This recipe makes 2 loaves.
1/4 c butter or margarine
2 c milk
2 Tbsp sugar
1 package active dry yeast
2 tsp salt
5-6 c unbleached all-purpose flour
1 egg white beaten with 1 Tbsp water (optional)
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Pour it into a small bowl and set it aside. Rinse the pan.
- Add the milk to the saucepan and heat until just lukewarm. Remove the milk from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Pour the milk into a large bowl. Add the sugar. Sprinkle the yeast evenly on top of the milk. Let the mixture sit in a warm place for 5 minutes, until the yeaster begins to bubble and foam (Ed. - if nothing happens, the milk was probably too hot and you killed the yeast, which is what I did on the first try).
- Add the melted butter and the salt to the yeast mixture and stir with a wooden spoon. Add the 5 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring after each addition. Add only enough flour to make a firm but pliable dough that is just slightly sticky.
- Sprinkle a work surface with a scant 1/4 cup of flour. Transfer the dough to the work surface and knead for about 7 minutes, until it is smooth and supple. Add more flour, 1/4 cup at a time, if the dough is still sticky.
- Wipe the inside of a clean large bowl with vegetable oil. Put the dough in the bowl and turn it so the top of the dough is coated with a thin layer of oil. Cover the bowl with a slightly damp cloth, or with plastic wrap, and put it in a warm, draft-free place until it has doubled in bulk, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Punch down the dough with your fist until all the air pockets burst. Knead the dough a few times on a lightly-floured work surface, then divide the dough in half and shape it into loaves.
- Wipe the inside of 2 9 x 5 inch loaf pans with oil. Place the dough in the pans, cover with the damp cloth, and set aside to double in bulk, about 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- When the dough has fully risen, use a knife or single-edge razor to make 3 slashes in the top of each loaf. If you want a soft, shiny crust, brush the top of the loaves with the egg-white mixture (the crust will be crisp if you don't use it). Place the loaf pans on the center rack of the oven and bake until the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, about 40-45 minutes.
- Run a butter knife around the edge of the pan and tip out the loaves. Place them on a cooling rack for 20 minutes before slicing.
Bob Sloan, Dad's Own Cook Book. (New York: Workman Publishing, 1993), 234.
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Except where noted, all material on this site is © 1999 Rebecca J. Stevenson