This basic white bread is one that you can vary many ways. We offer two ways: a raisin bread and a cinnamon loaf. The bread itself is excellent for sandwiches, toasting or just to spread with peanut butter and jelly.
For 2 large 9 1/4-by-5 1/2-inch loaves, you will need:
2 pkgs. active dry yeast
5 to 5 1/2 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup oil or melted shortening
2 cups hot tap water (120° F to 130°F)
Melted butter to brush loaves after baking
Raisin Bread: Stir in 1 to 1/2 cups raisins before shaping into loaves.
Cinnamon Loaf: To shape, roll dough out to a 14-by-7-inch rectangle. Sprinkle mixture with 2 Tbsp. sugar, 2 tsp. cinnamon. Roll up tightly to make loaf. Let rise and bake as for plain loaf.
Tips: If you use bread flour, you may need a little less to make a stiff dough than when using all-purpose flour. Both flours make a fine loaf of bread.
1. Measure yeast, 2 cups of the flour, sugar, salt and oil into large mixing bowl, blending well. Stir in the hot water and beat with spoon until mixture is smooth and satiny.
2. Slowly add 3 cups more flour, mixing until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Cover and let stand 10 min.
3. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and satiny.
4. Place dough into greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place about 1 1/2 hrs. until doubled.
5. Punch dough down. Divide into 2 parts. Shape each part into a loaf. Place into 2 greased 9 1/4-by-5 1/2-inch bread pans. Let rise again about 1 1/2 hours. until doubled.
6. Bake at 375°F 40 to 45 min. or until loaves sound hollow when tapped and are golden in color. Remove from pans immediately. Thrn brush tops with melted butter.
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