Basic White Bread
By Paula Deen
- Prep time: 1 hour
- Cook time: 30 minutes
- Servings: 3 loaves
- 2 to 3 cups for steam bath boiling water
- 3 cups for dough warm water
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons instant/rapid rise yeast
- 6 cups plus more if needed unbleached bread flour
- 1/4 cup cornmeal
Preheat oven to 350 °F. Grease 3 medium (8.5 x 4.5 x 2.75 inches) loaf pans. Have 2-3 cups of water boiling for steam bath.
In the bowl of a stand mixer pour the warm water, vegetable oil, sugar and salt. Start mixer. Slowly add 3 cups of flour, one at a time. Once flour is combined, add yeast. Add remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time, allowing flour to combine completely before adding more.
Once the flour is combined, the dough should start to pull away from sides of the bowl, and its texture will appear waxy.
Sprinkle counter or cutting board and hands with cornmeal. Remove dough from the bowl. At this point, the dough should be moved as little as possible. The less it is handled, the better it will rise. Divide dough into three equal pieces. Gently fold each piece in half, and place in loaf pan, seam side down.
Pour an inch of hot water into a shallow sheet pan. Place loaves in water, without dough getting wet. Using glasses, or tall bottles, tent a damp cloth over bread and tray, being careful not to let the cloth touch the bread. This tent will help your dough rise and keep out cold, yeast-killing drafts. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, 10-15 minutes.
When the dough has risen, bake at 350 °F for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is crisp and golden brown.
Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.