Here are the ingredients:
- 3 C. Bread flour
- 2 Tbsp. Butter (melted)
- 1/4 C. Sugar
- 1 Egg
- 1 package of Yeast or 2 1/4 Tsp. of Active Dry Yeast
- 7/8 C. Water
- First you will want to "proof" the yeast by placing it in the 7/8 C. of warm water. The water should be between 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit. You will need to use a instant read thermometer to help you with this. If the water is too warm it will kill the yeast when you put it in, and if it's too cool, the yeast won't "wake up" or activate. Also add 2-3 tbsp. of your sugar to the yeast/water mix to help the yeast start to activate.
When the yeast is ready, pour into mixing bowl, add flour, egg, melted butter, salt, and remaining sugar and mix thoroughly.
Sometimes the dough is a little runny, if this is the case just sprinkle a little more flour in the bowl and mix till the dough forms into a ball of sorts. (see below)
Once mixed, cover the bowl and allow the dough to sit in a warm draft free place to rise till double in size. Approximately 30-40 minutes. In the summer I place my bowl out in the sun, in the winter I find the warmest place possible and if it's a real cold day I will heat the oven to 200 or a little lower and then cut it off and let the bowl sit covered in the oven till it rises.
Once the dough has doubled in size it's time to turn it out onto a well floured surface and add remaining flour as needed to form a ball.
Begin to kneed the dough till it is workable.
Don't be afraid to sprinkle your hands and the top of the dough with flour to avoid sticking.
I know they are not pretty and this is something I had to get over! I was so used to everything being perfect because it was massed produced by a machine, not by hand.
Now cover a 2nd time and let rise till double in size again.
Then place in a pre-heated oven and bake @ 350 till golden brown.
I know this seems like a lot of steps and very time consuming, but if you do it during your day and work on other things while it's rising it's really not hard on you or your time. I tend to kill you with photos, because when I first started if I could see a picture of what they were talking about then I felt more confident in what I was trying to do. You can also double the batch and individually freeze half the dough rolled into balls on a cookie sheet, then place in a plastic bag for next time. All you do is take the individually frozen dough balls place in a greased pan cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise before baking.