Several people have requested my white bread recipe that I use for sandwich bread for my husband and most recently hamburger rolls.
2 (0.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast (4-1/2 teaspoons)
3 tablespoons sugar (or agave nectar or honey - adjust for personal taste)
2-1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 tablespoons butter, softened, plus another tablespoon to butter loaf pans
1 tablespoon salt
6-1/2 cups bread flour (I use organic all-purpose flour with good results)
Canola or vegetable oil
In a large mixer bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand for 10 minutes until foaming.
|Warm water, yeast and sugar after 10 minutes|
Stir in butter, salt and 2 cups of flour. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly-floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes (it may be the humidity down here in Florida, but it usually doesn't take 8 minutes for me to reach this stage).
Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces and form into loaves. Place the loaves into 2 lightly greased 9x5-inch loaf pans. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume (an inch above top of pan is fine), about 40 minutes.
|Shaped loaves ready for second rise|
|Dough reading for baking (I went a little far here - got distracted)|
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. As soon as the oven comes to temperature, turn it down to 375 degrees F and bake for about 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on rack completely before slicing or putting up in freezer.
I have found that I can reduce the rise time if I preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and immediately turn the oven off as soon as it comes to temperature about a half hour to 45 minutes before I start making the bread.
If you'd like a soft top crust, brush the tops with melted butter right after turning out to a cooling rack.
For hamburger rolls, divide the dough into 12-16 equal pieces and form into slightly flattened rounds. Place the flattened rounds onto a lightly greased baking sheet, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in volume. To put a topping on the hamburger rolls, lightly beat 2-3 egg yolks and brush over the tops. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, dried onion flakes, poppy seeds, etc. if desired. Reduce baking time to about 20 minutes, but watch carefully.