1 packet Yeast
½ cup warm Water
½ cup Milk (to soften bread)
⅛ cup or 2 tbsp Sugar (brown)
1¾ teaspoon Salt (coarse or kosher preferably)
4 tbs or ½ stick Butter (Crisco, Margarine or Olive Oil can be used )
3 ½ cups Bread Flour (White Lily, king Arthur or Great River)
1 egg (can be omited)
Loaf pan/sheet pan
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, yeast (if Instant yeast add right in flour mixture, if not add Dry yeast to ¼ cup of the warm water with 1 tsp of the sugar set aside for 15 minutes for proofing then add to flour), sugar, egg and butter. Add salt the warm water and add to the mix. Knead the flour with hands for 8-10 minutes or 5-7 minutes if using a mixer until the dough is smooth and slightly tacky. Do not add any additional flour or water to the mix. Lightly grease another bowl with olive oil and place the dough ball in it.
Cover and let the dough rise in a cool dry place for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place dough on counter top and flatten the dough into a flat square by hand. Cut the dough into 4-8 equal squares. Roll each square into a tight spiral log or give any shape you would like. Grease the desired pan with a little butter and flour. Place each roll in the desired pan and let rise a second time for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bake dough for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy!
For different flour:
AP-Sift 1/2 of vital wheat gluten flour and 1/2 All Purpose flour together to proportion.
WW- whole wheat flour, add a little bit (no more than 1/2 tsp-1 tsp or so per cup of AP flour) for nuttiness and substance as it adds to the weight that makes it better suited for bread and pretzel making. Follow direction above.
**For crisper dough:
Reduce butter to 2 tbsp, do not add egg. Follow direction above. Place boiling water into a bowl at the bottom of the oven while baking your bread.
**For French bread texture:
Follow direction above, except add 2 tsp salt, no milk (therefore 1 cup warm water) and no egg. Do not melt butter but incorporate into flour to crumble into pea size.
Store in a plastic bag to preserve freshness and prevent drying of bread.