Have I mentioned that I consumed more white bread while growing up than should be humanly possible? Grandma made homemade yeast rolls just about every day. Legend has it that my dad ate an entire batch in one sitting. She didn't have a bread machine, no fancy mixer, just Fleischmann's yeast packets, flour, and her sweet hands. I am fully aware of the lack of health benefits of white bread. I rarely eat it these days. But when I do, I do not eat it mindlessly, but with purpose. I happened upon this recipe of white bread on the 'World Wide Web', and it's a really good mouth-watering version of homemade bread when you don't want to commit to a sourdough starter and that whole process of keeping it alive in the refrigerator.
I must admit, the first time I made this I used all-purpose flour as the recipe called for. I should have known better, because I've always used 'bread flour'. This case was no different. After enjoying the taste but not the density of the loaf I had made according to the recipe, I tried it with bread flour. Much better. Adams Apple Butter worthy, in fact. I did use a KitchenAid mixer with the dough attachment to make the dough, but I channeled my Grandma when it came to kneading, rising, rolling, and rising the dough again. Here's a tip: Brush the loaf with melted before AND after baking. So here goes:
(2) packets of instant yeast (4 1/2 tsp)
3/4 cup + 2 2/3 cups warm water, divided
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
9 cups bread flour
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, for brushing
In the bowl of the mixer, stir to dissolve yeast in 3/4 cup of warm water, and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the remaining 2 2/3 cups water, sugar, salt, room temp butter, and 5 cups of the flour. Stir to combine.
Using a dough hook, mix on low speed and gradually add the remaining flour until the dough is soft and tacky, but not sticky. Continue to knead until a soft ball of dough forms and clears the sides of the bowl - about 7-10 minutes.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and turn it over so it is completely coated. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface. Gently press it all over to remove any air pockets. Divide the dough in two, and working with one piece at a time, gently pat it into a 9x12 rectangle. Roll it up, starting on the short end, into a tight cylinder. Pinch to seal the seams and the ends, tuck the ends of the roll, and place into greased 9-inch loaf pans. Cover the loaves loosely and let rise about 30-45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush loaves with melted butter, and bake the loaves on the lowest rack for approx 30 minutes until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and immediately brush with more melted butter. Allow to cool before slicing. Can be stored at room temp for 4 days or frozen up to 1 month.
Another helpful tip: Spread generously with any Adams Apple Butter or Jam for a taste of heaven. Grandma would approve.