Walter Sands’ Basic White Bread

Walter Sands’ Basic White Bread

Makes 2 loaves. Recipe is from King Arthur Flour.

2 cups warm water

2 tbls. sugar or honey

1 packet active dry yeast; or 21/2 teaspoons instant yeast or active dry yeast

2 tbls. soft butter, or vegetable oil

6 cups all-purpose flour, divided

1/2 cup dry milk

2 tsps. salt

1. Pour the warm water into a mixing bowl. Add and let dissolve the sugar or honey and then the yeast. When the yeast is bubbling, add the butter, 3 cups of flour, the dry milk and salt. Mix together.

2. Stir in another 21/2 cups of flour, keeping the last 1/2 cup in reserve. Knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes, until it begins to behave as if it belongs together. Cover and let the dough rest while you clean and grease the mixing bowl.

3. Continue kneading for 3 or 4 more minutes, until the dough feels smooth and springy.

4. Place the bowl in the greased bowl, turn it over to coat both sides, and cover the bowl. Let it rise in a draft-free place until doubled, 1 to 2 hours. Deflate the dough, and divide it in half. Form into loaves and place in greased 81/2-inch x 41/2-inch pans. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until the dough domes an inch above the rim of the pans.

5. After the dough has been rising for 20 minutes, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When the loaves are sufficiently risen, bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until nicely browned and the center of the loaves reads 190 degrees when measured with an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the oven and tip the breads out of their pans. Place on a rack to cool completely before slicing.