Another attempt to get baking was to make 2 loaves of white bread. This is the utmost easiest recipe and it turns out perfect bread. It is made in the oven and not a bread machine. Even though the bread machine is an easy method of making bread, I feel as though it is too much time between little loaves. This one I can be done, start to finish in about 2 hours. It is plenty of bread and the shape makes it easy to cut into thin sandwich slices.
I found this recipe at Favorite Freezer Foods they have wonderful information about bulk cooking and freezing with safety information and recipes.
White Sandwich Bread Recipe
- 5 1/2 - 6 cups flour, all purpose or bread
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups water
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup powdered milk, or substitute milk for up to half the water.
Combine two cups of flour, sugar, salt, un-dissolved yeast and if your using it the powdered milk. Use water OR regular milk that is warm to the touch and add to dry ingredients.
Beat well, I usually use my Kitchen Aid stand mixer for this part. Mix for about two minutes to get the gluten started, then add in more flour one cup at a time. After four cups of flour I turn the dough out to a floored surface, usually my kitchen table, and knead by hand. My mixer starts to strain if I try to make this double batch with all the flour in it.
After kneading, then let rest for 10 minutes. Punch down the dough and cut in in half. I use a knife to cut the dough. Shape into loaves and let rise until doubled about 45 minutes.
Bake at 400 Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes. Immediately remove from the pan and let cool.
How to freeze baked bread after it has cooled completely. Slice before freezing if desired. Wrap well in freezer quality materials. I use a plastic freezer bag or plastic wrap and tin foil. Freeze for up to 6 months if well wrapped.
Now with this last batch, I made a fatal mistake to my bread. I store my yeast and bread flour in the fridge and freezer. The yeast I do not need to, but it makes me feel better. The flour in the freezer is to stop the bugs from growing, because sometimes it is a bit of time before I bake again and when I am in the mood, I want my ingredients in the house. Well, I did not let my dry ingredients come to room temperature. SO when I added my warm water, the yeast never got warm and cozy enough to activate. My bread raised a bit, but I think this had to do with the amount of Kneading I did and the air within the bread, more than the yeast. If I would have made it longer and thinner, I think it would have done well as a pseudo French bread.
So what do you do with un-risen bread, well I made a round of French toast that was good. And then I made bread pudding. Oh, I skipped the raisins and cinnamon, and went for the chocolate chips instead. Yum, Yum!