Almost everyone you meet will say that one of their favorite smells is home made bread baking in the oven. The best part is cutting a slice while the bread is still soft and warm and putting your favorite Jam or Jelly on top. I have been wanting a recipe for bread that is wheat but is still soft and yummy.
4 and 1/2 teaspoons dry active yeast (or the equivalent of two packets)
3/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into pieces
2 and 2/3 cup additional warm water
9-10 cups flour (I used 3/4 wheat and 1/4 all purpose)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, for brushing the tops of the loaves
Additional butter/cooking spray, for greasing your rising bowl and loaf pans
1. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, dissolve the yeast in 3/4 cup of warm water and a tsp of sugar, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the sugar, salt, butter, additional 2 and 2/3 cup warm water, and mix gently to combine.
3. Slowly add 5 cups of the flour, mixing on low speed until smooth.
4. With the mixer on its lowest speed (or you will get coated in four), slowly add the remaining flour until the dough is smooth.
5. Switch to your dough hook attachment and knead the dough for 10 minutes. I honestly prefer to knead by hand because I like to be able to feel when the dough is ready. It should feel firm when you stretch it and slightly sticky but it shouldn’t stick to your hands or counter at all.
6. While the dough is kneading, lightly grease a large bowl with butter or cooking spray, as well as two loaf pans (I used 9″).
7. Once the dough is ready, place the dough in the greased bowl and turn over to completely coat the dough with butter/cooking spray. Cover, and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.
8. After an hour, punch down the dough (the best part) and divide it into two portions.
9. Working with one portion at a time, roll (with a rolling pin) the dough out into roughly 12″ x 12″ squares, making sure that the thickness of the dough is uniform throughout.
10. Slowly and tightly roll up each square, sealing the edges firmly.
11. Tuck the ends of the roll tightly under the bread and place into your prepared loaf pans. Repeat with the second loaf. Cover the loaves, set in a warm place, and let rise until doubled, about another hour.
12. Place one rack on the lowest position in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
13. Bake the loaves for 15 minutes, then cover each loaf with aluminum foil to prevent the tops from browning too much.
14. Once covered with foil, bake for an additional 15 minutes.
15. Remove the loaves from the oven, place on a wire rack to cool, and lightly brush the loaves with the melted butter. It is important to remove the loaves right away or the bread will keep cooking and dry out.