This recipe comes from my grandmother, and it is absolutely, hands-down our favorite white bread recipe ever. The ingredients are simple, and the flavor, texture, and consistency of this country-style bread are perfect. Country-style bread is made with unbleached, coarsely ground flour, which makes it a little more rustic (read: tasty). If you don’t own a grinder, or if you’ve just got regular all-purpose flour to work with, don’t fret. I’ve had great success using both types of flour. In fact, the bread used for the photos of this post were made with just plain jane all-purpose flour, which tends to rise better than whole wheat flour.
3 cups luke-warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. yeast
1/3 cup oil
1 Tbsp. salt
6 – 7 cups unbleached ground white wheat flour (You can use regular all-purpose flour with success as well. You will need more flour… closer to 8 cups, and it will make a softer, less-coarse bread.)
*opt. 1 Tbsp. vital wheat gluten (if using whole white wheat flour)
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in
warm water and sugar. Let sit 10 minutes. Add the oil. Add the salt and flour (starting with 6 cups of flour).
Mix all together. Knead the dough thoroughly until all ingredients are incorporated, and the dough is smooth, elastic, very slightly sticky, and pulls away from the bowl (6-10 minutes).
As you knead the dough, you may add more flour as needed, and repeat the process until dough reaches the desired consistency.
Cover the bowl of dough with a dish towel or plastic wrap and let rise until doubled (an hour or more depending on how warm your kitchen is.)
You may speed up this process by placing the covered bowl inside the oven with the oven light on, and another bowl of warm water sitting on the lower rack.
If you are looking for a sure-fire, crowd-pleasing, delicious white bread, look no further.
This is it!