January 3, 2013

Sandwich Bread I

There are a few food items that are on my list "to perfect", and one of them is sandwich bread.  I've blogged a white bread recipe once or twice before, each one just a little bit closer to the perfect white sandwich bread.  The last recipe I tried produced a perfect fluffy texture on the inside, and in a lot of ways was one of the best recipes I had tried to date.  The only flaw (if you want to call it that) is that it was difficult to cut into thin slices.  Thin slices are what you want when making a sandwich or toast.  Thick slices are perfect for french toast, but not always what you want when making a sandwich.

So, the search continued.  Then I stumbled upon this recipe from the King Aurthur website for classic white sandwich bread.  It claimed to cut nicely into perfectly thin slices, so of course I knew it would be the next bread recipe for me to try.  Well, this bread did not disappoint and most definitely lived up to the claims.   It cut so easily into wonderfully thin slices - I was very impressed!  Not only impressed, but very excited (do you get like that??), and I couldn't wait for my husband to try it.  He knows white bread, and I consider him to be an expert.  I've been trying to find a bread similar to the one his mom made every day when he was growing up.  

While he wasn't as excited as I was, he liked the bread very much.  I didn't get "This is just like my mom's bread!" reaction I was hoping for, however this recipe has moved up the ranks for me.  Being able to slice it easily into normal size slices scores big in my book, so for now this will probably be my new favorite white bread recipe....until the next one anyway!

Sandwich Bread I (adapted from a King Arthur recipe)

1 1/3 cups warm milk
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp instant / rapid rise yeast
1 3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, softened
4 cups all-purpose flour

Add all the ingredients to the bowl of stand mixer, fitted with a dough hook.  Mix on medium low for about 5 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.  Place in a lightly greased large bowl, cover it and place in a warm spot to rise for about an hour.

Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray.  Gently punch down the dough and shape it into a 9" log and place it into the loaf pan.  Cover loosely and let the dough rise for about another hour, or until it's risen to a good inch higher than the top of the pan.  Preheat oven to 350.  Place loaf pan in oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Check it at this point and if it's getting too brown, then you can cover it with aluminum foil.  Bake another 15-20 minutes, or until it's golden brown.  Remove from bread from oven and from the pan, and allow to cool on a wire rack.