For some reason I feel that homemade bread is something one must achieve in ther own kitchen. This is possibly because I always imagined my children having sandwiches that all the other children were jealous of, due to the fact that I spent three to four hours on their sandwich as apposed to one. I should say though that I do not have children; therefore, I do not know the amount of time, effort, and exhaustion one takes to raise the children in the right way. This being said, I do love making my own bread, experimenting to find the right mixture of ingredients to give it the authentic taste. Just today i tried a Italian wheat bread. I added 1/4 cup Italian seasonings and had 2 cups of white flour, wheat flour, and bread flour each. The result was pretty good, but I not going to mix wheat and Italian seasonings again. The flavors are too different. Next I will try honey wheat bread, increase the honey amount and have 3 cups wheat flour and bread flour each. But that is another day and another time. Here is my best experimentation.
Homemade White Bread
2 cups warm water (110 degrees)
1/3 cup sugar
1/6 (Half of 1/3 cup) cup honey
1 1/2 tablespoon active yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup oil
3 cups bread flour
3 cups white flour
1 egg, well beaten
1/4 cup Italian seasonings (optional)
In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar and honey in warm water, and then stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam. Meanwhile measure and mix together the two flours and the Italian seasoning if using; set aside.
Mix salt and oil into the yeast. Mix in flour one cup at a time. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Knead for a few minutes, and divide in half. Shape into loaves, and place into two well oiled 9×5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans. Brush with the beaten egg plus 1 tablespoon of water.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes.
Makes 2 loaves.
I like to serve mine with homemade pesto or make a tomato topping, broil with that on top and mozerella. Yummy!