I've had a fear of yeast for a few years now, but I'm slowly getting over it. I've made pizza dough, cinnamon rolls and now bread using yeast. I'm no pro, but I'm getting better. I used to make bread when I was about 15 years old at my parents house using a bread maker that my grandmother gave me. I have no idea where that bread maker went though. So I decided to stick with a recipe that I could bake in the oven. This recipe is easy and the bread is really great! It keeps for about 1 week and is great with some butter, jam or honey!
1/2 cup milk
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
3 Tablespoons butter or margarine
2 packages active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)
5-6 cups flour (I use 6)
Place milk, sugar, salt and butter in small saucepan. Heat over low heat until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm.
Dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed mixer bowl Add lukewarm milk mixture and 4 1/2 cups flour. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 1 minute.
Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour 1/2 up at a time and mix about 2 minutes or until dough clings to hook and cleans side of bowl. Knead on Speed 2 about 2 minutes longer or until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough will be slightly sticky to the touch.
Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf and place in greased baking pans (I like to roll out the dough to a square, to get the air bubbles out. Then roll up, tuck ends under and put into pan). Cover. let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks.
***This recipe makes 2 large loafs or 4 small loafs