"This is soft and fluffy and delicious"Serves Makes 2 loaves | Prep Time 2 hours | Cook Time 20 minutes
2 1/2 cups warm water
2 tbsp yeast
3 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil (or Crisco shortening)
6 cups all - purpose flour (or bread flour)
** 1 egg white with 1 tbsp cold water
Combine yeast and warm water (not hot water you will ruin the yeast).Sprinkle the sugar on top and let mixture sit for about 5 minutes. You will notice that the yeast has gotten all bubbly. Add the oil and the salt. Slowly mix with a paddle blade in your electric mixer for about 5 seconds.
Add flour and let the mixer knead the dough together on medium speed for about 1 minute. Dough will pull away from the bowl and be very sticky. Place hot wet towel over the top of the bowl and let it rise in a warm oven for 30 minutes (I usually turn my oven on until it reaches about 150F then turn it off. Once the dough has doubled in size:
OPTION 1: Turn it out on a floured surface, divide in half and shape into loaves, or
OPTION 2: Punch it down and let it rise again for 60 minutes (this is the method I do the most unless I need it quicker)
If you went with option 2; now turn it out onto a floured surface and divide in half and shape into loaves or If you need to fit it into bread bags, divide it into 4 and make ciabatta bread instead.
Cut slits in the top of the bread and let it sit while your oven heats to 375F.
Bake bread at 375F for 20 minutes.
While it's baking, mix up 1 egg white and 1 tbsp of cold water. After the 20 minutes of baking, open the door and brush the egg white on the top of the bread while it is still in the oven (be careful not to burn yourself, I had to learn the hard way (I'm super clutsy). I use a bbq brush with the long handle.
After you have brushed it with the egg mixture, bake for another 4-5 minutes. The top will be a beautiful golden brown.
Pairs Well With
I love this bread with pasta.
I take 1 loaf and slice it up, cover it with garlic butter and cheese and bake on 375F until it's a little crispy and the cheese is melted.