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Basic White Bread

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Basic White Bread
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Ingredients:

  • 6 cups flour, more or less, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 2 cups very warm water, about 100° to 110°
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter

Preparation:

In a large mixing bowl combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Beating at low speed, add the water and butter. Continue beating at high speed for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup flour and beat 4 minutes longer. Stir in 3 cups flour, or enough to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic, adding a little more flour as necessary.

Place dough in a large buttered bowl, turning to butter top. Cover with a clean towel and let rise for about 1 hour in a warm place, free of drafts. Punch dough down; knead until smooth. Cut dough in half, cover with the mixing bowl, and let stand for 15 minutes longer. Roll each half into a 12x9-inch rectangle. Starting with the narrow edge, roll up, turning ends under to make loaves to fit pans. Place rolls seam side down in greased loaf pans, 9x5x3-inches. Cover pans with clean towel and let rise in warm place until double, about 45 minutes. Bake loaves at 400° for 25 to 30 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped with fingers. Remove from pans to racks; brush with butter for a soft, more flavorful crust, if desired.
Makes 2 loaves of white bread.

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