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This is a basic bread recipe that if done correctly produces the softest homemade bread you've ever tasted. It stays soft for days and is delicious!
Cuisine: Main Ingredient: Flour
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In your mixer, add the 3 cups of flour, yeast, gluten, and warm water. Mix until stringy and sticky (you want to see little strands of very wet dough whipping around while mixing). Then let the whole thing rest in the mixing bowl covered with a towel until it has doubled (around 30 minutes to an hour).
Now add the oil, honey, salt and turn on the mixer. Start adding the flour very slowly until it starts to clean the sides of the bowl. The key here is not to use too much flour (that is what keeps this soft for days). when it just barely cleans the sides (it will still be a bit sticky on the bottom), stop adding flour and just let it knead on medium high speed for 5 - 7 minutes (until satiny smooth).
I then put a little oil on my clean counter where I will be working with the dough, and then rub my hands with some shortening to so the dough won't stick to me (the dough will be very sticky since we didn't add as much flour as we normally would).
Shape into 2 medium loaves, or 1 large loaf (it will make a very large loaf if only using 1 pan, so you'll need a larger pan). I use 8" x 4" loaf pans when I form it into 2 loafs and that works great. Make sure to also grease your pans before you put the loafs into it (I just use the shortening I already have on my hands to grease the pans).
Find a warmish place to let the loafs rise while covered with a cloth (so the tops don't dry out). After about 30 minutes to 1 hour, the loaf should have about doubled in size (not too big, it will rapidly grow for the first few minutes in the oven, so only an inch to an inch and 1/2 above rim of loaf pan). Place loafs in pre-heated 350*F oven and bake for 25 minutes.
After 25 minutes, remove from oven, remove from pans, cool on wire racks and immediately cover with towel while still hot (this will help steam the bread and make it even softer). Do not cut into it until it has had a chance to cool down for 10 - 15 minutes at least otherwise the inside will turn doughy. Keep in an air tight plastic bag, will stay soft for days.
If you are making this with wheat flour, it works best with White Wheat (you can use 100% white wheat with great results). If you are using Red Wheat, I would suggest at least going half wheat half white other wise it will be too dense and the taste will be affected. Fresh ground white wheat is especially tasty as it is higher in protein than white flour and hasn't had a chance to go rancid like some store bought pre-ground wheat flours.
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