Bread Plain

6 cups All Purpose Flour
3 tbs Granulated Sugar
2 tsp Salt
1 pkg Active Dry Yeast
1/2 cup Milk
1-1/2 cups Water
5 tbs Butter / Margarine

*** Early in day: in large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt and yeast. In medium saucepan over low heat, heat water, milk and 3 tbs butter or margarine until warm. (Butter or margarine does not need to melt.) With electric mixer at medium speed, gradually add liquid to dry ingredients. Beat 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Add 3/4 cup flour or enough to make a thick batter; beat 2 minutes at high speed, scraping bowl occasionally. With spoon, stir in enough additional flour (about 3 cups) to make a soft dough. Turn dough onto lightly floured board and knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Shape dough into ball and place in large greased bowl, turning over so that top of dough is greased. Cover; let rise in warm place (80-85F) away from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Dough is doubled when two fingers pressed lightly into dough leave a dent. Punch down dough by pushing down center of dough with fist, then pushing edges of dough into center. Turn out onto lightly floured board, cover with bowl for 15 minutes. Divide dough in half; shape in 2 loaves to fit 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. In small pan, melt 2 tbs butter; use to brush loaves. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, (1 hour). Preheat oven to 400F. Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown and loaves sound hollow. Remove from pans and allow to cool on racks.

Yield: 2 Loaves.

To knead, rub a little flour on hands, then form dough into a round ball. Fold dough toward you. Then, using heels of hands, push dough away with rolling motion, turn dough 1/4 turn around. Repeat kneading until dough is smooth and elastic and springs back when lightly pressed with fingers; this should take about 10 minutes. If dough becomes sticky, sprinkle a little more flour on board and hands. When shaping dough, remember that most recipes make two loaves; the dough must be divided in half before you shape it in loaves. When using 9 x 5 inch loaf pans: on lightly floured board, with lightly floured rolling pin, roll each dough half into a 12 x 8 inch rectangle. Starting with short end away from you, tightly roll dough toward you, pinch edges together to seal, fold ends under and place, seam-side down, in greased loaf pans.

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Cajun Country -- New Iberia, Louisiana