I got this recipe out of my favorite bread machine cookbook;Beth Hensberger's, "The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook (www.harvardcommonpress.com)which I got at a garage sale. I imagine it is a fairly expensive book...check amazon. This is my very Favorite white bread recipe. It makes beautiful bread for every purpose, even rolls. We like to make it for Pigs and Blankets;one of our favorites for Halloween! Often when my teenager's friends come over they ask if we have any of these. But usually when we make them whom ever is at home gets them & they're gone!
Place all the ingredients in the bread pan according to the order in the manufacturer's directions. Set crust on medium and program for Basic or French bread cycle. This recipe is not suitable for Delay Timer. Remove immediately from pan and cool to room temperature on a wire rack before slicing. Yield: (1) 2 pound loaf
If you do not have a bread pan, you can make this by hand the old fashioned way. Make the water a little less hot as the hand can stand in a small bowl and sprinkle the yeast, spreading it all around the cup carefully. Do Not Stir! Set aside and prepare a large bowl with vegetable spray.
In yet another large bowl, combine the flour (reserve 1 cup aside)the gluten, sugar and salt. Add butter cut into thin slices or 1/2 inch pieces. Add yeast mixture and mix with your hands until well mixed and a ball starts to form. Dump out on a floured surface (use some of the reserved flour) and knead thoroughly for 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary. After kneading, the dough should appear elastic and smooth and be difficult to continue kneading. Place the dough in the prepared pan, smooth side down, and then pick it up and turn it upside down. Cover and allow to rise for 90 minutes in a warm place, free of drafts.
After the 90 minutes has passed, dust the counter or pastry board lightly, and divide dough into halves. Shape each half into a loaf and place in prepared loaf pans. Cover and allow to rise again in a warm place free of drafts for another 30 minutes. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 55 minutes. When bread is done, it will be a medium brown color, and sound somewhat hollow when you thump it. Remove from oven, and allow to sit in pan for about 3 minutes. Turn out on a cooling rack, and baste crust with butter.
FYI: To make rolls or pigs 'n' blankets, instead of forming dough into two loaves, take each half and form a uniform cylinder. Cut each cylinder into eight sections. Take each section and form the roll you prefer to make. For pigs 'n' blankets, I just make large disks and fold them over the hot dog, securing with a little water. After these rise, they will only need to bake for about 15-20 minutes.