Breads and Crackers

Soft White Bread

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(Adapted from a recipe by Bernard Clayton.)

I've posted a couple of bread recipes lately – one post was entitled "Gooder than Sushi" Bread and the other was a simple French bread recipe, or Pain Ordinaire.  Both are made from rather lean doughs, with little or no fats included in the ingredients.  This tends to produce a chewy bread that is best eaten the same day it's baked.  The "gooder than sushi" description came from my 6-year-old son, who absolutely LOVES sushi, but (that day) liked the bread even more. 

I got an email about the "Gooder than Sushi" bread from Susan, who had made a batch of the bread but wasn't as impressed by it as Alex was.  She mentioned that it was just dry and chewy, and asked if maybe she had done something wrong when she made it.  I told her no, that's the way some breads are, but it got me thinking that I should probably find and post a nice, easy recipe for a softer bread.

So here it is.  I made a few ingredient changes, based on what I had on hand at the time, and I think it came out pretty well.  The loaves were soft and stayed that way for the few days they each lasted.

Ready?

Printable Recipe

First thing you'll need to do is grease two 9" x 5" loaf pans and set them aside.

Now get out your ingredients…You will need:

1 cup hot water

1/2 cup milk

2 T sugar

2 tsp salt

2 T dry yeast

approx 6 cups all-purpose or bread flour

2 T unsalted butter

2 eggs

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To Start:

Combine hot water and cool milk, add yeast and sugar and allow yeast to bloom.

Mix salt and flour together.

Once yeast has bloomed, add in a couple cups of the flour/salt mixture – and the eggs and butter (I left this out when I originally posted – sorry!!!!) -  stir to combine.  Gradually add in more flour until the dough is stiff (or pulls away from the sides of the bowl if you're using a stand mixer.

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Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured and knead for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.  (If you want to see a series of shots of me kneading dough, you can go here.)

Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow the dough to rise until doubled in bulk.

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Punch dough down, re-shape into a ball, and place back in bowl to rise again until nearly doubled in size.

Punch dough down and divide into two pieces.  Shape into balls and let them rest for a few minutes to allow the gluten to relax.

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Press each ball down into an oblong shape about the length of your baking pan,

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and then roll tightly into a baguette shape and seal the edges together. 

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Fold the ends under a bit and place in the pan, seam side down.

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Repeat with the other ball of dough.

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Cover the pans with a lightly greased piece of foil or plastic wrap, or with parchment or wax paper (you don't want it to stick)

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and allow the dough to rise until it's well above the edge of the pan (a good inch or so).

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While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake the loaves about 30 minutes or so, until golden brown.  Tap the bottom of a loaf if you're not sure – if it sounds hollow, the bread is done.  If it doesn't, bake another 5-10 minutes.

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When the bread comes out, allow to cool at least half an hour before slicing. 

If you want a soft crust, brush the tops of the loaves with melted butter

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and cover for half an hour while cooling. 

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The butter will soak in and keep the crust from becoming crispy.  (It may look a little wrinkly in the process.)

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This bread is soft and moist and great for sandwiches, toast, or just a smear of butter

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A loaf will keep, wrapped with plastic, for several days (if you don't eat it all the first day.)  If you won't be eating both loaves right away, wrap one snugly with plastic and then with foil and freeze it until needed.

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Enjoy!


26 thoughts on “Soft White Bread

  1. ok this is just not fair–i just went on the south beach diet (mostly not cheating…) after seeing some photos that were snapped of me at a party. and now you keep posting these amazing bread recipes…i can’t wait to try them! by the way, i cannot believe that header is mozzarella and not icing. i need to try that–i CAN eat that right now! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. More bread – hooray!!! I <3 bread =)

    And I too thought your header was icing.... mozzarella is sooo much better!

  3. Those loaves look absolutely delicious. A friend of mine recently made a vow to never buy bread again, because it just tastes so much better homemade and it’s really not that hard to make.

    I’ve been attempting to do so as well, and this post inspires me to get back to it.

  4. Love the crinkled crust and the detailed presentation.
    Your loaf pans looks really weathered and looks so attractive. My pans barely have a scratch on them so they’re not much to look at.

  5. I’ve made this once. It was really easy, and my family loved it. I’m off to make another batch right now. In fact, my husband has said he doesn’t want me buying “store bought” bread any longer. Not only is this better, it’s also about half the cost of a commercial loaf.

    Thanks so much for the detailed recipe and photos!

  6. I just made this today and it was very good, however I think I did something wrong and I don’t know what. It’s a little dense. Do you know what could have caused this? I’m very new to baking bread like this so I’m not sure how to fix it.

  7. Hi Molly,

    Do you have a picture of a slice of the bread? Not sure what you mean by dense…Do you mean it didnt rise enough? If I could see the bread, maybe I could help…if you want to send a picture, you can send it to jayne (at) barefootkitchenwitch (dot) com.

    Jayne

  8. I didn’t take a picture of the bread, but I can say that it didn’t look like one on here. It did rise really well, but the texture was off. I used bread flour. Could it be from that? Thanks!

  9. This turned out amazing!!!! My husband likes homemade bread but all the recipes I had been using turned out a little crumbly and kind of hard to spread some types of things on. This one came out perfect and he loved it! I will definitely be making it again. I just was wondering if it would change it completely if I used half whole wheat bread flour and half bread flour.

  10. Aimee, I dont think using half whole wheat would have an adverse effect. Ive done that myself and if anything, the bread is a bit sturdier.

  11. The instructions on this page call for 3 different rises but the instructions on the printable page only call for 2 rises. Which is correct? Thanks

  12. Just made this bread! B.e.a.utiful. I dont usually comment on these things but just thought I would say great job for your easy to read recipe and great pictures, I am 18 years old so even I – with my lack of baking knowledge – can make this and it will be served in my flat this year on numerous occasions im sure ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Hi Michael,

    Good eyes – sorry about that discrepancy. Actually, either way is correct. I added the additional rise to the printable version, but really, its optional. If I dont have time, Ill omit that middle rise. If have time, I use it. Whatever works best for your timetable.

    Jayne

  14. Thanks for the info. I made the bread last night with AP flour in the traditional 2 rise method. Delicious just slightly denser than I was hoping for. I will try it again today with the 3 rise method, just didn’t know those little yeasty beasties had 3 rises in them! Either way this recipe is a keeper!!

  15. Thanks so much. Like some other folks here, i decided never to buy loaf bread again. Our family has not purchased bread in 6 months. the reason we did it though are environmental and not taste, though the taste is a nice added bonus. We counted it up and we use about 120 plastic bags a year on bread alone before starting to make it ourselves. We just cant justify that to our children. So now we make all our bread, all our jelly, and the best part is we are saving a ton of money as its all cheaper than store bought. The problem with our current recipe is that its a dense chewy bread which the kids love, but we need something soft like our old sandwich bread was….hopefully this is it!

  16. I’ve been looking for a go-to sandwich loaf recipe for about a year. Some are to dry, others dont hold up to spreads…

    I think this is it. So good!

  17. I don’t usually have unsalted butter if I use regular butter do I cut down on the salt or do I have to make it with unsalted butter?

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