For many years I was afraid to attempt making a Basic White Bread. Honestly, the first couple of loaves I made could have cracked a sidewalk. Being the stubborn lady I am, I was determined to succeed. I tried various recipes before I found one that worked for me! This recipe is a result of the basic recipe I first used.
This is a very light bread that I use as a base for many of my recipes. It’s perfect for toast or sandwiches. I also use it for pepperoni rolls. I used half this recipe to make meat pies for dinner. They were delicious!
In a large mixing bowl add the water, honey, and the yeast. Mix and allow to sit for about 5 minutes until the yeast activates and becomes frothy.
Add the olive oil, egg, and 2 cups of the flour. Mix well but don’t be concerned if you don’t get all the lumps out. Add the salt and 1 cup of flour and continue to mix. If you wish to add herbs or spices to your bread, this is the time to do it. For this recipe, I added Italian Seasoning and garlic. Your dough should begin coming together into a workable dough. If it is still too wet add additional flour one tablespoon or so at a time but don’t add too much. Dry bread is the result of adding too much flour. As you combine the dough it will begin pulling away from the sides of the bowl. When this happens you know it’s time to knead.
On a well-floured surface and with well-floured hands, turn out the dough and begin kneading. To knead, fold the dough towards you and with the palm of your hand push the dough away from you. Turn the dough a quarter turn and repeat the kneading. It will take approximately 10 minutes to achieve a smooth, elastic dough that springs back when pressed. You may need to add a little flour to your board and/or your hands as you knead. Once again, don’t overdo it with the flour.
In a large bowl add about one tablespoon of olive oil. Place the dough into the bowl and turn over to coat the dough in oil. Cover with a tea towel and allow the dough to rise until double in size. The length of time will vary depending on the temperature of your kitchen but should take an hour or so.
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch the dough down with your fist. Place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 3-4 times. Divide into half and form into the shape of a loaf. Place into lightly greased loaf pans. (This will make two medium loaves.)
Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown and it sounds hollow when thumped. Brush with melted butter for even more deliciousness!
BASIC WHITE BREAD
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (100-110 degrees)
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup oil
- 1 egg optional
- 3 1/2 cups bread flour more or less
- 1 teaspoon salt
- In a large mixing bowl, place the warm water, honey, and yeast. Stir and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast becomes frothy.
- Add the oil, egg, and 2 cups flour. Mix well but don't worry about any lumps remaining. They will be worked out during the process.
- Add the salt and 1 cup of flour and continue to mix. Your dough should begin to become a workable dough. If your dough is too wet, add more flour one tablespoon at a time. Dry bread is the result of adding too much flour.
- When the dough begins pulling away from the sides of the bowl you know it's time to start kneading.
- On a well-floured surface and with well-floured hands, begin kneading. To knead, fold the dough towards you and with the palm of your hand push it away. Turn the dough 1/4 turn and repeat the process. It will take approximately 10-15 minutes to achieve a smooth, elastic dough that springs back when touched.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the mixing bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and turn it over once. This will prevent the dough from drying out while it rises.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel and set aside to rise until it has doubled in size. The times for this will vary depending on how warm/cool your kitchen is, but should take 1 1/2 hours or so.
- Once the dough has doubled, press the dough down with your fist. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead 3-4 times.
- Form the dough into a loaf form and place in a lightly greased large loaf pan.
- Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 25-30 minutes until it is golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap it.
- Brush with melted butter, if desired.
Here is the recipe for my homemade Stromboli using this recipe for Basic White Bread: