Sandwich Bread

sandwich bread

Have you ever gone to the grocery store, only to realize when you come home that you forgot an important item like milk or eggs?  Well this past week I went to Trader Joe’s and stocked up on lots of different items only to come home to find that we only had a few slices of bread left.  This obviously isn’t a problem for me since I’m gluten free, but my husband and my little buddy could live off of turkey sandwiches. I didn’t feel like running out to the store again so I decided, what the heck, I’ll just make my own.

Now hold your horses.

Don’t think that this is some feat only to be completed by expert bakers, or those that keep a stash of yeast packets in their home.  This is definitely not the case.  Just check out these ingredients:

  • flour
  • honey
  • butter
  • water
  • milk
  • yeast 
  • salt

Surprised? I bet that you either have all or 5/6 of these ingredients in your kitchen.  Well don’t you?!

If you have a kitchen aid mixer, you are golden.  If you don’t, then you are going to get an arm workout because yeast breads do require kneading.  If you don’t know how to knead, just YouTube it!

Anyway, this is my second attempt at making a sandwich bread recipe.  The first one was a few months ago, before I started blogging.  I loved that recipe and will probably blog about, comparing the two at some point.

When preparing this bread, you have to roll the dough tightly like you would if you were making cinnamon rolls.  I didn’t roll tight enough and this is what happened:

(My hubby was quite the hand model, hairy forearms and all!)

Note:  This is a sandwich bread recipe.  It doesn’t come out super sweet, like say, a dinner roll would.  It is quite sturdy, however, and longs to be slathered with mustard, mayo or butter.  It would be great for a grilled cheese, PB & J or turkey sandwich.  Homemade bread does need to be stored in an airtight container or frozen because it doesn’t last as long as store bought as it doesn’t have all those “shelf-life-preserving” preservatives.  Either way, it is good…at least my husband told me so…I’m gluten free, remember?

This may be gross, but with a lot of gluten recipes, I do take a taste to check for texture and flavor.  I just spit it out when my food assessment is complete.  You can call it willpower, I just call it “I don’t feel like spending my afternoon in the bathroom”……  You can call THAT TMI, but I call it the TRUTH…just keepin’ it real people!


Sandwich Bread

Ingredients

3¾ cups  unbleached or bleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup warm whole milk (about 110 degrees)
1/3 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons honey
1 envelope (about 2¼ teaspoons) instant yeast

Directions

  1. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Once the oven temperature reaches 200 degrees, maintain the heat for 10 minutes or so, then turn the oven off. 
  2. Briefly mix 3½ cups of the flour and the salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook until combined, don’t over do it!
  3. In a separate large measuring cup or bowl, combine the warmed milk, water, butter, honey, and the yeast packet and stir to combine.  Let it set for a minute.
  4. With the mixer on low,  slowly add the liquid mixture.  Once the dough starts to come together, increase the speed to medium and continue  mixing until the dough is smooth, about 7 or so minutes.  If needed stop the machine two or three times to scrape dough from hook, if necessary, about 10 minutes. (After 5 minutes of kneading, if the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time and up to ¼ cup total, until the dough is no longer sticky.)
  5. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface; knead for a few seconds to form a smooth ball.
  6. Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl, and roll it around to coast. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the warmed oven until the dough doubles in size, 40 to 50 minutes.  Keep the over door shut!
  7. Gently press the dough into a rectangle 1 inch thick and no longer than 9 inches.  Roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing with your fingers to make sure the dough sticks to itself (like a cinnamon roll). Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch it closed. Place the dough seam-side down in a greased 9 by 5-inch loaf pan and press it gently so it touches all four sides of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap; set aside in a warm spot until the dough almost doubles in size, around 30 minutes.
  8. Turn over to 350 and keep one oven rack at the lowest position and place the other in the middle position. Place an empty baking pan or large cookie sheet on the bottom rack. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Pour the boiling water into the empty pan on the bottom rack and then set the loaf pan on the middle rack.
  9. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted at an angle from the short end just above the pan rim into the center of the loaf read 195 degrees, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan, transfer to a wire rack, and cool to room temperature. Slice (thin!)  and serve.  Store in an airtight container

Note: Don’t over do the the flour when mixing.  I think I added a bit too much, causing my loaf to be a bit drier than I would have preferred.  The point of using a pan of water on the bottom rack during the cooking processes is to make the loaf crispier.  I might be tempted to try baking without it next time to see what happens!

 

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