*  Exported from  MasterCook  *
 Recipe By     : 
 Serving Size  : 1    Preparation Time :0:00
 Categories    : Breads
   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
 --------  ------------  --------------------------------
    1       pk           Yeast -- active, dry
      1/4   c            Water -- warm (110-115 degs)
    2       ts           Sugar
    1       c            Milk
    3       ts           Salt
    3       tb           Butter
    3 3/4   c            Flour -- All-purpose
                         -----EGG WASH-----
    1       md           Egg White -- beaten slightly
                         -in 1 tbspn warm water.
   James Beard’s Basic White Bread Makes 1 large loaf or
   2 small loaves * Making basic white bread dough *
   In a small bowl mix the yeast and the 1/4 cup warm
   water; add the sugar, stir well, and set aside until
   proofed. It is proofed when fermentation is apparent:
   the mixture will swell and small bubbles appear on the
   surface. (If it doesn't proof at all, it means the
   yeast is not fresh.) In a small saucepan heat the milk
   with the salt and stir in the butter until it melts.
   Set aside to cool until it is no warmer than the yeast
   mixture. Put 2 cups of the flour in a large mixing
   bowl and stir in the milk mixture. Beat well with a
   wooden spatula, add the yeast mixture, and continue
   beating the dough until it is smooth, adding an
   additional cup of flour to make a firm dough.
   Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and
   begin the kneading process, which evenly distributes
   the fermenting yeast cells through the dough.
   * Kneading Instructions *
   There are several kneading methods, but the basic one
   is to flour the dough and your hand lightly, then push
   the heel of your hand down into the dough and away
   from you. Fold the dough over, give it a quarter turn,
   and push down again. Repeat pushing, folding and
   turning until the motion becomes rhythmic. Knead for
   about 10 minutes, kneading in additional flour as
   necessary, until the dough is smooth and no longer
   sticky, and blisters form on the surface.
   To test whether the dough has been kneaded enough make
   an indention in it with your fingers; it should spring
   back. If blisters form on the surface of the dough and
   break, this is another sign that the kneading is
   sufficient. * Note: If you have a heavy-duty electric
   mixer with a dough-hook attachment, knead the dough
   with the hook and finish it off on the board.
   Butter a large bowl, transfer the dough to it, and
   turn the bowl until the dough is well coated with
   butter on all sides. Cover the dough with a dish towel
   and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 to
   1-1/2 hours, until it is doubled in bulk. A good,
   warm, draft-free place is inside your room temperature
   oven. To test further if the dough has risen properly,
   make an indentation in it with two fingers: if the
   dough does not spring back, then it is ready.
   * Baking Preparations *
   Butter a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan, or two pans that are
   about 8x4x2 inches. Punch the dough down with your
   fist to deflate it; transfer it to a floured board and
   knead it well for about 3 minutes. Pat it into a
   smooth round or oval shape and let it rest for 4 to 5
   minutes. Then form into 1 large or two small loaves,
   by shaping the dough into an oval the length of your
   bread pan, then gently stretching, rounding, and
   plumping it in the palms of your hands, tucking the
   edges underneath and pinching them together. Lift
   carefully; drop the dough into the pan or pans and
   smooth out. Cover the dough with a towel and let it
   rise again in a warm draft-free place for about 45
   minutes to 1 hour, until it is double in bulk.
   Preheat the oven to 400dF.  Brush the egg wash over
   the top of the dough.
   Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes; reduce
   the heat to 350dF and bake for 20 to 25 minutes
   longer, until the crust is well browned and the bread
   sounds hollow when removed from the pan and tapped on
   the bottom with the knuckles. If you like a crusty
   loaf, remove it from the pan about 5 to 10 minutes
   before the end of the baking time and let it finish
   baking on the oven rack. It will get brown and crusty
   all over. Remove the bread from the oven and let it
   cool on a rack before slicing.
   The bread may be stored in a plastic bag in the
   refrigerator after it has cooled. If you seal it in a
   bag before it is completely cooled, the crust will
   become soft. Stored bread will keep about 1 week. It
   also freezes well if wrapped tightly in plastic wrap
   and sealed in a plastic bag and can be kept for up to
   3 months.
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