This my tried and tested everyday perfect basic bread recipe. It can be a basic white bread or made with as much whole wheat flour as you prefer – I mostly use a half and half or 2/3 to 1/3 ratio of all purpose flour to whole wheat flour. This is great compromise where I feel good about ensuring we’re eating whole grains, but without compromising the fluffiness of the loaf. (An important note: I add about 1/2 rising time for each cup of whole wheat flour)
I make this bread 2-3 times per week and it keeps well in a plastic bag for 3-4 days (by day 4 it may be only toast worthy).
Ingredients (Makes 1 loaf)
1 CUP VERY WARM WATER
3/4 TBSP DRY ACTIVE YEAST
1/4 CUP SUGAR
1 TSP SALT
1 AND 1/2 TBSP CANOLA OIL
3 CUPS FLOUR – You can use just white all purpose flour or substitute 1 – 1.5 cups of whole wheat all purpose flour. Just make sure to add about 1/2 rising time if using whole wheat!
Add water, yeast and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer (alternatively use a large mixing bowl) and let stand until yeast is foamy (approx 5 min).
Add salt and oil.
Using bread hook and with low-med speed (2 on a KitchenAid) mix ingredients, adding flour 1 cup at a time (alternatively, use a big wooden spoon).
Knead for 5 min (double the kneading time if kneading by hand). Dough should be smooth and elastic (check by poking with your finger – the dough should slowly spring back).
Form dough into a ball and let rise in an oiled bowl covered with a tea towel until doubled in size (approx 1 hour).
Punch down dough and form into a loaf. Let rise in an oiled loaf pan until risen 1-2 inches above the edge of the pan (approx 1/2 hour to 1 hour).
Bake at 350º until golden (about 1/2 hour).
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a rack.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cooking Time: 30 min