I know I wasn't going to do any more posts about bread making. But I just had to share one more recipe.
Take any other white bread recipes you have, whether they are Grandma's or mine or from anybody else, and toss them. Yesterday I was digging through an old recipe box of mine, looking for something else entirely, when I stumbled upon the following.
2 Cups warm water
1/3 Cup sugar
2 packets dry yeast (or 4 1/2 teaspoons bulk yeast)
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil (or melted shortening)
5 1/2 cups flour
Dissolve the sugar in the warm water. Stir in the yeast. Let it sit for 10 minutes. Add the salt and oil.
Beat in 2 cups of flour until smooth. Then stir in flour, one cup at a time. Turn out on a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. (Don't cheat. 10 minutes.) The dough should be fairly soft but not sticky, and should be smooth and satiny to the touch.
Grease a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning so all sides are coated. Cover with a towel and let rise until doubled in size. Punch down. Form 2 loaves and place in greased bread pans. Let rise again until doubled in size. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until a deep golden brown.
Turn bread out onto cooling racks. Brush sides, top and bottom with melted butter. Let cool completely. (Except for the heel of one of the loaves. Cut that off while the bread is still warm, slather it with butter, and enjoy!)
I doubled the recipe and got four nice sized loaves. Three went into the freezer and part of the fourth was for supper.
That bread came out just as soft as any good bakery bread. The crusts were soft as well. Often homemade bread will be a bit dry the next day. This stayed soft.
So this morning I used the same recipe, doubling it, and made buns and cinnamon rolls. As with the bread, I brushed the tops with melted butter as soon as they came out of the oven. I froze most of them, but kept out enough for a couple of meals. Both the buns and the cinnamon rolls are soft and delicious.
I can see no reason to use any other white bread recipe. I am just amazed at how good this bread is. I'm going to experiment a little bit and see if I can't adapt the recipe for wheat bread.
Thus endeth the bread making posts. Amen.