This might be a simple basic recipe but the results are delicious and very comforting. I think it makes the best sandwich bread ever! I love slicing this bread and slathering on a thick coating of sweet butter and strawberry jam. This bread slices beautifully because of the vital gluten. It is fantastic for toasting or making grill cheese and paninis. I'm in heaven! I almost make this bread every day. Why buy bread when you can bake bread like this! I have been making this bread for years and developed this recipe by trial and error.
Simple Loaf Bread Recipe
1 loaf (9x5)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 tsp. of instant dry yeast
1 T.. of sugar
3 cups all- purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 T. vital wheat gluten (This is crucial do not omit)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup oil (extra for greasing pan and bowl to proof)
Turn your oven on to 375 degrees.
Place warm water in cup, it should be warm when you test with finger. Not hot but comfortably warm. Add sugar mix well. Add yeast and mix well to dissolve. Place on top of warm stove to get foaming, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in your mixing bowl add 3 cups flour, sugar, vital wheat gluten and salt, whisk all four ingredients together. Add oil and foamy yeast mixture. Place your bowl on to your heavy duty Kitchen-Aid mixer with dough hook and knead until sides pull away and form a ball about 5 to 7 minutes. If your dough is sticky and not forming a little ball at the bottom of hook, add a tablespoon at a time more flour. It the dough is dry add literally a tsp. at a time warm water. You will see the dough coming together. At the bottom of the dough hook while mixer is running the bowl should be clean and even a double ball might form as the hook is gathering and working the dough. Your done mixing at this point.
Remove dough from mixer, remove hook and grease bowl and top of dough. Cover with plastic wrap let rise on top of warm oven until double in size, anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. Punch down and squeeze dough to distribute gases through dough. Do this gently. Place on warm oven and let double again.
Grease baking loaf pan (9x5). Take dough out of proofing bowl and flatten into an oval disk. Roll it up like a tootsie roll shape, pinch seam and place seam side down into pan. Cover loosely with cling wrap, until it is about 2 inches above the rim of the loaf pan, remove cling wrap and place loaf in oven until golden brown about 40 minutes. Remove from baking pan immediately and cool on wire rack, cool completely before slicing. Cover left over bread with a Tea Towel and place in a bread box. I know you will love this bread. If you do and are planning like making bread everyday like me and avoiding all those additives and chemicals in commercial bread invest in a good bread box. It's worth it.
Special Note: Vital Wheat Gluten adds the perfect chew to your bread and just gives the bread a wonderful texture. You will notice the difference.