Saturday, October 23, 2010
Traditional White Bread
7 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons shortening
2 packages quick active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
2 1/4 cups very warm water (I microwave a glass Pyrex measuring cup for 1 1/2 minutes)
Desired amount of melted butter or olive oil for tops of loaves
1. Mix 3 1/2 cups of the flour, the sugar, salt, shortening and yeast in large bowl. Add warm water. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, to make dough easy to handle.
2. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in greased bowl and turn greased side up. Cover and let rise in warm place 40 to 60 minutes or until double. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
3. Grease bottoms and sides of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 or 9 x 5 x 3 inches, with shortening.
4. Heat oven to 425°. Deflate dough with fist and divide in half. Flatten each half with hands or rolling pin into rectangle, 18 x 9 inches, on lightly floured surface. Roll dough up tightly, beginning at 9-inch side, to form a loaf. Press with thumbs to seal after each turn. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Press each end with side of hand to seal. Fold ends under loaf. Place seam side down in pan. Brush loaves lightly with melted butter or olive oil. Cover and let rise in warm place 35 to 50 minutes or until double.
5. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until loaves are deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire rack. Brush loaves with butter or olive oil; cool.