These are exactly as the title implies - beautiful loaves of white bread. Perfect plain, slathered with butter, used for sandwiches, or toasted into crisp slices of deliciousness. These require two rises, but it’s so worth it.
Yes, there are easier and faster ways to make loaves of bread. In fact, I have a single white bread recipe that’s very popular. If you are in a rush then that’s my go to recipe. But if you have a little patience, you’re going to LOVE these.
The ingredients are basic. All you need is water, yeast, a touch of sugar, oil, flour, and salt. If you use a stand mixer then this is a breeze. If you do it by hand then of course, it will take longer, however it is very therapeutic to knead this by hand. You simply fold it over and press down with your palms, then repeat. You can even slap it around a bit and call it any name you want. It’s actually quite pleasurable. But enough of that. If you do decide to take the manual route, you will need to knead for about 8 to 10 minutes. It’s the same for the machine but less effort. Did I really need to state that?
Milk or Water?
If you use milk, your bread may:
- Have a softer crust
- Have a softer texture
- Have a darker brown crust due to the sugar in milk
- Be a touch sweeter because of the sugar in milk
- Be more like the sandwich bread you’re use to meaning softer and fluffy
If you use water:
- You’ll have a leaner bread
- It may not stay as soft long
- It may not be as dark as when using milk
- If you don’t have milk, it’s the perfect alternative
- If you have cell service or internet, then you must have water
- It will still be delicious
How about this? Use half milk and half water. That way no one’s feelings are hurt.
Try it both ways and see which one you like better. You’ll get a great loaf either way. Also, in my experience, the bread doesn’t last long because it’s so damn good. Therefore, going stale isn’t a problem for me. If I only want one loaf, I freeze the other and have it when I want. It’s a win win.
Oil or Butter?
- If you use oil, since it is 100% fat, your bread will stay softer longer. You will also have a leaner bread. I use avocado oil in this recipe which is a neutral oil.
- If you use butter, which has water in it, your bread will have more flavor, but won’t stay soft as long as when using oil.
Here are two different ways to shape your bread:
You can use the technique I use for my single rise white bread which involves folding it like and envelope then folding it in half lengthwise one more time for a tight crumb
You can simply flatten the dough into a rectangle and roll it up jelly roll style then pinch the seams. You tuck in the ends and pinch them to seal. This creates a swirl design which is cool.
Either way is fine.
Cover the loaves loosely with plastic wrap and let them rise for 45 minutes in a warm spot.
After 45 minutes, preheat your oven. By the time your oven is heated to temperature, the loaves should have risen beautifully. Bake them on a middle rack for about 40 minutes. They should be golden brown and beautiful. The scent in your kitchen will beat any scent in the world.
Turn out loaves onto a cooling rack and let cool. Although you will be tempted to cut right into them, it’s not a good idea. Let them cool for at least an hour then have at them.
If you love bread, try:
- The best oatmeal bread ever
- Quick easy cheddar cheese bread
- Beer bread
- Perfectly soft and fluffy dinner rolls
- Homemade monkey bread
- Single rise white bread
Life is too short for mediocre food.
Have you seen these?
Beautiful Loaves of White BreadPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 1 cup warm water ~110 degrees
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 ¼ cups warm milk* See Notes
- 4 tablespoons neutral oil
- 2 pounds all purpose flour about 6 ½ cups
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt or 1 teaspoon fine salt
- 2 - 3 tablespoons butter softened for greasing bowl and pans
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the warm water then sprinkle in yeast and sugar. Let it sit for 5 minutes until it starts to foam.
- Add milk, oil and half the flour and mix for about 2 minutes or until flour is incorporated.
- Add remaining flour and the salt and knead for 10 minutes. On my kitchenaid it's #2 speed.
- Turn dough onto counter and give it a few kneads. This isn’t necessary but good practice so you can feel the dough. Form it into a ball.
- Grease a bowl with some of the butter. Transfer dough into buttered bowl then flip it greased side up. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour until doubled.
- Grease two 9x5-inch loaf pans with butter.
- After the first rise, divide the dough in two.
- Flatten the dough into a rectangle the length of your pan and roll it up tightly, jelly roll style, then pinch the seams to seal. Tuck in the ends and pinch them to seal.
- You should now have a tightly rolled log shaped dough.
- Transfer dough into buttered loaf pan seam side down.
- Repeat with other half.
- Cover the loaves loosely with plastic wrap and let them rise for 45 minutes in a warm spot.
- After 45 minutes, preheat your oven 375°. By the time your oven is heated to temperature, the loaves should have finished rising. Bake them on the middle rack for about 40 minutes until golden brown.
- Turn out loaves onto a cooling rack and let cool. Although you will be tempted to cut right into them, it’s not a good idea. Let them cool for at least an hour before slicing.
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