- 6–7 cups bread flour
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening, softened
- 2 packets (4 1/2 teaspoons) regular active yeast or fast acting dry yeast
- 2 1/2 cups warm water (120°F to 130°F)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (optional)
- Grease one (1) large bowl and two (2) 8×4-inch or 9×5-inch loaf pans with cooking spray or shortening; set aside.
- In another large bowl using an electric mixer on low speed, mix 3 ½ cups of flour, sugar, salt, 2 tablespoons shortening, yeast and water for 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl frequently. Increase speed to medium and beat mixture for another minute. Add more flour a cup at a time if needed to make dough easier to handle.
- Lightly flour a clean dry surface. Knead* dough 10 times or until smooth and springy. Place dough in the large pre-greased bowl; flip and rotate to cover all side with grease. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap. Set over a warm surface for 40-60 minutes or until dough has doubled in size**.
- Gently push fist into the dough to deflate; transfer onto a re-floured surface and cut in half. Using a rolling pin, roll out dough into an 18×9-inch rectangle. At the 9-inch side of the rectangle, begin to tightly roll flattened dough toward you. Be sure to use your fingers to seal each roll toward you and to pinch each end of the roll to seal.
- Place loaf seam-side-down in prepared pans. Lightly coated with 1 tablespoon melted butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow loaves to rise a second time over a warm surface for 35 to 50 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to the lowest position to give loaves ample room to bloom. Heat oven to 425°F. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until loaves are deep golden brown. Ready when bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans and allow loaves to cool over a wire rack. Brush coat the top of loaves with remaining 1 tablespoon of melted butter. Slice and ENJOY!
*Kneading: To knead, fold dough toward you and use the heels of your hands to press and push the dough away from you. It should feel like a short rocking motion. Rotate dough a quarter turn and repeat. Dough should feel smooth and springy when kneading is completed.
**Indentation: Dough is ready when the imprint of fingertips pressed ½ inch into dough remain. This should be done when dough has doubled in size.
- Prep Time: 35 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Cuisine: American