Uses my KitchenAid Stand Mixer, but this can be done by hand too. Just multiply all times mentioned by three.
1/2C (4 oz.) milk
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons Crisco
2 tablespoons Instant Milk powder
2 (1/4 ounce) packages active dry yeast or 2 teaspoons Instant Yeast (.34 oz.)
1 1/2 C (12 oz.) warm water (105F to 110F)
5-6 C (1# 13 oz.) Unbleached bread flour
1. Combine milk, half your sugar, salt, and butter in small saucepan. Heat over low heat and stir until butter melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm (100-110 F)
2. If using active dry yeast, dissolve yeast in warm water in warmed bowl, half your sugar, and let stand for 10 minutes. If using Instant Yeast, just add it to the flour and mix it in before adding liquids.
3. Add lukewarm milk mixture and water to 4 1/2 C (1# 6 oz.) bread flour. Attach bowl and dough hook. Turn to speed 3 and mix 1 minute. Reduce to speed 2, add remaining flour, 1/2 C (2.5 oz.) at a time (slowly so it doesn’t fly out of bowl), until dough clings to hook and cleans side of bowl. Knead on speed 1 for 8 minutes longer, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Dough will be slightly sticky to the touch.
4. Place in a greased bowl, turning to grease both top and bottom. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about an hour. IDEALLY let rise overnight in your fridge, then move to counter two hours before you are ready to bake.
5. Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each half into a loaf and place in a greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes. If top of bread begins to brown too much, tent with aluminum foil for remaining baking time. DO NOT reduce baking time. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks.
For Hamburger and hot dog buns, divide the dough into 2-1/2 oz portions and shape into a ball. Allow to rest for 5 minutes and then flatten with the heel of your hand and place on cookie sheet dusted with cornmeal. Allow about 1” between rolls for expansion/proofing. For hot dog buns, shape into about 5-6” long tubes with seam down. Brush with whipped egg white/water mix and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds. Bake at 400° F for 12-14 minutes or until 200° F.
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