• 2 cups warm water (warm like baby’s bathwater, not too hot or cold)
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
• 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
• 1/4 cup vegetable oil
• 5-6 cups flour –You can use all-purpose flour OR bread flour, I use a blend of both
Step 1 – Proof the yeast (takes 10 minutes)
Combine warm water, yeast and 1 TBSP of the granulated sugar in your mixing bowl. Give it a quick stir and then let it sit for 5-10 minutes.
Step 2 – Add remaining ingredients and mix
Add the rest of the sugar, the oil, salt and flour (You can use all-purpose flour OR bread flour!), then mix using an electric mixer until it’s well combined, about 2 minutes. You can mix by hand but it will take longer.
Step 3 – Knead the dough
Kneed the dough on a layer of flour. If the dough is sticky, keep adding small amounts of flour into it as you kneed. The dough should be soft and pliable, not sticky, and not too dry (try not to over-add flour!). I usually knead for 7 -10 minutes
Step 4 – Let the dough rise
Turn your oven on for a quick 3-4 minutes to get it warm (not hot). Put the dough in a greased bowl, over it in a clean towel or saran wrap, and leave the dough in the warm oven for 45 minutes or so. The dough should double in size.
Step 5 – Knead the dough part II
First, punch the dough a few times to get rid of the large air-pockets that have formed. Then, re-kneed the dough on a thin layer of flour. This time you only need to knead for 2-3 minutes. Cut the dough in half, place each half in a greased loaf pan, and cover the loaf pans in saranwrap or a clean towel.
Step 6 – Let the dough rise part II
As before, let the two loaf pans rise a little in a warm, not hot, oven. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes. It should take shape in the loaf pans at this time
Step 7 – Bake
Remove the saran wrap. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. You will bake the bread for 30-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Take the bread out of the oven, let it cool for 5 minutes, then remove the bread from the loaf pans. If you leave them in too long, the bread will start to get soggy!
Step 8 – extras
I usually lightly brush a layer of unsalted melted butter on top of the bread soon after I take it out of the oven. This will keep it from drying out too quickly.