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I've tried many different white bread recipes over the years and this one has to be the BEST one yet!!!
Below is the recipe for the bread that Walter Sands made faithfully once a week for years. Walter was the father of Frank E. Sands, King Arthur Flour's current chairman of the board. Because of his arthritic hands, he used a bread bucket with a crank, which kneaded hundred of loaves of this fragrant bread with all its happy associations.
2 cups (16 ounces) warm water
2 tablespoons (7/8 ounce) sugar or honey (1 1/2 ounces)
1 scant tablespoon or packet active dry yeast
1/2 cup (2 ounces) dry milk powder or granules (1 1/4 ounces), optional
2 tablespoons (1 ounce) butter, softened, or vegetable oil (7/8 ounce)
6 cups (25 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons salt
Pour the warm water into a mixing bowl. Add and let dissolve the sugar or honey and then the yeast. When the yeast is bubbling, add the dry milk, butter and 3 cups of flour and the salt. Mix together and then stir in a further 2 1/2 cups of flour. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup on the surface you intend to use for kneading.
Knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes, until it begins to behave as if it belonged together. Let it rest while you clean and grease the bowl. Continue kneading a further 3 to 4 minutes, until the dough feels smooth and springy.
Let the dough rise until doubled (1 to 2 hours). Knock it down, knead out any stray bubbles, cut it in half and form two loaves. Place them in two lightly greased 4 1/2 x 8 1/2-inch bread pans. Let rise until almost doubled (45 minutes to 1 hour).
Preheat the oven for 15 minutes to 350°F. Bake the loaves 35 to 40 minutes, or until nicely browned. Remove bread from oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Yield: 2 loaves.