Six months ago I was afraid of making bread. Now it has been about six weeks since I have bought store bread because I have a goal to only make my own (except sour dough, that takes TEN days to make, I'm not crazy). This bread recipe is easy and delicious.
5 3/4 - 6 1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 pkg active dry yeast
2 1/4 C milk or buttermilk
2 T sugar
1 T butter, margarine or shortening
1 1/2 tsp salt
Proof the yeast with warm water and a little sugar. Mix with 2 1/2 C of the flour. Set aside. In pan heat and stir milk, sugar, butter and salt until just warm and butter almost melts. Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for thirty seconds, then on high speed for three minutes.
Then mix in as much of the remaining flour as you can and knead for about 7 minutes till it is a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball and place in lightly greased bowl, turn once so the other side is lightly greased. Cover and let rise in warm place for about 45-60 minutes, or until double in size.
Punch dough down and turn out on lightly floured surface, divide in half. Cover and let rest for ten minutes (what a silly step).
Lightly grease two medium loaf pans.
Shape dough halves into loaves and place in pans, cover and let rize until nearly double in size 30-40 minutes.
Then bake at 375 oven for about 40 minutes.
Immediately remove bread from pans and cool on wire racks.
This bread slices easily for sandwiches. Love it.