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the ability to walk into any kitchen on earth and make your own bread is undeniably badass.
(per loaf) 2c AP flour 2c bread flour 1T yeast 1T salt 3/4c warm (80-90 degree) water 1c milk (preferably whole milk) 1/4# softened butter 1 egg (for egg wash)
combine flour and yeast, then cut in butter - just add it in small pieces as you mix, and mix until there aren't any obviously large chunks of butter visible in the flour. add remaining ingredients, mix until blended, slowly adding bread flour (usually ~1c per loaf) until dough is barely sticky and easily handled. form dough into equal-sized, roughly football-shaped loaves, dust lightly with flour, tightly wrap in plastic wrap, and allow to rise to about double size. flatten dough, fold, roll into a tight cylindrical shape, and transfer to sprayed bread pans. plastic wrap the tops and allow to rise again. when dough is beginning to press upwards on the plastic, unwrap, brush with egg wash (beat one egg with about 1/3 cup of water), and bake at 425 roughly 15-20 minutes, until tops are a dark golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. remove from pans and set aside to cool at least an hour before slicing.
bread rises best at temperatures around 80 degrees. to achieve this, consider placing them on the opened door of an oven running at a low temperature, or in the sunlight, or near a heater. too much heat can kill the yeast and/or prematurely cook parts of the loaf, which is no good; too little heat will result in 2-3 hour rise times, which is annoying as shit. if you are finding holes in the center when you cut into them, you may need to roll them tighter. you can also punch down the bread once more after its second rise (in the wrapped pan), then simply allow it to rise again before baking - this will eliminate the gaps, but will add an hour or more to the process and keep you from getting those nice, smoothly rounded tops. finished loaves can be wrapped and frozen.
the original recipe was written to be made in a mixing bowl; however, i was making four-loaf batches, which would not fit in the bowl. as a result, i have said "fuck mixing bowls" and been doing this all by hand for months. if you're a pussy (or, y'know, missing a hand or something legitimate like that), the original mixing process called for the dough to be mixed for 7 minutes before beginning to add extra flour. fuck that shit, though.