Sunday, September 9, 2012

Back to School Easy Slicing White Sandwich Bread



This is a very reliable, old fashioned knead it yourself, no bread machine required white sandwich bread recipe that I have had for ages. I had thought this recipe was gone forever, until my boyfriend was able to recover the data from an old file of recipes from one of my old computers. It takes a while to rise.. and needs to rise several times, but you will be rewarded with a couple of loaves of very easy to slice pure white bread with a thin, slightly crispy crust.

This bread is very simple - no complex or bold flavors or any weird bits to scare away a picky kid. It is just plain white sandwich bread that tastes quite a lot better than anything mass produced and stuffed into a plastic bag in your grocery store. It is great toasted with butter and jam, or makes a mean peanut butter and jelly sandwich.



Easy Slicing White Sandwich Bread
makes 2 loaves, about 10 slices each

2 cups milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter flavor shortening (or lard)
2 1/4 teaspoon Rapid Rise yeast (or active dry yeast)
1/4 cup lukewarm water
5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Heat milk in a small saucepan until warmed through; remove from heat and stir in sugar and shortening; allow to cool to lukewarm. Sprinkle yeast over warm water; mix well to dissolve, then set aside to activate, about 5 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, pour the milk mixture and stir in 3 cups of the flour, followed by the yeast mixture. Using an electric mixer, beat for 2 minutes (or stir with a wooden spoon until mixture is very smooth and batterlike). Add in enough of the remaining flour, a little at a time, until a shaggy dough forms, one that leaves the sides of the bowl as you mix. (The amount of flour needed will vary based on the humidity in your house that day).

Dump the dough onto a floured board, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. Knead dough with floured hands, working in more of the remaining flour as needed to keep the dough from sticking, for about 8-10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Place ball of dough into a large greased bowl, flip over to grease the top; cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in bulk (about 45 minutes for rapid rise yeast, and 1 1/2 hours for regular active dry yeast).

Punch the risen dough down, cover, and let rise until doubled again, about 23 minutes for rapid rise or 45 minutes for active dry yeast.

Divide dough into 2 balls and form each into a loaf shape; place each into a 9x5" greased loaf pan; cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until the dough rises above the edges of the pan, about 30 minutes to 1 hour for rapid rise, 1- 1 1/2 hours for regular active dry yeast. As you get close to the end of this last rise, make sure you preheat your oven to 400 F.

Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown. Let bread cool on wire racks at least 15 minutes before attempting to slice.

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