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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Classic Sandwich Bread

I'm on sort of a bread kick for some reason. I have a couple more bread varieties planned in the next week or so, but this one is a classic sandwich bread. I was extremely pleased with this recipe (it's an old Cook's Illustrated originally). The loaf it turned out had a great texture and was moist like sandwich bread should be without being too gummy. I added a bit of whole wheat flour to the original recipe to give it a little more taste and texture (not to mention those whole grain health benefits). Michael really enjoyed this bread and even had some toasted with butter and garlic with his supper last night.

Coming up soon will be a 7-Grain Bread with oats which I hope will turn out as great as this bread did! Do you have a favorite bread recipe? Let us know about it in the comments!

: Sandwich Bread
Luscious homemade bread perfect for sandwiches and toast.
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup warm whole milk (about 110)
  • 1/3 cup warm water (about 110)
  • 2 tbs. unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbs. agave syrup
  • 1 envelope (about 2 1/4 teaspoons) rapid rise yeast
  1. Set oven to 200° and immediately turn off the oven when heated.
  2. In bowl of electric mixer fitted with dough hook attachment, mix together the 3 cups of the all-purpose flour, the whole wheat flour, and salt.
  3. In large measuring cup mix together warm milk, warm water, melted butter, agave syrup, and yeast.
  4. With mixer on low speed, add wet ingredients to dry. Increase mixer speed to medium low (about 2 or 3 on Kitchen Aid mixers) until dough comes together. If necessary, scrape down sides of bowl. When dough comes together increase speed to medium and knead the dough until it forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl (about 5 minutes). If dough is still sticking to sides of bowl, add more flour by tablespoons until dough forms a nice smooth and satiny ball.
  5. Lightly grease or spray a large bowl. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface and knead by had about 15 seconds. Form into a boule shape and place in greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and place in oven and allow to rise until about doubled in size - 50-60 minutes.
  6. Grease an 9x5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
  7. Remove dough from bowl and place on lightly floured work surface. Pat the dough into an 8-inch square shape. Beginning at side closest to you, roll the square up making sure to keep the roll very tight. Pinch together the seams and ends. Place dough in prepared loaf pan making sure to spread the dough so that it touches all four sides of the pan.
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and place in warm place to rise until doubled in size - about 30-40 minutes. Meanwhile, place a baking dish on lowest rack of oven and adjust second rack so that it sits just above it but no higher than middle position. When dough is just about read, preheat oven to 350°.
  9. Boil 2 cups of water. Remove plastic wrap from loaf pan and place in oven. Pour boiling water into the heated baking dish (be careful, it will create a lot of steam!) Close door and allow bread to bake until golden brown on top and it makes a hollow sound when thumped, about 40-50 minutes. The internal temperature on an instant read thermometer inserted into end of loaf should read 195°.)
  10. Remove bread from oven and turn out of loaf pan onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving.
Note: If you cannot find agave syrup in your local store, you may substitute honey in equal amounts.

Preparation time: 1 hour(s) 35 minute(s)
Cooking time: 50 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12
Culinary tradition: USA (General)

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