American Loaf Bread

Submitted by: admin on April 2, 2020

Makes One 9-Inch Loaf


1 cup whole milk, heated to 110 degrees
1⁄3 cup water, heated to 110 degrees
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3-1⁄2 cups (19-1⁄4 ounces) bread flour
2-1⁄4 teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
2 teaspoons salt


  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Once oven temperature reaches 200 degrees, maintain heat for 10 minutes, then turn off oven.
  2. Whisk milk, water, honey, and butter together in 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Using stand mixer fitted with dough hook, combine flour, yeast, and salt on low speed. Slowly add milk mixture and let dough come together, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes, scraping down dough from bowl and hook as needed. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds. Place dough in large, lightly greased bowl; cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in warm oven until doubled in size, 40 to 50 minutes.
  3. Grease 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and press into rectangle about 1 inch thick and no longer than 9 inches, with long side facing you. Roll dough toward you into firm cylinder, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go. Turn loaf seam side up and pinch it closed. Place loaf seam side down in prepared pan, pressing gently into corners. Cover loaf loosely with greased plastic and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 20 to 30 minutes. (Dough should barely spring back when poked with knuckle.)
  4. One hour before baking, place baking stone on lowest rack, place empty loaf pan or other heatproof pan on baking stone, and heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring 2 cups water to boil on stovetop. Working quickly, pour boiling water into empty loaf pan in oven and set loaf in pan on baking stone. Bake until crust is golden brown and loaf registers 195 degrees, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove loaf from pan, return to rack, and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, before slicing and serving. (Bread can be wrapped in double layer of plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. Wrapped with additional layer of aluminum foil, bread can be frozen for up to 1 month.)

Substitute 1⁄3 cup buttermilk, heated to 110 degrees, for whole milk. Increase first rise to 50 minutes to 1 hour.

Do not substitute instant oats in this recipe. To turn this loaf into Oatmeal-Raisin Bread, knead 3⁄4 cup raisins, tossed with 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, into the dough after it comes out of the mixer.
Omit warm water from wet ingredients. Bring 3⁄4 cup water to boil in small saucepan. Stir in 3⁄4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats and cook until softened slightly, about 90 seconds. Decrease flour to 2-3⁄4 cups and combine cooked oatmeal with flour and salt in mixer before adding milk mixture.

To turn this loaf into Anadama Bread, substitute 3 tablespoons molasses for honey.
Decrease milk to 3⁄4 cup. Bring additional 1⁄2 cup water to boil in small saucepan. Slowly whisk in 1⁄4 cup cornmeal and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Decrease flour to 3-1⁄4 cups and combine cornmeal mixture with flour and salt in mixer before incorporating milk mixture.


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