The smell of home baked bread – ahhh. Serve warm with plenty honey butter.
Yields: 3 loaves
3 Cupswarm milk
3 Tablespoonsactive dry yeast
6 Tablespoonsbutter, softened
Additional butter for brushing loaves
FOR HONEY BUTTER
1/2 Cupbutter, softened
Place warm milk and sugar in mixing bowl, stir in yeast and allow yeast to dissolve and form a head. Beat in softened butter, 3 cups flour and salt. Gradually beat in enough more flour to make soft dough. Knead by hand or by mixer.
KNEADING BY HAND
Place dough on floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (lift edges of dough, fold over and press down); add additional flour as needed to prevent dough from sticking to surface and hands (caution, do not add too much flour, dough should be soft and pliable with just enough flour on the surface to prevent sticking). Knead 10-12 minutes.
KNEADING BY MIXER
Use dough hook on mixer; knead on low speed, gradually sprinkle in additional flour to prevent dough from sticking to sides of pan (caution, to not add too much flour, dough should be soft and pliable); knead approximately 5-7 minutes.
Place dough in clean buttered bowl. Brush top of dough with melted butter, cover and allow to rise until double in bulk (about 30-90 minutes).
Punch down or knead out excess air. Divide dough into 3 equal pieces. Knead each piece until smooth; shape or roll each piece of dough into 9-inch long log; butter bottom and sides of 3 loaf pans (9x5x3); place bread in prepared loaf pans and brush top with melted butter. Cover and allow to rise until double in bulk (when dough is pressed with a little finger the indent will remain); approximately 30-60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350º F. Remove cover from bread and bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when thumped. Remove bread from pans, brush tops with butter and allow to cool.
FOR WHOLE WHEAT BREAD:
Reduce milk to 2 3/4 cup; reduce sugar to 1/3 cup; substitute 3-5 cups whole wheat flour for white flour; add 1/2 cup honey or molasses at the same time as butter and salt. Follow directions above.
TO MAKE HONEY BUTTER
Using an electric mixer, whip 1/2 c softened butter and 1/2 cup honey together until light and fluffy.