Tags: bread, great white bread, homemade bread, honey white bread
This bread is honestly, truly, 100% the best homemade bread I’ve ever had. No offense, mom. But seriously, a few years ago, I bought a magazine cookbook on a whim in the checkout counter. Now, don’t get me wrong, the frugal me just stares at them longingly for the most part, but this time, something just made me add it to the groceries on the belt. And I’m glad I did. I’ve heard it said that in every cookbook, there’s one recipe that makes it worth the purchase. And for this cookbook, I think this receipe made it worth at least 50 times more than I spent. Thank you, Taste of Home Bread Bonanza Cookbook!!
2 packages (or 4 1/2 tablespoons) active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups warm – NOT HOT – water (I usually put it in the microwave for one minute and that’s about right)
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon salt
8-9 cups of flour (I use bread flour, but you can use regular all-purpose flour if you want.)
(NOTE: I use a KA Custom Professional mixer for this recipe. I don’t know if a regular stand mixer could handle the recipe, but I think so. Mixing by hand is possible, but it would be VERY tedious.)
Use the beater for your mixer and set it to “stir” for almost the entire recipe. In the mixer’s bowl, combine yeast and warm water. Add melted butter, honey, eggs, salt, and 4 cups of flour. Allow to mix for about thirty seconds, then turn up to 4 or 5 for three minutes. (This is medium speed on mixers with labels). After three minutes, turn back to stir and add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. NOTE: Dough will not form a full ball, but should be pulling away from the sides of the bowl, and will still be sticky.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic. This takes me about 4-8 minutes, depending on how frustrated I am at life. Place bread dough in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with a clean lint-free cloth and let rise in a warm place (I use the oven. Turn it on to 350 for a minute, then turn it off, put the dough in, and close the door) until doubled. This is about an hour.
Punch dough down. Divide into thirds (I never get them even, let me know if you have “a method”). Shape them into loaves and place in three GREASED loaf pans. Cover again and let rise until doubled (about 30 minutes).
Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes (I only need 25. Check your oven at 20, just in case.) Tops should be golden brown. Remove immediately from pans to wire racks to cool.
I give this bread an A+, and I’m not just saying that. Make it yourself. It’s not hard. And if you don’t love it – honestly – I’ve got a “kitchen prize” waiting for you. So what do you have to lose? Give it a shot and let me know what you think!