Merita Old Fashioned White Bread 20 oz from old fashioned bread recipe , image source: www.fortmyersgroceryservice.com
- 2 (1/4 oz) packets active dry yeast (or 4 1/2 tsp)
- 1 cup warm water (about 100°F)
- 2 cups milk – scalded then cooled to luke warm
- 3 tbs sugar – divided
- 3 tbs shortening
- 1 tbs salt
- 7-9 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 egg beaten or 4 tbs melted butter
- In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a dough hook add water, yeast, and 1 tbs sugar. Stir gently, then allow to bloom untouched 5 minutes. Add scalded warm milk, remaining sugar, shortening, salt, and first 2 cups of flour.
- Turn mixer on to lowest setting until ingredients are just combined. Increase to next speed. Begin adding additional flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough begins to pull away from bowl (mine took about 8 cups today, a rainy Winter day).
- As soon as dough pulls away stop adding flour and continue running mixer for 2 minutes more. If dough begins to climb hook shut off and scrape down slightly. Then start up again.
- Transfer dough to a greased bowl. Turn once to coat. Cover with a lint free towel and allow to rise 1 hr in a warm spot (I turn my oven on to warm then sit the bowl on the back burner of the stovetop).
- When dough has risen punch down. Lightly grease 2 loaf pans. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 equal portions. Gently form each into a ball. Place 2 balls side by side in each loaf pan. Cover with towel and allow to rise 1 hr again.
- After second proof preheat oven to 425°F. Do not punch down dough this time. If desired beat 1 egg OR melt butter and gently brush over the top of each loaf. Gently place pans in oven (careful not to bump pans or drop onto rack). Bake 20-30 minutes or until tops are browned.
- Remove from oven. Let loaves cool 5 minutes in pans. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To serve: Slice to desired thickness (1/2 thick is nice). Spread butter, jam/jelly, peanut butter, drizzle honey, etc. The toppings are endless for hearty homemade bread!
- See notes below ⤵
- Note 1: You can make this bread without a stand mixer. Mix all ingredients in same way as written above in a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead by hand for 8 minutes. Continue with remaining steps from there.
- Note 2: It is definitely important to scald the milk as it will contribute to a lighter bread texture. “Scalding” milk means to bring it nearly to a boil, then to allow it to cool back down.
- Note 3: When forming balls, you are not actually rolling the dough into balls. Just pick up a section and gently manuever to shape a ball or your bread may end up too dense.
- Note 4: Be EXTREMELY careful if brushing with egg or butter. Even the slightest excess pressure will cause a loaf to fall and not remain risen while baking. Sadly, this happened with one of my loaves today. No worries, if this happens the bread is still edible, it’s just not as pretty. Lol
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