It’s just plain ol’ bread. Hence the title.
- 2 cups warm water (105−115 degrees)
- 1 tbsp. active dry yeast
- 1⁄4 cup honey or sugar
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. oil (canola or vegetable)
- 4 — 5 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
Prepare the Dough
In your mixer bowl, add the yeast, water and a pinch of the sugar or honey to proof the yeast. Rest for 5–10 minutes until foaming and bubbly.
Add remaining sugar or honey, salt, oil, and 3 cups of flour. Mix to combine.
Add another cup of flour and mix to combine. With the mixer running add more flour, ½ cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be smooth and elastic, and slightly stick to a clean finger, but not be overly sticky. Add a little more flour, if needed.
Knead the Dough
Mix the dough for 4–5 minutes on medium speed (or knead with your hands on a lightly floured surface, for 5–8 minutes).
Grease a large bowl with oil or cooking spray and place the dough inside, turning to coat. Cover with a dish towel or plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 ½ hours.
To speed up the first rise, preheat oven to 180°. Placing the in a well greased bowl, turning it once to grease the dough all over. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Moving quickly, turn oven off and place bowl into the oven, leaving the oven door slightly cracked open. Allow to rise until doubled. Then remove, punch down and shape into loaves.
Spray two 9×5″ bread pans generously with cooking spray on all sides.
Punch the dough down well to remove air bubbles. Divide into two equal portions. Shape each ball into long logs and place into greased loaf pans.
Spray two pieces of plastic wrap with cooking spray and lay them gently over the pans. Allow dough to rise again for about 45 minutes to one hour, or until risen about 1 inch above the loaf pans. Gently removing covering.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake bread for about 30–33 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Give the top of a loaf a gentle tap; it should sound hollow.
Invert the loaves onto a wire cooling rack. Brush the tops with butter and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.