People ask me all the time how long I've been cooking, and the answer is that I honestly don't know. I remember baking a lot of cookies as a child and teenager, but after we got married it was a bit of a shock to find that we couldn't subsist on chocolate chip cookies alone. :) Our first few years of marriage, we ate a lot of processed food, which was not great for us (but was quick and easy!). After my daughter was born, I really wanted to focus on healthy eating, so I worked hard on learning to cook. I read all the cooking blogs I could find, I bought dozens of cookbooks, and I had fun coming up with new things for dinner every night. I definitely had some ups and downs, and my husband can attest that there were multiple inedible dinners. After a couple of years, though, I was pretty confident in following pretty much any recipe and was getting good results most of the time. I still feel like I am definitely learning and growing as a cook, and my skills are improving all the time. However, there are a few recipes that I feel like I have perfected. These are my tried and true recipes that I make all the time and that have consistently perfect results. First, my chocolate chip cookies. Second, my vanilla cupcakes. And lastly, this white sandwich bread!
This bread is exactly what I want in a sandwich bread. It's tough enough to stand up to sandwich fillings, but also soft and tender. The texture and taste are perfect. It makes three loaves and freezes beautifully, which means I can always have delicious bread waiting for me in the freezer. I've made this bread dozens of times now, and it has come out perfectly every single time. I really have no interest in trying any other recipe, because this one is simply perfect!
The Best White Sandwich Bread
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 all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, for brushing the tops of the loaves
In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water with a teaspoon of the sugar. When the yeast is bubbled and foamy, mix in the rest of the sugar, the salt, the butter, and the warm water. Slowly mix in 5 cups of flour, mixing on low speed until smooth. Gradually add remaining flour, adding just enough to make a smooth and slightly sticky dough. Knead on low speed for 10 minutes. Lightly grease a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in the greased bowl and turn to coat with spray. Cover and let rise in a warm place for one hour.
Preheat oven to 425. When the dough has risen, punch it down and divide into three equal sized pieces. Roll each piece into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Roll each rectangle up into a cylinder, and place each seam-side down in a lightly-greased bread pan (I used 9 inch bread pans). Cover and let rise in a warm place for one hour.
When the loaves have risen, place them in the preheated oven and bake 15 minutes. Cover the tops of the loaves with foil to prevent excessive browning, and bake another fifteen minutes. Remove from oven and brush with melted butter. Let cool before slicing.
recipe via The Curvy Carrot