White bread doesn't get too much love anymore, what with the push to consume more whole grains (not to mention the rise of gluten-intolerance). It has its place, in my opinion, and I'm certainly not ready to do away with it completely.
I grew up eating IronKids bread--do any of you remember that, or heck, still eat it? Does it even still exist? I don't know, because thanks to Eb and a few awesome bread recipes, I haven't bought a loaf of bread in the store for ages. Anyway, my point is that I liked white bread then--all fluffy and soft and ideal for transporting various meats and cheeses to the mouth--and I like it now.
My favorite way to make white bread is (surprise, surprise) with a cinnamon swirl. Not only is it tasty, but it looks so attractive and welcoming. It's easy to accomplish, too--it only adds about 10 minutes to your work time.
Most (if not all) recipes I've seen for cinnamon swirl bread use milk and eggs, but this isn't one of those. It's simply white bread with a cinnamon-sugar-raisin filling. Odd? Perhaps, but darn tasty. When it comes to the eating, french toast is always a good option. For my time and energy, I'm content with simply toasting it and slathering on some apple jelly.
Don't hate on the white bread, folks. It's not good-for-nothing.
**Congrats to Angela--Snubbr picked hers as the winning comment in my cookbook giveaway!
Plain White Bread, Made Not-So-Plainly
6 cups flour, more or less, divided
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 envelope active dry yeast
2 cups very warm water, about 120°
2 tablespoons butter, softened
raisins and cinnamon-sugar to taste
In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, salt, and yeast. Beating at low speed, add the water and butter. Continue beating at high speed for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup flour and beat 4 minutes longer. Stir in 3 cups flour, or enough to make a soft dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic, adding a little more flour as necessary.
Place the dough in a large greased bowl, turning to anoint the top. Cover with a clean towel and let rise for about 1 hour in a warm place, free of drafts. Punch dough down; knead until smooth. Cut dough in half, cover with the mixing bowl, and let stand for 15 minutes longer. Roll each half into a 12x9-inch rectangle. Sprinkle the dough generously with raisins and cinnamon-sugar and press in gently. Then, starting with the narrow edge, roll up, turning ends under to make loaves to fit pans. Place rolls seam side down in greased 9x5-inch loaf pans. Cover pans with clean towel and let rise in warm place until double, about 45 minutes. Bake loaves at 400° for 25 to 30 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped with fingers. Remove from pans to racks; brush with butter for a soft, more flavorful crust, if desired.