Basic Learning Loaf

Makes 2 loaves / For a heartier loaf, you can substitute whole-wheat flour for up to 2 cups all-purpose flour.

1/2 cup water
2 scant tablespoons or 2 (1/4-ounce) packages active dry yeast
1-1/2 cups low-fat or skim milk
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil or butter, softened
2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
2 tablespoons wheat bran
5-1/2 - 6 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1. Heat water to about 110º. In a large bowl, sprinkle yeast over water. Heat milk to about 110º and add to yeast mixture along with salt, sugar, oil, wheat germ, bran, and 3 cups flour. Beat vigorously. Add flour, a little at a time, until dough pulls away from bowl sides.

2. Turn dough onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl and turn to coat. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

3. Turn dough onto a lightly oiled work surface and divide in half. Roll each half into a 10x14-inch rectangle, then roll into a cylinder. Pinch loose edges. Place, seam-side down, into two greased 8x4-inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise until almost doubled.

4. Preheat oven to 375º. Bake 30 minutes, or until done. Immediately remove from pans and cool on racks.