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How To Make a Basic Yeast Bread

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This is a basic and very adaptable bread recipe. Time required includes rising and baking. Actual hands-on time is approximately 25 minutes.
Time Required: 3 hours

Here's How:

  1. In a large bowl dissolve 2 packages of active dry yeast in 3/4 cup of warm water (110 degrees F.).
  2. Stir in 2 cups of scalded and cooled milk, 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar, 3 tablespoons of shortening, and 1 tablespoon of salt.
  3. Add 4 cups of all-purpose flour; beat well.
  4. Stir in from 3 to 4 cups of all-purpose flour. Start with the smaller amount of flour and incorporate more as needed. The dough should not be too dry, but it should not be too sticky to handle.
  5. Remove the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. To keep the dough from sticking, continue lightly dusting the work surface with flour as you knead.
  6. Place kneaded dough into a bowl greased with butter; turn over so the dough is greased-side up.
  7. Cover the bowl with a clean towel and set in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled. Test by pressing the dough with a fingertip. It's done rising if the indention remains.
  8. Punch the dough down to release large air bubbles then remove to a lightly floured surface.
  9. Divide dough in half to form loaves.
  10. With a rolling pin, roll each half into a rectangle about 18x9 inches.
  11. With your hands, roll each rectangle up tightly beginning at the narrow end. Press ends with sides of hands and turn under. Pinch seams and overlapping ends to seal well.
  12. Place loaves, seam sides down, into 2 greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pans.
  13. Brush lightly with butter; cover with a towel and let rise until double, about 1 hour.
  14. Bake on a low rack (top of loaves should be in center of oven) of a preheated 425 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Loaves should be golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped.
  15. Turn bread out on wire racks and immediately brush tops with butter or margarine. Let cool before slicing.

Tips:

  1. The addition of milk and fat produce a better-keeping loaf, but you may eliminate the fat and/or replace the milk with water.
  2. For whole wheat bread, replace about half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour. You can use 1/4 cup of honey or 2 to 3 tablespoons of brown sugar instead of sugar.
  3. For an herb bread, stir in 2 teaspoons of caraway seed, 1/2 teaspoon of dried sage leaves and 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg with the first addition of flour.

What You Need

  • 2 pkgs active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups scalded milk
  • 2 to 3 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp shortening

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