Early in my homemaking career I determined my goal in the kitchen: to find the "best of" for each food favorite. Best chocolate chip cookie, best chocolate cake, best meatloaf, etc.
I haven't completely achieved my goal yet but I am getting closer. I present to you the best homemade bread. Best.
Recipe from Everyday Food Storage. (Recipe at the bottom of this post as well). She has version for white and for wheat. Both are excellent. I usually make the white version, although that will change when I get a wheat grinder.
The key are the dough enhancers (gluten, dry milk, potato flakes) that give the loaf great structure. I love that I can throw the whole thing into my Kitchenaid bowl with the dough hook and walk away. It's so easy!
The kids sure love it. Even if Potter can't give me a straight face to save his life!
EZ White Bread
1 1/8 cups warm water
1 3/4 – 2 tsp active dry yeast
2 Tblsp sugar
3 cups flour
1 Tblsp vital wheat gluten (found near the flour in the baking aisle)
1 tsp salt
2 Tblsp nonfat dry milk
1 1/2 Tblsp butter/margarine or oil
1/4 cup potato flakes (yes, the cheapy nasty tasting ones)
Add the ingredients in the order listed into a mixer bowl (like a kitchen-aid) with a dough hook attachment and mix on low for 10-12 minutes. Or mix it on the dough cycle in your bread machine.
After all the mixing is complete, if the dough still seems too gooey and you are unable to handle it, add 1 Tblsp flour at a time, and mix after each addition until the dough is manageable with your hands.
Let rise 45 mins -1 hour, punch down and use to make bread, cinnamon rolls, cookie sheet pizza, rolls, or anything else you can think of! Let rise after you have made your creation and bake according to the direction of the recipe you are making.
If you are making it into bread, form into a loaf at this time, place in a loaf pan, let rise in a warm place 45 min -1 hour and bake 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and sounds hollow when lightly tapped.