Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Basic White Bread

I came home from buying groceries last week only to find that we were out of bread and I didn't buy any.  What to do?  Make some!

DSCN4616a note to self - buy a better plate for pictures

This is just a basic white bread recipe and it comes from the cookbook The Ultimate Book of Baking by Martha Day. This is an older cookbook and I didn't find it on Amazon to link it.  I have some simple requirements when I buy a cookbook.  It has to have a picture for every recipe (or almost every recipe), and it has to use ingredients that I don't have to travel to Timbuktu to buy.  Or even the local, way to expensive health food store.  Ohhh!!  A Whole Foods store is being built by my home right now as I'm typing.  Every time I drive by I try to figure out how much longer before they open the doors.  I'm so excited!

Back to bread.


  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water

  • 1 packge active dry yeast (this equals 2 1/4 teaspoons if you don't buy it in a packet)

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 cups lukewarm milk

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 6 - 6 1/2 cups flour


Notes on the recipe:  I use yeast from Sam's Club.  It's a large amount. Two large packages. I usually only use about half of one package before the expiration but it's still cheaper than buying the small packages. If you have a friend to split the purchase, even better.


Once it's opened, I save a small amount in the refrigerator and put the rest of the package in the freezer.  I also tape the measurement that equals a small package right on the top of the container in the frig.



I don't follow the instructions when I make yeast breads because it's so much easier to throw all of the ingredients in the bread machine.  My mom found this beauty in a consignment shop for a few dollars and it's great.  A little noisy but just turn the tv up louder.  I only use the machine for dough.  I don't bake in it.  I've had several bread machines and only one of them baked to my satisfaction.  Usually the bread is over baked.  I know the settings can be adjusted but I think it's easier to just put it in the oven.  Then the loaf isn't shaped funny either.

I'm going to confess that after I started the bread I had to leave for a while.  I left instructions with my 18 year old daughter to take the dough out and divide it into 2 loaves, shape it and put it in the greased bread pans.  She called me while I was out to tell me the dough looked like it was ready to explode.  I had her put it in the oven at 375 degrees F and I made it home just as it was getting done. I only baked it for about 20 minutes.  I had to laugh at her dough shaping skills.  She didn't try.  That's why there isn't a picture of the loaf, but the picture of the slice says it all.

Verdict - This bread is good, but just ordinary.  I probably won't make it again just because we don't eat much white bread.
Inside scoop - This post was written in the waiting room at the oral surgeon's office while my son was having his wisdom teeth pulled.

Happy baking!