My husband referred to “store bread” fairly early in our relationship. As in, he was going to make a sandwich on “store bread.” As if there was another kind? I mean, didn’t all bread come wrapped in plastic from the store? Apparently not in the house where he grew up.
As I saw it, I had a choice to make. I could either get him used to an exclusive diet of store bread, or I could learn how to make bread. And I love homemade bread.
My mother-in-law helped in this decision by giving me her bread machine (she got a new one), and the recipe for her “Basic Bread” – be warned… it’s addictive.
- 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
- 4 cups bread or all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1 1/3 cups water
Mix all of the ingredients. You can use a bread machine, a mixer with a dough hook, or your hands (I’ve never tried that last one). My preferred method? The bread machine on the dough cycle.
Let rise until doubled – 1.5 to 2 hours. Punch down the dough and divide it in half. Place each half in a greased, floured loaf pan. Allow to rise again for 30 minutes.
Bake in a 375 °F oven for 20 minutes (until nicely browned). Let cool before slicing.
This bread is fabulous for so many things… but my favorite may be a tomato sandwich.