Sweet White Bread

12 Oct

You know that tomato basil soup I made yesterday? Perfect with that is a slice of this sweet white bread, with just a whisper of butter smeared on top.

This is actually perfect just about anytime you need a little snack. The name doesn’t lie–it’s sweet. And rich, like challah. And airy and melt-in-your-mouth good. And it keeps for several days without getting hard.

We prefer this un-toasted. Toasting it takes away its sweetness, quite honestly. My daughter likes some for breakfast with butter and grape jam; the boy likes it first thing in the morning, but he’s a purist and goes with just butter. I, quite honestly, like it plain as a snack or with a bowl of soup, and my husband eats his with a gentle drizzle of honey. It’s also a huge hit at bake sales, so file this one away if you’ve got a fundraiser coming up. Wrap it in cellophane with a ribbon and watch people ooh and aaah over how tall it is. It vanishes right off the table.

I make this in my breadmaker, using the dough setting, and then finish it in Pyrex bread pans in the oven. You can use your stand mixer’s dough hook to knead it or do it the old-fashioned way on the counter. They all work beautifully. Strangely, this doesn’t halve particularly well, but it does freeze nicely so you can stash away that second loaf if you want to. Ours never lasts that long–our family will eat a loaf in a day–but whatever works in your house.

This is one of our favorites. I hope it’s yours too. You’ll need:

2 cups of warm tap water (slightly warmer than body temperature–it should feel hot on your hand)

2/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil

6 cups bread flour

In a medium bowl, dissolve the sugar in the warm water, and then sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside for about five minutes, or until the yeast is foamy.

Mix salt and oil into the yeast mixture.

Put flour into your bread maker or electric mixer bowl. Add the wet ingredients and mix until blended, or set your bread maker to the dough cycle and let it go. If you’re using a mixer, either switch to your dough hook or turn the dough out onto a floured countertop and knead it until it’s smooth, which usually takes five or 10 minutes. In a greased bowl and covered by a clean kitchen towel, let the dough rise until it’s doubled in bulk.

Once it’s risen, punch down the dough and divide it into two bread pans that have been oiled or sprayed with cooking spray. Let it rise about 30 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Enjoy.

6 Responses to “Sweet White Bread”

  1. sheila October 12, 2010 at 2:00 pm #

    Can this be made without a bread maker?

    • Kim October 12, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

      Yep! Use the dough hook on your mixer, or just knead it by hand and let it rise. Easy!

  2. Mary m October 12, 2010 at 2:07 pm #

    Yummmy!!!! Does the initial rising step take about an hour? Also does the dough step on the bread machines usually include the rising time? I’ve never used my bread machine for just dough…but it sounds easier!

    • Kim October 12, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

      It’s an hour for the first rise, and yes, the dough setting on your machine will do that for you. 🙂

      • mary m October 20, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

        Okay I’m going to try this out tonight. I have someone bringing Clara home from gymnastics, so once Jake and I drop her off at 445, I have all evening to bake. And since this uses the bread machine for the first part, it’s one less dish to wash and used again AND it rises on cue 😉 I’ll let you know how it turns out!

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