Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch or join us as our family of 6 learns to eat on $6/day.
You may find this shocking, but until a couple weeks ago, I'd never made just a plain old white bread. I'd made rolls and tried French bread once (in the breadmaker--no, it didn't work) and I make sourdough regularly (though I always throw in a couple cups of whole wheat flour). And then a couple Sundays ago, I made reuben dip, but hadn't made some sourdough (our favorite accompaniment, which normally must be started the night before) to go with it. I figured I could make some kind of cheater sourdough by doing a white bread and throwing in a bit of sourdough starter. It might have worked. We'll never know because the idea of doing a plain lush white bread was too appealing. Although I repeatedly had to resist the urge to throw in a few cups of whole wheat flour. I mean white bread is just so unapologetically, you know, white.
I got over it.
I cheapified the original recipe, and it was great, but if you've got honey and butter, I'd recommend using them over the sugar and oil I used. Why? Because white bread is like a pretty, but potentially dull date. It benefits from a little bit of complexity. The honey and butter will give it that; the sugar and oil, not so much.
Classic White Bread
The New Best Recipe
Makes 1 loaf
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 35-40 minutes
Rise time: 1- 1/2 hours
(flour: .30, milk: .13, yeast: .10, other stuff: .02)
3 3/4 C flour
2 tsp salt
1 C warm milk
1/3 C warm water
2 Tbsp butter (melted) or vegetable oil
3 Tbsp honey or sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp yeast (you can definitely use less than this. It rises plenty fast. I'd say you could use 1 1/2 tsp easily)
Combine milk, water, butter, honey , and yeast.
Add one C flour and mix. Add another cup and mix. Add more by bits and mix. Turn dough out onto counter when it becomes too hard to mix. Knead for 6-8 minutes, adding flour as it becomes necessary. When you've got a nice pillowy ball, place it in a bowl to rise. Cover with towel.
Let rise till doubled (about an hour).
Punch down and put in greased loaf pan. Let rise again until doubled (about 20-30 minutes).
Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 180-185.
For more tips on bread, have a look here or even here.