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This post was originally posted on December 27, 2017.
Have you ever tried to make bread on your own, and it didn’t turn out so great? It’s happened to me before, too! Don’t be discouraged; it takes practice to do any kind of baking well.
Fortunately, some recipes are easier than others, and this white mountain bread recipe is one of them. Ready to improve your yeast skills with a delicious and easy recipe? Let’s get started!
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What ingredients are in white mountain bread?
Most breads are made from four basic ingredients: flour, salt, yeast, and water. For this recipe, I’ve added honey and butter to soften the texture and add a little extra flavor.
How long does homemade bread last?
- It will keep for about 2 days at room temperature.
- Make sure it’s sealed inside of a zip-top plastic bag or tightly wrapped in aluminum foil to keep it moist.
- Don’t store it in the fridge; the air in the fridge will make it go stale very quickly.
- Need to keep it for longer than 2 days? Wrap it in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil and freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw in a low oven, toaster, microwave, or on the counter.
How do you make white mountain bread?
Gather the ingredients: flour, salt, yeast, water, butter, and honey.
Pour the flour into the bowl of a stand mixer and add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl. Stir each one in with your finger. (This is to make sure that the salt doesn’t touch the yeast directly, as it can kill the yeast.)
Add the butter and honey, then mix with the paddle attachment on low speed until combined.
Pour in half of the water and keep mixing on low speed. Gradually add more water until a somewhat sticky dough forms, and keep mixing until all the flour is picked up from the bottom and sides of the bowl.
The exact amount of water you need will vary depending upon the brand of flour you’re using and the humidity in the room. If there’s still flour hanging out in the bowl and the mixture looks really dry, don’t hesitate to add additional water.
Let the dough rest, uncovered, for 10 minutes. This will make it less sticky during the kneading process. Then, knead on medium-low speed until the it cleans the sides of the bowl, but it still tacky to the touch.
If the it refuses to clean the sides of the bowl, add some flour, a spoonful at a time, until it cooperates.
Let the dough rise in a warm place until at least doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. (At this stage, you can put it in the fridge to rise overnight.)
Punch the dough down all over to knock out the pockets of gas, forming it into a rough circle as you do so. Fold the edges of the circle into the center to form a tight ball. Pinch the ends together, turn the loaf seam side down, and let it rest for 5 minutes.
Turn the loaf over, flatten it slightly, and fold the edges into the center again, making sure it’s quite tight. Turn it right side up and turn it, cupping your hands around the loaf as you turn to even the shape.
Place it seam side up in a floured banneton (if you don’t own one, use a greased and generously floured bowl). Let rise at room temperature until almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes. It should slowly spring back when pressed with a fingertip.
About 20 minutes before it’s done rising, preheat the oven to 450 F and slide a large pizza stone onto the middle shelf of the oven (use two baking sheets stacked on top of each other if you don’t own a pizza stone).
Sprinkle some semolina flour or grits on a cake lifter or pizza peel. Turn out the loaf onto the prepared peel and gently massage some extra flour on top. Don’t worry if it deflates a little; it will rise back in the oven.
Slash with a lame (use a very sharp serrated knife if you don’t have a lame) and carefully slide the loaf onto the preheated baking stone.
Bake at 450 F for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 425 F without opening the oven door and bake for another 20 minutes. The loaf should be richly browned and have an internal temperature of 200 F on a meat thermometer. Let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
- Use high-quality ingredients, especially for the flour. Since there’s only six ingredients in this recipe, it’s important each one tastes great.
- Don’t substitute all-purpose for the bread flour. Bread flour contains more gluten than all-purpose, resulting in a higher rise and more chewy texture.
- Don’t have a stand mixer? You can make this recipe by hand–just mix and crush the dough with your hand instead of the paddle attachment, and knead on a lightly floured surface.
- Mix up the dough, then let it rest for 10 minutes before kneading. It will improve the texture and help it not to be as sticky.
- Don’t skimp on the rising time; it’s crucial for developing a good flavor and beautiful texture.
- Once you’ve shaped the loaf, let it rise in a banneton (a cane basket made specifically for proving yeast doughs) or a greased and generously floured bowl. This will keep it from flattening as it rises.
- Don’t want to have a round loaf? After the first rise, punch it down and pat into a rectangle the width of a loaf pan. Roll it up tightly, pinching the seam to seal and place inside the pan. Proceed with the recipe as written–omitting the part about the baking stone.
- Bake in a hot oven for a crisp, well-browned crust, good oven spring (rising in the oven), and moist interior.
- Let it cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving. Freshly baked bread is full of steam, and needs time for the inside to finish setting. If you cut it too soon, it will be gummy.
Our Go-To Kitchen Tools for This Recipe
- Banneton with Linen Liner: this cane basket supports the dough as it proves.
- Lame with Blades: use this special razor blade to cut intricate designs in the dough.
