If you are looking for a sure-fire, crowd-pleasing, delicious white bread, look no further.
This is it!
A friend who lives in the small town of Carey, Idaho, where I grew up, sent me a message a while ago asking about a good white bread recipe, so I wrote this post with her in mind.
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 is 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.
Now, typically, I make whole wheat bread for my family using ground up hard red wheat, but once in a while I’ll get out my wheat grinder and grind up some hard white wheat, and make a couple loaves of this amazing bread. This recipe has a little more sugar, and a little more salt than the Best Wheat Bread recipe. So, yes. This bread is not quite as healthy as what I typically feed my family…but it is definitely better than the store-bought white bread, and it is oh, so good. Plus, it is amazingly inexpensive to make! If you remember my post on Grandma Benson’s Dinner Rolls, you’ll find that this recipe uses essentially the same ingredients. And if you’ve tried those rolls, you KNOW how good this bread recipe will be!
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 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.
Punch the dough down, divide and and form into 2 loaves. Place the dough in 2 greased bread pans. (I use 9″ pans.) Cover and let rise till the top of the dough is an inch or two above the bread pans.
Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove the baked loaves from their pans immediately, and place on a cooling rack. Slice, and serve warm with butter and honey.
Store in an air-tight bag. Baked loaves AND bread dough freeze well.