When I made my resolution to learn to how to make bread and also to not be scared of the process I actually came up with a list of different kinds of bread that I wanted to try. So far I’ve made French Bread, Garlic Knots and now Classic Sandwich Bread. I bet you’re dying to know what else was on that list but I’ll keep it to myself for now!
In an effort to save some money (aren’t we all trying to do that!!) I decided to try my hand at sandwich bread. I deemed this bread quite successful! I couldn’t blog about it without testing it first, even if it is 9:00 at night and I’m going to bed in an hour our so! I sampled the bread with some butter and that was all. It was delicious, quite honestly I was doing a little dance as I ate it! Does anyone else do that? I can’t wait for my husband to sample the bread when he gets home from work! My favorite part of the bread was the crust. It was crunchy and didn’t have that almost burnt taste that some store bought bread has. I wish that this bread would have made more than one loaf so I could freeze it but I’ll probably just double the recipe next time.
I found this recipe on the King Arthur Flour website. That is becoming my go to site for good bread recipes! I also checked out 4 cookbooks from the Library and 2 of them are King Arthur Flour cookbooks. I can’t wait to dive into them!
On a side note, those of you who are staying away from bread baking because you don’t have a stand mixer should give bread making a try! I don’t have a stand mixer either (sad!!) but I do have a hand mixer with dough hook attachments (they look like cork screw curly Q’s). That attachment has worked just fine. I can knead by hand with the best of them! Good luck!
Classic Sandwich Bread
source: King Arthur Flour
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour*
1/2 cup milk (skim, 1%, 2% or whole, your choice)**
1/2 to 2/3 cup hot water, enough to make a soft, smooth dough**
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) melted butter, margarine or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 packet active dry yeast dissolved in 1 tablespoon warm water OR 2 teaspoons instant yeast
*For added whole-grain goodness, substitute great-tasting King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour for up to half of the all-purpose flour in this recipe.
**Mix the cold-from-the-refrigerator milk with 1/2 cup of the hot-from-the-tap water to make a lukewarm combination.
Mixing: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. (You may also knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine set to the dough or manual cycle). Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 60 minutes, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
Shaping: Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8-inch log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 60 minutes, until it’s domed about 1 inch above the edge of the pan. A finger pressed into the dough should leave a mark that rebounds slowly.
Baking: Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for about 35 minutes, until it’s light golden brown. Test it for doneness by removing it from the pan and thumping it on the bottom (it should sound hollow), or by measuring its interior temperature with an instant-read thermometer (it should register 190°F at the center of the loaf). Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a wire rack before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature. Yield: 1 loaf.