Just about everyone (except nutritionists) love homemade white bread. My family happens to also enjoy a part white/part wheat blend (just substitute two cups of whole wheat flour for two cups of white refined flour). This recipe makes two large loaves, but the first loaf is always consumed within minutes of it emerging from the oven. If the bread manages to make it through to the next day, it makes wonderful toast.
- 1-1/3 cup milk (lukewarm)
- 1-1/3 cup water (lukewarm)
- 1/3 cup honey or sugar
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon salt (rounded)
- 1 tablespoon yeast (rounded)
- 6-7 cups flour
In the mixer bowl, whisk the lukewarm (105-115°F) milk and water, sugar, salt, oil and yeast together, for 30 seconds or until the solids are dissolved. Add 5 cups of flour. Attach dough hook. Turn to speed 2 and mix 1 minute. Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl. Knead on speed 2 for 2 minutes longer, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough will be slightly sticky to the touch.
Place in an oiled bowl, turning to oil top. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place, about 80-85°F, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 75-90 minutes. (I like to place it in a closed microwave oven with a boiling cup of water.) Punch dough down and let it double for a second time—normally 45-60 minutes. Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf and placed in a large greased loaf pan. Cover as before and let rise until just rounded above the pans—about 20-30 minutes. The bread will rise even more in the oven.
Bake at 350°F for 35 minutes, or until golden brown. To check for doneness, remove one loaf from its pan and tap the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it is done. Turn loaves onto racks immediately after baking to prevent sogginess. Let cool at least 15 minutes before slicing with a sharp serrated bread knife. Makes two large loaves in 4-5 hours.