- Cooling Racks: these cooling racks allow the air to circulate around the loaf as it cools.
- Digital Thermometer: know for sure that your loaf is baked with this thermometer.
Love homemade bread? You’ll want to try these other delicious, easy recipes.
- Perfect Muffaletta Bread: it’s topped with sesame seeds and makes a fantastic muffaletta sandwich.
- Whole Wheat Molasses Bread: this has some healthy fiber and whole grains with a little sweetness.
- Cob Loaf: this plain white bread has a crunchy crust, and is perfect for appetizers.
The pleasure of a 5-star review for this recipe would be greatly appreciated.Print
This simple and delicious recipe for white mountain bread is perfect for beginners. Use your Kitchenaid to mix up one loaf of fragrant yeast bread that’s so good your family will think it’s from an artisan bakery! It only takes flour, salt, yeast, butter, honey, and water to make this delectable sandwich bread.
- 4 1/4 cups bread flour (500g)
- 2 teaspoons fine salt (10g)
- 3 teaspoons fast-action yeast (10g)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (25g)
- 2 tablespoons honey (42g)
- 1 1/4 cups filtered water (300 ml)
Making the Dough (25 minutes + 1 hour proving)
- Place the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer and add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl. Stir in each with your finger.
- Add the butter and honey and mix on low speed with the paddle attachment until blended. Pour in half of the water and mix on low speed to form a rough dough. Gradually add more water and mix until all the flour has been picked up from the bowl and a somewhat sticky dough has formed. Depending on the brand of flour you’re using and the humidity in the room, you may not need all the water, or you might need a little extra.
- Turn off the mixer and let the dough rest uncovered for 10 minutes. This will help it be less sticky when it’s kneaded.
- Switch attachments to the hook and knead for 5-8 minutes on medium-low speed until the dough is smooth and cleans the sides of the bowl. If it’s too sticky and doesn’t clean the sides of the bowl, add extra bread flour just a spoonful at a time until it cleans the bowl.
- The dough should also pass the windowpane test. Stretch a piece between your hands to form a windowpane. It should be translucent without breaking; if not, knead for a minute longer and check again.
- Shape the dough into a ball, put it back in the mixing bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let it prove until at least doubled in size, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Alternatively, place it in the fridge to rise overnight (8-12 hours), and continue with the recipe as written the next day.
Shaping the Loaf (8 minutes + 45 minutes proving)
- Turn out the dough onto a clean, lightly floured work surface and punch it down all over to force out the pockets of gas in the dough.
- Shape it into a rough circle, then fold the edges into the center and pinch them together tightly to seal. Turn the loaf over so the seam is underneath, and let it rest for 5 minutes. Turn the loaf over, flatten slightly, and fold the edges into the middle as you did before, pinching the seam to seal. Turn the loaf seam-side down, cup your hands around the loaf, and turn it in a circle to shape it into a taut, circular loaf.
- Place the loaf seam side up inside a floured banneton (a cane basket specifically made for proving bread) and cover with a linen cloth or tea towel. Use a greased and generously floured bowl if you don’t own a banneton.
- Let it rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending upon the temperature of the room. The dough is ready to be baked when it springs back when gently pressed with a fingertip.
- About 20 minutes before the dough is fully proved, preheat the oven to 450 F and put a large pizza stone in the oven to preheat. If you don’t own a pizza stone, use two baking sheets stacked on top of each other instead.
Baking the Loaf (5 minutes + 30 minutes baking + cooling)
- Scatter some semolina flour or corn grits onto a pizza peel or cake lifter. Turn the risen loaf onto the peel and gently massage some extra flour onto the top of the loaf. Don’t worry if the loaf deflates a little; it will rise back in the oven. Score the loaf in a shallow cross or decorative pattern with a lame. (Don’t own a lame? Use a very sharp serrated knife.)
- Immediately slide the loaf onto the hot pizza stone. Bake the loaf for 10 minutes at 450 F, then lower the temperature to 425 F without opening the oven door and bake for another 20 minutes. The loaf should be a rich brown and have an internal temperature of 200 F.
- Let the loaf cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving, approximately 1 hour.
- The proving time will heavily depend upon the temperature of the room. Cool temperatures will slow down the yeast, while warm temperatures speed up the yeast. Be careful not to put the dough in a hot place, as it will cause the yeast to work too quickly and may kill it.
- Make this recipe even easier by making this bread in a loaf pan. Just shape the dough in a rectangle as wide as the long side of your pan. Roll it up tightly, pinch the seam to seal, and place it seam side down in the pan. Proceed with the recipe as written.
- The pleasure of a 5-star review for this recipe would be greatly appreciated.
- 👩🏻🍳 Want to see our latest recipes? Subscribe to our email newsletter to get our latest recipes, fun food facts, food puns, and behind the scenes news about our blog.
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: recipe, loaf