“I would say to housewives, be not daunted by one failure, nor by twenty. Resolve that you will have good bread, and never cease striving after this result till you have effected it. If persons without brains can accomplish this, why cannot you?”
‘Housekeeping In Old Virginia’ Marion Cabell Tyree ed. (1878)

Baking bread can be a frustrating task. It sometimes seems like the results have less to do with the effort you put in, and more to do with some magic in the air. I always tell Eric that I feel like an alchemist when it comes out correctly.

Here’s a photo of my bread. I’m still an amateur, but I enjoy completely everything about baking it. I’ll muse about that another day, maybe.

As you can see, my bread is prettty pale. I long for a browned crispy loaf, but no luck yet. Any tips?

For now, here’s the recipe and the result:

5 cups flour
1 pkg (5 grams) instant yeast
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp melted butter
2 cups warm milk

Combine 3 cups of the flour along with the sugar, instant yeast and salt in a large bowl or in the bowl of a large electric mixer that uses a dough hook. Add the melted butter and warm milk. Using a wooden spoon or the regular paddle of your electric mixer beat for 4-5 minutes until the mixture is smooth with no lumps. If using an electric mixer, switch to the dough hook at this point and begin to slowly incorporate the remaining 2 cups of flour.

Cover dough and leave to rest and rise for one hour.

At this point, I grease a baking sheet, shape the loaves haphazardly, and bake.

Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-40 minutes depending on the size of the pans that you are using.
When baked, turn loaves out onto a wire rack to cool. Brush the tops with melted butter if desired to soften the top crust.