Hey everyone! Sorry it has been so long since I've posted anything. This is my favorite white bread recipe. I think the best tip I could give you is to make sure the temperature of the water that you add to the yeast is about 105 degrees (warm, but not hot). After the water, yeast, and sugar have been combined and have sat for about five minutes, the yeast should have about tripled in size and should be very bubbly. If it is not, DO NOT add it to the dough. If the yeast didn't grow then, it won't grow in the bread and you'll have a flat, dense loaf. Just start over with the water, yeast, and sugar, the water probably wasn't warm enough, or it was too hot. And yes, you do need to let the dough rise twice!
2 1/2 c. warm water (105-110 degrees)
1 Tbs. active dry yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 c. powdered milk
3 Tbs. shortening, cubed (not butter flavored)
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. plus 2 tsp sugar
2 1/2 c. bread flour
2 1/2 c. all purpose flour
In large mixing bowl (or KitchenAid mixer bowl) add the yeast and sugar. Pour warm water over yeast and let sit for 5 minutes. Add milk and whisk just a little until there are no clumps. Add shortening, salt, and sugar. Gradually add flour until a nice soft dough forms. The dough should not be hard, or too sticky. If you're not using a KitchenAid dough hook, you may need to add the last bit of flour while you are kneading. Knead for 6-8 minutes. Place in an oiled bowl, turn dough ball to coat top and cover. Let rise for 1 hour.
Punch down dough, place on floured surface. Fold in sides and press down as if you're folding an envelope. Divide dough in half. Spray two loaf pans and set aside.
Working with one dough at a time, push out the dough to form a rectangle (about 9X12). Starting at one end roll up tightly and press edges to seal, place sealed side down in loaf pan. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350. When dough has risen, bake for approximately 25-28 minutes.
Remove dough from pans and let cool on a wire rack.
Enjoy! Fresh homemade bread is the best!