The first step is to gather your equipment. You will need a large bowl, a rubber spatula, measuring spoons, liquid measuring cup and dry measuring cups. The next step is to gather your ingredients. We will need bread flour, yeast, , oil, salt and a bit of sugar for this loaf of bread. Now on to the actual making bread part. In your large bowl, measure out the warm water, sugar and yeast. Remember, the water shouldn’t feel warm or cold when you put your finger in it. If the water is too hot you will kill the yeast and your bread will not rise. If the water is too cold it will take forever to rise. Set aside the yeast mixture for 10-15 minutes. When the yeast mixture is ready for the next step it will look frothy. Add the oil and salt. Add enough flour to form a soft dough. I know this is vague but depending on things like the humidity, the amount of flour it takes to get a soft dough will vary. Some days it will only take two cups of flour other days it may take 3 1/2 – 4 cups of flour. I usually keep about a half cup of flour aside to use for kneading.
Once you have your soft dough it is time to turn out your dough onto a clean surface, lightly sprinkled with flour and knead it. Kneading the bread is an important step as it develops the proteins needed to make our dough rise so it is worth is to spend adequate time on this step. To knead your bread, fold the dough in half, using the heel of you hand push the dough like you are trying to push the dough through the cutting board, turn the dough a quarter turn and repeat. You should have a minimum of 10 very active minutes of kneading. As you knead the dough will become sticky. When this happens add a teaspoon or two of flour to the dough and continue kneading. You will know when you have finished kneading the dough when it becomes smooth and elastic. This term made no sense to me until I read that smooth and elastic means about the texture of your ear lobe.
Once your bread is smooth and elastic, shape it into a ball and place it back into a bowl sprayed with cooking spray. Spray the top with a little cooking spray and cover with a clean towel. Set the bowl in a warm place and let the dough rise for about an hour or until doubled in volume.
Amish White Bread
1 cup warm water
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 ¾ tsp dry active yeast
2 TBS canola oil,
3 cups bread flour, plus more as needed
¾ tsp plus 1 pinch kosher salt
1 TBS water
In a large bowl, combine the water, sugar, and yeast. Stir to dissolve and let it stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons oil and 1 cup flour; stir to combine. Add ¾ teaspoon salt and remaining flour. Stir to combine. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 8-10 minutes. Return to the bowl and oil the top. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 1 hour. Coat a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. Turn the risen dough onto a floured surface and shape into an oblong loaf. Place into the prepared pan and set aside to proof for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk egg with 1 tablespoon water and a pinch of salt. Brush lightly onto the surface of the risen dough. Bake until golden brown and hollow sounding, about 30-40 minutes. Cool 10 minutes, remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.
From The Everything Bread Book