Elegant White Bread

Yield: 1 extra large loaf


  • 6-7 cups flour all purpose flour, divided
  • 3 tbsp gluten
    • Omit the gluten if you're using bread flour
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp shortening
  • 4 1/2 tsp dry yeast
  • 2 1/4 cups warm water


  1. In a large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, gluten, sugar, salt, shortening, and yeast.  Mix well.
  2. Add the warm water and mix until you've got a slurry, scraping the sides occasionally.
  3. Add enough remaining flour to form a dough.
  4. Knead for 10 minutes.
  5. Place in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let sit in a warm place until doubled in size, about 45-60 minutes.
  6. Punch to dough down and place it on the countertop.  If it's sticky, use a little flour so you can handle it.
  7. Divide the dough into 1/3 and 2/3 pieces.  Knead the larger portion, and then form into a round loaf with the seam-side down.  Place on parchment paper and set aside.
  8. With the remaining 1/3 dough, knead and then roll into a large rectangle.  Use a wire cooling rack to press straight lines into the dough.  Then use a pizza cutter to cut into narrow strips.  You'll need 18 pieces.
  9. (This Youtube video shows the assembly steps)
  10. Layer three strips of dough across the top, and three three strips perpendicular.  Next, lay three strips in the diagonal, and three strips on the opposite diagonal.
  11. Life up one of the trio of strips, and put the end of three strips underneath.  Wrap the trio around the loaf, alternating over/under.
  12. Repeat step #10, switching the how the pattern was alternated.
  13. At the bottom edge, take the left & right piece of each trio and twist them together.  Tuck underneath the loaf.
  14. Take the remaining "middle" piece and tuck under the loaf.
  15. Place somewhere warm to rise for 30-45 minutes.  Optionally, you can place a springform pan ring around the loaf to keep it contained, though that will "squish" the pattern on the edges.
  16. Bake at 425°F for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown.

Adapted from Betty Crocker and Scrumdiddlyumptious.