- 2 envelopes (1/2 ounce total) fast acting instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 and 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons butter (or margarine)
- 1/4 cup honey
- one 9x5 inch loaf pan
- cooking oil spray, as needed
- additional butter/margarine, melted, as needed for step 12.
1. Combine 2 cups of the flour with the yeast and salt in a large bowl (Use the bowl of a stand-up mixer if you have one).
2. Combine the milk, water, butter and honey in a small saucepan and heat to 120-130 degrees F. as read on a candy thermometer. This step is important...if the mix is too cold the yeast will not work. If too hot it will kill the yeast.
3. Add heated water/milk mix to the flour mix (in mixer bowl).
4. Beat with mixer on low speed for 2 minutes, scraping sides of the bowl as necessary.
5. Slowly add 1/2 cup more flour while beating with mixer on medium speed for another 2 minutes.
6. Add remaining flour while continuing to beat on low speed until dough forms a tacky ball that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
7. Turn out dough on a flat, floured surface and form into a loaf shape. Place the dough in a well greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. See note #3 below.
8. Spray the top of the dough lightly with cooking oil spray. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap and cover the dough loosely with wrap (greased side down facing dough).
9. Place the dough in a draft free warm location and allow to rise one hour. The dough should rise 2-3 inches over the top of the loaf pan. If it does not wait another 20 minutes. If it still does not rise over the top of the pan the yeast is not working and you should start over. See note #1 below.
10. If the dough rise was successful, discard plastic wrap and bake dough in a preheated 375 degree oven until top is golden brown (about 30 minutes but watch closely)
11. Remove bread from the oven and allow to cool 5 minutes (still in the loaf pan). Remove bread from the loaf pan and place on a cake cooling rack (see note #3 below).
12. Melt 6 tablespoons (or as needed) margarine or butter in a cup and brush the melted butter generously on all sides of the bread. This should be done quickly while the bread is still hot.
13. Place bread in a plastic bag (a regular grocery store plastic bag works).Do not close the bag. You can use plastic wrap if you do not have a bag but cover loosely. Do not seal.
14. After the bread is completely cool, slice if desired (a serrated knife or electric knife works best). Seal the sliced bread in 1 gallon plastic bags and store on the counter top or freezer. Do not refrigerate! Since the bread contains no preservatives (that's what makes it good) it will not last for weeks like store bought bread. Therefore you should freeze or consume within 3 days if stored on the counter top.
1. If the dough does not rise 2-3 inches over the top of the loaf pan in step 9...the yeast is not working and the bread will only be useful as a paper weight or anchor. You must start over with fresh (newly purchased) yeast and make sure the milk/water mix in step 2 is heated to 120-130 degrees F. If too cold the yeast will not work. Too hot will kill the yeast.
2. If you do not have a stand-up (or hand held) electric mixer, we do not recommend you try this recipe. Our test yielded more failures than success when kneeding the dough by hand.
3. Make sure to grease (or spray) the loaf pan very well in step #7 or you will have trouble removing the cooked bread from the pan. If the bread sticks in the pan run a kitchen knife completely around the sides of the bread, turn pan up side down and shake. The bread should come out of the pan.