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Basic White Bread

  Yield/Servings: 2 loaves  
1/4 cup warm water
1 package yeast
2 cups scalded milk
2 tbs. melted butter, or salad oil
2 tsp. salt
2 tbs. granulated sugar
6-6 1/2 cups flour, sifted
1. Pour water into bowl; add yeast and stir until dissolved. Stir in the scalded and cooled milk, then add the melted butter, salt, and sugar; stir until well blended.

2. Stir in 3 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. Add 4th cup of flour, and beat until dough is smooth and elastic. Mix 5th cup of flour in to make a stiff dough.

3. Measure 6th cup of flour, sprinkle about half of it on board. Turn out dough onto heavily floured area of board. Keep a coating of flour on the dough as you begin to knead.

4. With floured hands, fold dough toward you with fingers; push firmly away with heel of your hand. Add more flour to board as it's kneaded in - until dough no longer sticks.

5. Kneading is finished when non-sticky dough is smooth and satiny. Put dough in greased bowl, grease top lightly. Cover bowl and set in warm place (about 80 degree) to rise.

6. Let dough rise until doubled (about 1 1/2 hours at 80 degree). Test by inserting two fingers about 1/2 inch into risen dough - if indentations remain, the dough is ready to shape.

7. Punch dough down; squeeze out air bubbles with your hands; shape into a smooth ball. Grasp in center of ball and squeeze dough to divide into equal portions for the two loaves.

8. Form each loaf by squeezing dough to press out air bubbles; shape into smooth oval. Turn over in one hand; with other hand, pinch seam in center, turn ends, and seal.

9. Put shaped loaves in greased pans, seams down. Cover; let rise in warm place until almost doubled (about 45 minutes). Put in 375 degree oven.

10. Bake until nicely browned and just starting to pull away from pan sides (about 45 minutes). Remove from oven; turn loaves out of pans to cool before slicing or wrapping.
Submitted by: Creative Cooking USA

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