Sunday, August 28, 2011

Honey White Bread

This honey white bread recipe is so easy and so yummy! I haven't bought "store bought" bread in over 2 months. I just make a loaf or two of this on Sundays and freeze most of it, taking out what we'll need over the next few days at a time. Just so you know, homemade bread does not have all those additives and preservatives. So, a loaf won't last more than 4 or 5 days without freezing. On a side note, a couple months ago, I bought a loaf of white Wonder bread as a back up while I was searching for the "perfect" bread machine recipe. That loaf lasted a full 2 weeks just sitting on the counter. Although this seems economical, it's kind of scary. What the heck do they put in that stuff to make it last that long?!?! Whatever it is, if you're eating it, you're putting it in your body. Ugh.

I have searched and tested many bread machine recipes and have settled on this one as my "go to" recipe. This recipe is incredibly easy, incredibly tasty and incredibly "bread like." By that, I mean, when you slice it, it is most like a slice of regular store bought sandwich bread.

For a while, the docs thought I was gluten intolerant. However, it appears that I'm more "whole grain intolerant". For the last several years, I have using mostly whole grain breads and pastas because of their health benefits. Apparently, my digestive system cannot break down grains in their "whole" form. Therefore, I had the extra task of finding a good bread recipe using all purpose flour. It took a while, but here it is!

This is all you need! All purpose flour; shortening; milk (I'm allergic to dairy, so I use almond milk, but feel free to use skim, 2%, whole, rice, soy, etc.); honey; shortening (you can also use butter flavor shortening - if you don't have a problem with dairy); salt and active dry yeast. That's it.

Oh and a bread machine. I have a Panasonic SD-YD250. I did some research on bread machines before purchasing and found this one to have great reviews. It's great! Does everything: mixes, kneads, rises and bakes. Throw your ingredients in there and walk away till you hear it beep telling you that your bread is done!

First thing to do is take 1 1/4 cups of milk (2%, whole, skim, rice, soy, almond, etc) and heat in the microwave for about a minute.

Take 1 1/2 tbsp of honey (plus a little - I always let mine dribble over the side ;). Anyway, put your honey (measuring spoon and all) and let it rest in your warmed milk. This allows the honey to mix with the milk - plus it gets it all off the measuring spoon.

While your milk is heating in the microwave, measure out 3 cups of all purpose flour. I use King Arthur unbleached all purpose flour. I figure I don't need bleach in my flour. I'm good with the off white color. 

Just dump your flour in the bread pan for your bread machine. That's it. Don't stir or anything - just dump.

Throw in 1 1/2 tbsp of shortening. Again, you can use butter flavored shortening if you don't have dairy issues. 

Again, just dump it in there.

While you're dumping, go ahead and throw in 1 1/2 tsp of salt.

Next dump your milk/honey mixture in there, too.

At this point, it's going to look like this. Just a big gloppy mess. Don't stir or mix. Just dump.

Set your little bread pan inside your bread machine. Whew, that was hard work!

Next you need to add your yeast. I use the "quick rise" yeast specifically made for bread machines and have had really good results with it.
For this recipe use 1 1/2 tsp of yeast.

My bread machine has a yeast dispenser on top and this is where I add my yeast. Some bread machines do not have this, so you may just dump that in with the rest of your ingredients, too.

After this, set your bread machine. On mine, I select the "basic" bread setting. Medium loaf and light crust. 

This is what you get when it beeps. Four hours after you push start, you'll get a nice fresh loaf of bread. 

Look at the texture! It's just like a regular slice of sandwich bread. Try it, you won't be disappointed!

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