Do-Ahead Refrigerator Bread
The dough for this yeast bread is placed in the loaf pan and refrigerated for at least 8 hours prior to baking. When ready, let the dough stand for 15 minutes and pop it in the oven. A great, do-ahead recipe.
3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 (0.25-ounce) packages active dry yeast or 4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
Approximately 4 cups all-purpose or bread flour
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon butter
- Mix 3 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Gradually add warm water, 1/4 cup oil, and egg. Beat on low speed, scraping the bowl, for 30 seconds. Up speed to medium, scraping the bowl occasionally, for 2 minutes. Gradually stir in remaining flour up to 4 cups to make a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl; turning to grease the top. Cover and let rise in warm place until double, about 1 hour.
- Punch down, divide in half. Roll or pat each half into a 18 x 9-inch rectangle. Roll up tightly, beginning at the short side, and pinch the edge firmly to seal. Press each end and fold the ends under the loaf. Place seam side down in a greased 9-inch loaf pan, brush lightly with 1 tablespoon oil. Cover with a very damp towel and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, but no longer than 24 hours.
- Once dough has chilled preheat oven to 400°F (205°C) and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Prick and gently press any bubbles on top of the loaf with a toothpick.
- Bake until loaves are deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped, about 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from pans. Brush with butter and cool on a wire rack.
Makes 2 loaves.