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Horizontal image of slices of bread on a white surface next to knives and butter.

Soft and Fluffy Old-Fashioned White Bread


  • Author: Nikki Cervone
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: One loaf (6-8 servings)

Description

Learn how to make beautifully soft and fluffy white bread. It will be a favorite in your household for sandwiches, toast, and more.


Ingredients

Scale

For the Bread:

  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 2 1/4 cups bread flour, plus 1/4 cup as needed
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature 
  • Vegetable oil, for greasing

For the Crust:

  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Combine the milk and cream in a small saucepan. Heat on low until the temperature reaches 100-110°F, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and transfer to a medium-sized heatproof bowl. Whisk in the sugar and yeast. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until the yeast is activated and the mixture becomes very foamy. 
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together by hand the 2 1/4 cups flour, dry milk powder, and salt. Attach the bowl to the stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Add the egg and milk/yeast mixture. Knead on medium speed for 10 to 15 minutes, until a thick and slightly sticky dough forms. If the dough seems too wet, slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup flour.
  4. Transfer the dough to a large bowl coated in a film of vegetable oil, rolling the dough in the bowl to coat the exterior. Tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the dough has doubled in size. Remove the plastic, punch down the dough, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap again. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with a thin coating of vegetable oil. Once the dough has rested, transfer to a clean work surface and press into a large, flat oval with your hands.
  6. With the skinny end of the oval facing you, fold over the top 1/3 of the oval into the center, then the bottom 1/3 into the center over the previously folded dough, like folding a letter. Press down on the seam. Gently fold the dough in half, and gently press down to seal the seam. Gently roll to continue sealing the seam, rolling and stretching out the shape if needed. You want the log to be a little smaller than the dimensions of the pan so that there is room to expand – aim for about 8 inches long and 4 inches wide.
  7. Place the log inside the prepared loaf pan seam side down. Coat the top of the bread with a thin film of vegetable oil and gently drape plastic wrap over the top. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour, or until the loaf has risen slightly higher than the top of the pan. As the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  8. For the egg wash, whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon water. Once the dough has risen, remove the plastic wrap, and gently brush the top of the loaf with a thin layer of the egg wash. 
  9. Bake the loaf for 20 to 25 minutes. The dough will be puffy and lightly browned on the surface. Remove from the oven, and immediately brush with the melted butter. 
  10. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before gently removing and transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Baked Goods

Keywords: white bread, old-fashioned