Thursday, May 15, 2014

Basic Wheat Sandwich Bread {Recipe}

Yesterday was gloomy, rainy and a bit cold for a spring day. So I did the only thing that makes sense to do on such a day. I baked. Besides it being the perfect baking day we also happened to be just about out of bread. This is our basic go to toast/sandwich bread recipe. We have been making it for several months now and we love it. It is easy, doesn't require much and is a lot lighter than most sandwich bread recipes I tried before it.

Basic Wheat Sandwich Bread
Makes 2 loafs

1 Cup warm (not hot) water
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 Cup milk 
(Usually I warm it up in the microwave a bit, do not get it hot!)
1/4 Cup honey
2 Tbs canola oil
1 Tbs salt
2 3/4 Unbleached all purpose flour
2 3/4 whole wheat flour

1. Pour the water in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle yeast over the top. Add in milk honey and oil, stir.

2. Add in 2 cups of the all purpose flour and stir to combine ingredients. Add in the remaining flours and mix to form a shaggy, half mixed dough. Let dough rest for 20 minutes.

3. After the dough has rested let the mixer knead the dough for 8-9 minutes. The dough is kneaded when it feels smooth, slightly tacky, forms a ball without sagging and springs back when poked. 

4. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with saran wrap to rise until it has doubled in size. This can take anywhere from 1-3 hours depending on how warm your house is. Do not rush this step. 

5. Divide the dough into two even balls and grease your loaf pans. Shape each ball into a loaf by flattening it out and folding it in thirds, pinching the bottom and side seams closed. Place seam side down in the loaf pans and let the loaves rise until they start to dome over the top of the pans 45 minutes to 1.5 hours. 

6. Heat the oven to 425 degrees about halfway through the rising process. 

7. Gently slash the top of the loaf being careful not to deflate the loaf and put in the oven. Immediately turn the heat down to 375 degrees and bake for 30-35 minutes. Typically I tint the loaves with a large piece of foil about halfway through the baking process. 

8. Remove the loaves from the pans and allow to cool completely before slicing. 

Loaves will keep for several days. You can also wrap in foil and freeze once they are cool if you wish to do so. Just be sure to allow the bread to defrost completely BEFORE unwrapping it from the foil. 


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