PREP TIME: 5 MCOOK TIME: 30 MTOTAL TIME: 35 M
- 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast (2 packets)
- 2 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 120°)
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, divided
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 6-7 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour
- Melt 4 tablespoons butter. I microwave on high for 30 seconds at a time until it is mostly melted. I recommend covering with a paper towel to avoid messes. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer add sugar and water. Sprinkle yeast over top and swirl with spoon or fingers to combine. Allow the yeast to sit for about 5-10 minutes while the it blooms and becomes aromatic.
- Add melted butter, 4 cups flour, and salt. Mix on low, using the dough hook, until smooth. Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time until a soft dough ball forms (I use the entire 7 cups). Turn the mixer to medium and knead for 5 minutes. When it is ready, your ball of dough should be tacky, not sticky. When you touch the dough and pull your fingers away the dough should not stick to your fingers. If it is sticky, add a little more flour 1 tablespoon at a time until it becomes tacky.
- Turn the dough onto a floured board; knead about 10 turns. To knead dough: fold it in half, gently press the dough away from you with the heel of your hand and then turn the dough. Repeat. When you are finished kneading your dough should be smooth and elastic.
- Shape dough into a smooth ball so it will rise properly: fold the sides of the dough over into the middle of the dough. Flip the dough over. Cup your hands along the right and left sides of the dough and pull it toward you. Rotate the dough a quarter turn and repeat. After about 10 times you will have a nice smooth dough.
- Place 1 tablespoon of butter in a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat butter in the microwave until butter is melted. Place the dough into the bowl with the butter, flipping once to grease the top. Make sure the smooth side of the ball is on top for the rise. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and a towel over the top and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down and divide into two loaves.
- Shape the bread for the bread pans: Place dough on a lightly floured countertop. Pat one of the divided doughs into an oval. Fold the top third of the dough and fold it into the middle of the dough. Use the heel of your hand to press the top layer into the bottom layer. Repeat with the bottom third of the dough. Like you are folding a letter. Fold the dough in half. Pull the ends of the dough down and tuck under like a package to make a smooth dough.
- Place each dough in a greased 9-in. x 5-in loaf pan. Press the dough down flat in the bread pan, using your flat hand to help it rise evenly.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30-45 minutes.
- Place bread on the center rack. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. You can turn in out onto a plate and thump the bottom of the bread if it sounds hollow it is done.
- Allow the bread to cool in the bread pan, on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
- Remove the bread from the pans and brush with the remaining butter.
- Let the bread cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting or you may smoosh the bread loaf. I can never wait, but it is best if you can.
- Bread flour will achieve the highest possible rise and a chewier crumb, all-purpose is more common to have on hand. You can use either.
- You can make this recipe without a stand mixer. Add water, yeast, and sugar to a large bowl. Once the yeast blooms stir in the butter, salt and the flour using a wooden spoon. Turn dough out onto a floured countertop and knead for 10-12 minutes until the dough is no longer sticky and holds its shape (when you poke it, it springs back). Proceed with remaining instructions.
- If bread starts to brown too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.
- For hamburger buns, grease a cookie sheet. Divide dough and roll into balls. Gently press on dough balls with the palm of your hand (creating a bun shape).
- 4-Ingredient Amish White Bread will stay fresh for 4-5 days at room temperature. It’s still safe to eat after that time, but it will most likely be stale by then. To store the bread after slicing, place it in a paper bag. Be sure to remove as much air as possible before tightly closing up the bag. You can also freeze this bread for later use. I recommend slicing it before freezing. You can freeze for up to 6 months.