Basic White Yeast Bread Recipe
2 c. milk
1. Scald milk. (Bring milk up to boil). Stir in sugar, salt and shortening. Cool to lukewarm.
2. Sprinkle yeast onto warm water; stir to dissolve. Add 3 c. flour to milk mixture and add yeast, blending. Beat with a spoon or your dough hooks until batter is smooth, scraping bowl occasionally. (This is your sponge.)
3. Gradually add enough remaining flour, mixing thoroughly, first with your spoon, then by hand until all the dough leaves the side of the bowl.
4. Turn out onto a floured board (or you table); cover with a cloth and let dough rest 10 min.
5. Knead dough. To knead dough, lift the farthest edge and pull it to the center of the dough. Then push it away with the heels of your hands. Turn dough a quarter turn to the left and repeat. Continue til dough is smooth and elastic, about 8-10 min.
6. Form into a ball and put it into a lightly greased bowl; be sure to grease the top of the dough. Cover and let the dough rise in a warm place til doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. (if your oven still has a pilot, this is a good place to raise dough. If not, place the dough in an area that is warm and away from any drafts.)
7. Punch down the dough (just like it say, take your fist and punch down the center of the dough.) Turn the dough over to reshape and cover and let rise again til double, about 45 min.
8. Turn the dough out onto a board and divide in half. Shape each half into loaves and place in 2 greased 9x5x3” loaf pans. Cover and let rise again til doubled, about 2 hour.
9. Bake in a hot oven (400ºF) 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans onto wire rack and let cool, away from drafts.
MAKES 2 LOAVES.
Whole wheat bread: Exchange 3½ cups Whole Wheat Bread flour for unbleached bread flour.
Rye Bread: Exchange 2½ c Rye Flour for unbleached bread flour.
Raisin Cinnamon Bread: Add 1 c. raisins and 1 t. cinnamon to bread after step 2
Rye Caraway Bread: Exchange 2½ c. Rye for unbleached bread flour and add 2-3 T caraway seeds after step 2.
Oat bread: Exchange 2 c. oat flour for unbleached bread flour.
Wheat germ bread: Replace ½ c unbleached bread flour with wheat germ.
Cracked Wheat bread: Exchange 1 c rye flour and 1 c. cracked wheat for 2 cups of unbleached bread flour
Cheese bread: Add 3 cups shredded cheese to milk mixture and be sure cheese melts.
Onion bread: Add 2 tablespoons minced onions and 2 T grated parmesan cheese to milk mixture.
Herb Bread: Add 2 t celery seed, 1 t. sage to milk mixture.