This recipe has been adapted from the Gold Medal Classic White Bread Recipe on the Gold Medal Website. It is usually on the bag of white bleached flour. It took me nearly six months of weekly test batches to get it to turn out right. The biggest issue with their recipe is the hot water. Any time I used even warm water, the bread came out flat and smelled bad. So, while this recipe is an adaptation, there are some important changes I made to the recipe to make the bread better. Now, this is a recipe my entire family begs for. It makes four medium-sized loaves of about 12 to 14 slices each. This lasts us about two weeks.
- 4 small metal or glass bread loaf pans (I bought mine at Dollar Tree)
- A medium mixing bowl
- An extra-large mixing bowl with lid (or plastic wrap to cover)
- A whisk
- Large sturdy spoon
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Electric mixer (optional, but the bread comes out better)
- Wire racks
- Pastry brush
- 5 teaspoons Rapid rise yeast
- 4 cups whole wheat flour
- 4 cups unbleached, non-bromated, non-enriched white flour
- ¼ cup flax seeds
- ¼ cup oatmeal (rolled or instant)
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 4 cups water (filtered and room temp; faucet water will kill the yeast, and so will microwaving the water)
- ¼ cup butter, coconut oil, and or sunflower oil
- 1 teaspoon nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon turmeric (optional for color and antioxidants)
- 3 eggs
- Butter or oil for greasing pans
- 1 tablespoon Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tablespoon onion powder (optional for sweeter flavor)
- Add two cups water, flax seeds, and oatmeal to the blender and puree until smooth an creamy, but not so long it turns thick.
- Working quickly, add the water mixture to the medium bowl, the yeast, four cups of flour-half of each kind, the salt, oil or softened butter, onion powder, vinegar, and turmeric. Using the spoon or electric mixer, stir until creamy and smooth, adding water as necessary to keep it at a gravy-like consistency. Continue beating with a mixer for at least two more minutes, or until it begins to form “threads” where the years and the protein in the flour begin to take shape.
- Stir in the remaining flour a half cup at a time using the large sturdy spoon until this becomes difficult and the dough starts to form.
- Using your hands, begin kneading dough by carefully reaching under dough ball and gently folding this up and over. Turn the bowl as you work and add flour until the dough becomes smooth hand elastic. To prevent the dough from becoming too dry, I use less flour that the recipe calls for, clean my hands halfway through kneading, and begin to knead using oil on my hands and in the bowl instead of the flour dusting.
- Coat the extra-large mixing bowl with oil or butter and make sure the bowl is at least four times as large as the dough ball. Place the dough ball in the bowl and top with a greased lid.
- Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 45 to 90 minutes or until it begins to lift the lid on the bowl significantly. (It has taken up to three hours in cold weather, so a warm kitchen helps.)
- Gently deflate the dough by pressing a flat hand down on the center and then divide it into four evenly-sized dough balls by pinching with your fingers.
- Using a pastry brush and oil or a stick of butter, grease the bread loaf pans. Gently roll out or pat out each dough ball until large air bubbles are removed, then roll them and grasp each each loaf by the ends and gently lower into pans. Squeeze the ends together to make them fit into the pans if necessary. Don’t fold under, like the recipe suggests, as this turns out uneven loaves.
- Once all four dough balls are gently lowered into their pans, set the oven on warm for about 2 minutes before placing the loaf pans on the center rack. Leave at least two loaf-pans worth of space above the bread loaves so they can rise without getting stuck on the other rack or the broiler burner.
- Turn the oven to OFF and allow the bread rise in the very warm oven for 30 to 60 minutes or until they have doubled in size.
- Tun the oven on to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for about 20 minutes. The bread is done when the loaves sound hallow when tapped.
- Remove the bread from the oven and turn it off. Place the bread in the pans on the wire racks to cool. Rub a cold stick of butter or brush oil onto the crust to soften while the loaves are still hot.
- Allow the loaves to cool or refrigerate before slicing. A bread knife and chilled bread make for smooth, even slices that don’t tear.
- Flax, oats, and eggs act as dough conditioners and keep the bread moist.
- Over-baking is the most common reason for hard crusts that separate from the loaves. So are air bubbles left in the flattening process.
- Vinegar will add a slight sourdough taste to the bread. Add sugar instead for sweeter bread.
- Homemade bread costs under a dollar per loaf. Mine usually cost about 50 cents.
- Sunflower oil adds a nutty and sweet flavor to bread.
- Warm water kills the yeast, as does adding salt or vinegar directly to the yeast. Add them separately.
- Allow the bread dough to rise the first time overnight in the refrigerator, or even rest up to a week in the refrigerator, for better pizza crusts, sourdough breads, or flat-bread style breads.