Easy and Delicious Basic White Bread

2015-01-05-bread

 

This recipe is based somewhat on the classic Julia Child’s white bread recipe, a great standard. Makes two loaves. Here is what you need:

2.5C of warm water (baby bath water warm, never hot.)
1 tbsp each of active yeast, and sugar. (I use raw sugar or agave)

6 cups of unbleached flour
2 tsp of salt
1/4 cup of melted coconut oil with a pinch of nutritional yeast, turmeric, and salt

Instructions:

in a small bowl, combine half of the water with the sugar and yeast, and set aside as it proofs (foams). If it doesn’t foam, your yeast is wack. Next, combine the flour and salt in a larger bowl with a whisk. In this order, add the remaining water and coconut “butter,” stirring through with a wood spoon or spatula. Then add the yeast/sugar/remaining water mixture. Combine it all roughly together, and begin kneading. I use my hands to need about 5 -8 minutes- once the dough is shiny, elastic, and smooth. There is a stage when the dough will look a bit rippled or cottage cheese-esque. The next stage after that is the smooth shiny stage I am speaking of! Put back in the bowl, cover, set in a warm place, and allow to rise for up to 1.5 hours- until the dough has doubled. A good way to test is to give the dough a poke with a clean finger. If it springs back, it is isn’t finished rising.

While rising, thoroughly grease two loaf pans, or line with parchment.

Once your first rise is done, punch the dough down, and divide evenly into two pieces. roll flat to about 1.5 inch thick rectangles about the size of a sheet of paper. In the same way you’d fold a piece of paper into three to fit a standard envelope, do that to the dough, pinching/smoothing the ends together to form a loaf, and brush with a bit more “butter” once placed in the loaf pan. Cover and re-rise for another hour, or until the loaf expands about an inch or two above the pan.

Once the bread is close to re-risen, preheat your oven to 350F. When it’s time, place the loaves gently in the center of the oven, and bake for 25-35 minutes. The bread is done when an even, golden crust is formed, and tapping the bread makes a hollow, clear sound. For me in my oven, it takes 30 minutes.

Have this become your go-to white bread recipe. It works VERY well. I use it often to make garlic butter/cheese swirl bread, or herbed bread for stuffing or to compliment meals. Lots of ways to modify and treat the bread to make it your very own classic!

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