What is your secret for a light, white bread?

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Ok folks, I have 5 months to learn to do this right. So far my limited bread baking experience produces a loaf that is much heavier and crustier than I would want. I thought I remembered a posting that using water instead of milk would help (or maybe I have it backwards), but I can't find it. I want to become proficient in the basics in my electric kitchen before I get fancy with ingredients or dutch ovens or camping ovens. Thanks for any suggestions.

-- Brooks (brooksbie@hotmail.com), July 31, 1999


Try adding 1/8 teaspoon of fruit fresh to your recipe along with a teaspoon more yeast than called for. The longer the bread rises, the holier the texture will be. Keep bread dough away from drafts and covered. I use cheap plastic shower caps to cover my bowls and bread pans while rising. Instead of making one whole loaf, divide your dough into three balls. Place the three balls next to each other in your bread pan. Makes a great looking loaf of bread.

-- Carol (glear@usa.net), July 31, 1999.

I forgot to add, For a regular loaf, try baking at 325. This will create a lighter crust. Most recipes call for 350 or higher. I have found this to be too high resulting in too brown a crust.

-- Carol (glear@usa.net), July 31, 1999.

To make the best bread you need to spend a bit more and buy better flour. I use King Arthur for my bread..cheap stuff for other baking. Think Gold Medal makes a bread flour,too. Then the kneading time does count...you can't get nice light loafs without a sufficient time of kneading...generally 8-10 minutes. Try this recipe with real butter please...no oleo until forced!! Amish White Bread Dissolve 1 Tablespoon yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. In lg. bowl combine 1/3 cup sugar, 2 cups warm water,2 tsp. salt and 2 1/2 Tbsp. melted butter. Add yeast mixture. Gradually add 6-7 cups flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth..about 7-8 minutes. Flour amts vary dependent on the humidity...add it slowly as it much easier to add then deal with dry bread dough. Place in greased pan. (Hint--at most dime stores you can get 20 qt. stainless steel bowls...I can knead up to five loafs bread in this with no countertop mess). Cover and let rise two hours. Punch down. Divide into two portions and form loafs...place in greased bread pans. Prick tops all over with fork. Let rise until just over top of pans. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Cool 10 minutes on wire rack. Butter tops of loafs(keeps them soft).Remove from pans and cool throughly on rack. Resist eating if you can. We usually cool over nite and then slice before freezing for ease in taking a few slices out for toast. I usually double this recipe. This is the recipe I have taught to many people who thought they couldn't make bread and they have amazed themselves !! Note: I use Saf-T-Yeast available at some grocery stores,most health food stores and on line at the King Arthur flour store. The freshness and quality of your yeast is most important. This yeast is vacumn packed so great for storage. Good luck and pass the jam.......

-- MUTTI (windance @train.missouri.org), July 31, 1999.

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