Not long ago, I spoke about that superb "The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion" book and raved about it's great contents. Well, after having tested a few recipes, I still feel the same about it. It is just mind-blowing and I don't regret one single cent I spent on this magnificent cookbook!
Although "Plain White Bread" is the most well-known and common loaf that is baked, I decided to test this book's version and see if it was any better than the other ones which I have been making until now...
The recipe is easy to follow and clear. The result is very pleasing and offers a totally different kind of white bread than the ones I had baked previously.
This "Plain White Bread" has a superb crust, the inside texture is incredibly smooth (thanks to the potato flour) and light. It also has an appetizing fragrance and an almighty taste that leaves a smirk of pleasure dance across your face...
It is a perfect loaf with a lot of character and flavor. So, for those of you who still have doubts on this bread's gorgeousness, I only have one thing to say: try it now as it might be plain and white, but it's fine! It's a basic bread, yet it's a classic...
Recipe source: "The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion: The All-Purpose Baking Cookbook" by King Arthur Flour, Countryman Press.
Makes 1 loaf.
3 Cups (~400g) Plain white flour
2 Tsp Instant yeast
1 1/4 Tsp Salt
3 Tbs (~36g) Castor sugar
4 Tbs (~57g) Unsalted butter
1/4 Cup (~40g) Nonfat dry milk
1/4 Cup (~45g) Potato Flour
1 1/8 Cups (~280g) Lukewarm water
1. Combine all the ingredients, mix and knead them together for about 10 minutes (by hand, mixer or bread machine) until you've made a soft, smooth dough.
2. Adjust the dough's consistency with additional flour or water as needed.
3. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover with a towel and let rise for about 1 1/2-2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
4. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased work surface and shape it into a 8 inch (20cm) log. 5. Transfer the log to a lightly greased 8 1/2 (21.6cm) x 4 1/2 (11.5cm) loaf pan.
6. Cover the pan with a towel and let the bread rise until doubled, about 40 minutes to 1 hour.
7. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
8. Uncover the pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, tenting it lightly with aluminium foil for the final 10 to 15 minutes if it appears to be browning too quickly.
9. Remove the bread from the oven, take it out of the pan and place it on a wire rack to cool completely.
10. After 10 minutes, brush with butter, if desired.
Instead of 1/4 cup potato flour, you can use 1/3 cup (~23g) potato flakes.
Remember, the more flour you add while kneading, the heavier and drier your final loaf will be.
You can also shape you bread like mine, using the long loaf (~26cm) method (see "Baguette Parisienne" recipe).
The butter glazing softens the crust, so if you prefer your bread to be crusty, ommit this part of the recipe.
This bread is ideal served for breakfast with jam, Nutella, peanut butter or eaten with cheese. It is also perfect if toasted.
(Hand Kneading -Pic by www.bryannaclarkgrogan.com)
(Fresh Bread -Pic by www.scottmooreart.com)