When we were busy raising our four children I made bread at least once a week. Our children really did not like store bought bread and much preferred my bread. I would bake three loaves at a time and freeze two to eat later. Sometimes this didn’t work so well as one loaf would get eaten right out of the oven. You have to admit there is nothing better than fresh baked bread still warm from the oven.
Now that it is just my husband and I at home we don’t eat as much bread. In fact I stopped baking bread all together thinking we could just buy some whenever we needed bread. You know what? I have to admit, my kids were right, store bought bread just isn’t as good. So I am back to baking our own bread once again.
I still make three loaves at a time and freeze what we aren’t going to eat. I often cut a loaf in half and just keep a half a loaf out. We’re so much happier enjoying our own homemade bread once again! Here is our all time favorite recipe. A friend of mine shared this fabulous no fail bread recipe with me years ago. I’ve made a few changes but basically haven’t changed it much. I grind my own hard white wheat berries and usually add a little King Arthur bread flour. I also use my Kitchen Aid to mix the dough.
Nancy’s Delicious Homemade Bread
4 cups all-purpose flour*
¼ cup sugar (or other sweetener such as honey)
1 ½ tsp salt
1 pkg active dry yeast
¾ cup water
½ cup milk
¼ cup butter
In a large bowl blend 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. In saucepan, heat water, milk and butter until very warm (120-130 degrees F). Butter does not need to melt. Add warm liquid and egg to flour mixture. Beat 4 minutes at medium speed. By hand, stir in remaining flour to make a soft dough. Cover and let rise in a warm place until light and doubled in size. It usually takes 45-60 minutes.
Stir down dough. On a floured surface, form dough into a loaf and place in a greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place until light and doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Can brush with melted butter. Serve warm or cool. Makes one large loaf or two smaller loaves.
*I usually double this recipe to make three large loaves. I use 4 cups of freshly ground flour and 4 cups of King Arthur Bread Flour.
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