About ten years ago I bought my first (and only) bread machine. My sole intent for was one purpose only; I could not seam to make a yeast bread dough and knead it enough. My few sad attempts were flat or rocks (or both) and I knew I was just too impatient to knead it correctly (and I did not have a stand mixer either, only a small $9 Walmart special hand mixer).
After I got my bread dough machine and started to make breads I realized an important fact; My family and I didn't like bread machine breads. We didn't like the shape or the size or the texture. But if I used my bread machine to mix, knead and raise and then removed the dough to make my own bread loaves, braids, buns, etc; it was perfect and we loved it.
For ten years I've been using this recipe for everything from bread to cinnamon rolls to buns and bread bowls and more. It's a basic white dough recipe that is forgiving and simple. I've adapted the recipe to be mixed in my KitchenAid stand mixer simply by messing up one day while making bread but not really thinking about what I was doing. I grabbed this recipe and the stand mixer I use to mix my pizza dough and before I knew it I had the bread paddle going with this recipe. I waited to see what would happen but it worked! So feel free to adapt this recipe to your own styles and uses. It accepts garlic powder and salt and Italian spices well and I've never had it fail on me.
Classic White Bread Dough
12 oz. water
1 1/2 t salt
2 T butter
4 c bread flour or all purpose flour
2-3 T dry milk (I pour it in but never measure)
2 T sugar
1 3/4 t dry yeast (although I don't always measure this either as mine comes from a large jar). One package is 2 1/4 t though so leave about a teaspoon and it's about right.
Place into your bread machine in order listed (water, salt butter, flour, milk, sugar, yeast) unless of course your machine has a different order needed to achieve results (some make you do the dry first). I put them in this order in my KitchenAid mixer by accident and pulsed it to mix for the first minute or so and then left it on the lowest level to knead for about 10-15 minutes and then left it to raise, punched it down, kneaded it a little bit and left it to raise again and it worked out great.
Use the dough as you want. For bread it makes 2 loaves - bake about 25 minutes at 350. I used it last week for homemade hamburger buns which are FAR more filling than the airy store bought versions and fill up my hungry teens much better and faster than the little store bought versions.