What’s more fun than baking bread? There’s just something so satisfying about slathering butter and jam on warm bread that was flour mere hours ago. This is an easy white bread recipe that only takes about 10 minutes of active time and two hours of inactive time – not bad for bread!
You might remember this beautiful recipe from DisneyDinners: Tangled. I made this into three baguettes for Rapunzel’s braid bread but here I baked up a *normal* loaf for you to make all the time. A lot of people thought this was challah but it’s not challah. There are no eggs in the dough! It’s just a beautiful braided white bread.
This bread has a particularly long shelf life. I baked this loaf days ago and it’s still going strong. It toasts up beautifully and is the perfect size for sandwiches. Here are my three top bread baking tips:
- Heat the water to 105 degrees to activate the yeast. Anywhere between 100-110 will do, really. Use a thermometer. If the water is too hot, it’ll kill the yeast and if it’s too cold, it won’t rise properly.
- You want the the correct consistency before letting the dough rise. Things like the atmosphere and elevation affect bread baking so it’s hard to say exactly how much flour you’ll need but look closely at my photos to see the consistency you’re shooting for. If you can’t touch the dough without it getting all over your hands, it needs more flour. Add it before you start kneading, before its first rise.
- Warmth helps bread rise so I either bake bread the same day that I do laundry so I can put the bowl on top of my dryer or I bake it on a warm day and keep it on a windowsill or you can pop it in the oven (turned off, obviously) with the oven light on. This emits just enough heat to help bread rise.
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups water heated to 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit
1 packet Active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1 egg white, lightly beaten
- Whisk active dry yeast, salt, and olive oil in warm water until yeast is dissolved.
- Add yeast mixture to 3 cups of flour in a stand mixer fitted with a bread hook. Add additional half cup if dough is still sticky. Knead with the bread hook attachment for 8 minutes in the mixer. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the dough, turning once so that the bowl is oiled. Place in a warm place with a slightly damp towel covering the bowl and let rise for one hour or until doubled.
- Punch down dough. Knead for 3-5 minutes. Divide dough into 3 equal parts and let rest for 5 minutes. Roll dough out to 12″ ropes.
- Grease a baking sheet. Braid dough the same way you would hair right on the baking sheet. Let rise for 45 minutes or until doubled.
- Brush loaf with beaten egg white and bake at 450 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until golden. It should sound hollow when tapped.
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