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Homemade Bread

Ingredients

Ingredients:

  • 2 packets 0.25 ounces of active dry yeast (or 4 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 3/4 cup warm water + 2 2/3 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons room temperature butter cubed (can substitute with 3 tablespoons shortening)
  • 9-10 cups bread flour all-purpose flour will worked too
  • More butter ~4 tablespoons for finishing touches!

Instructions

Instructions:

  1. Warm the bowl of the mixer by running warm water on both the inside and outside of the bowl. Dry if you must, but I'm lazy and I don't.
  2. Pour in both packets of yeast into the warm bowl.
  3. Add 3/4 cup warm water gently and let sit for five (5) minutes.
  4. Add remaining 2 2/3 cups warm water, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon salt, 3 tablespoons cubed butter, and the first five cups of flour, and stir to combine.
  5. Using the dough hook now, mix on low speed and add 1/2 cup of the remaining flour,at a time, until the dough is soft and tacky, but not sticky. Knead (with dough hook) ten minutes. Here's where you need to pay attention: What does it mean for the dough to be tacky? Tacky means it will still stick to your hands a bit. You may not need to add all the flour. It will not be shaped into a ball. Don't worry, just don't over-knead it. No more than ten minutes.
  6. Grab a second bowl, a large bowl, and grease it! You can use shortening, butter, olive oil, or even Pam (That stuff gives me the heebie jeebies).
  7. Place your dough in the bowl and used the greased bowl to coat your dough by rolling it over and over.
  8. Place a towel loosely over the bowl and let sit for 45 minutes to an hour. Your dough will double in size.
  9. After an hour-ish, when your dough is massively large and filled with air, punch that baby to the ground (or the bottom of your bowl). Just a few (4 or 5) punches will do.
  10. Separate the dough into three equal pieces.
  11. Sprinkle a little flour out on your counter so you can work with your dough..
  12. Press the dough out as if you were making a rectangular pizza (think 9x13 pan size), pat out air bubbles as they arise, but keep your dough thick.
  13. Roll the dough from one end to the next, keeping it fairly tight (Just don't man handle it, treat it like a delicate flower), into a cylinder. Pinch to seal the seams and the ends. Tuck the end of the roll into the bread and place in a greased 9-inch bread loaf pan.
  14. Do steps 11-13 again for the second dough.
  15. Loosely cover loaves with a kitchen towel until doubled. Takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
  16. Position an oven rack on the lowest setting and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  17. Melt the last 2 tablespoons of butter and brush each homemade bread dough loaf, ever so lightly, with it just before putting them into the oven.
  18. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30-35 minutes. If you're better than me and you use an instant-red thermometer, it should read 195F when inserted in the center.
  19. Remove the loaves from the oven when complete and place on a cooling rack.
  20. Brush the remaining melted butter (2 tablespoons) on the top and on the sides if there's any to spare. (This just makes the crust soft)
  21. Allow it to finish cooling for at least ten minutes before devouring every last crumb!