Basic White Bread Recipe
For KitchenAid Stand Mixer
From the Kitchen of Joe Valencic
1/2C (4 oz.) milk
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast or 2 teaspoons Instant Yeast (.34 oz.)
1-1/2 C (13 oz.) warm water (105 F to 110 F)
5-6 C (1# 15 oz.) Unbleached bread flour
1. Combine milk, sugar, salt, and butter in small saucepan. Heat over low heat and stir until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm (less than 110 F).
2. If using active dry yeast, dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed bowl and let stand for 10 minutes. If using Instant Yeast, just add it to the flour and mix it in before adding liquids.
3. Add lukewarm milk mixture and water to 4 1/2 C (1# 6 oz.) flour. Attach bowl and dough hook. Turn to speed 2 and mix 1 minute. Continuing on speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 C (2.5 oz.) at a time (slowly so it doesn't fly out of bowl), until dough clings to hook and cleans side 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. (At this point I take the dough and knead it for 5-7 minutes, adding flour as needed, until I get the feel I want from the dough.)
4. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about an hour.
5. Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf and place in a greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
6. Bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.
For Hamburger and hot dog buns, divide the dough into 2-1/2 oz portions and shape into a ball. Allow dough balls to rest for 5 minutes, then flatten with the heel of your hand and place on cookie sheet dusted with cornmeal. Allow about 1" between rolls for expansion/proofing. For hot dog buns, shape into about 5-6" long tubes with seam down. Brush with wisked egg white/water mix and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake at 400 F for 12-14 minutes or until 200 F.