Wednesday, September 15, 2010

American Sandwich Bread

The Menu:
American Sandwich Bread

The Original Recipe:
Have you ever seen how many peservatives are in a loaf of bread? Have you ever noticed how many thing in a loaf of bread there are that don't need to be there? I have, and so this is my quest to make home made bread.
Have I ever mentioned that I am not a baker? Well, I am not. I can't bake worth a dime, so a very good friend of mine had me over to her house to watch her make this bread. She had made it before, and I absolutely loved it. It is pretty simple in fact, but there are a few things that could potentially go wrong. My first attempt didn't turn out so well. The bread tasted good, but it was like a brick and pretty chewy. I do believe I used to much flour. Did you know you are supposed to spoon your flour into the measuring cup and not just scoop it out of the bag with the cup itself? Apparently it makes a differnce. My second attempt at making the bread was right on! You have to try it for yourself. It really isn't all that time consuming. I would recommend this bread to anyone and everyone! I ate a slice with home made peach jam, and my second slice with home made strawberry rhubarb jam, and my initial slice with plain ol' melted butter. Did I mention just how Awesome this bread is? My husband is taking this to school today for lunch. It is light and fluffy and a perfect sandwich bread!

American Sandwich Bread

(Source: Baking Illustrated , pages 74-75 via the site browneyedbaker)

Makes one 9-inch loaf

This recipe uses a standing electric miser. You can hand-knead the dough, but we found it’s easy to add too much flour during this stage, resulting in a somewhat tougher loaf. To promote a crisp crust,we found it best to place a loaf pan filled with boiling water in the oven as the bread bakes.

3¾ cups (18¾ ounces) unbleached 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

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, then turn off the oven.

2. Mix 3½ cups of the flour and the salt in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook. Mix the milk, water, butter, honey, and yeast in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Turn the machine to low and slowly add the liquid. When the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and satiny, stopping 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.) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface; knead to form as mooth, round ball, about 15 seconds.

3. Place the dough in a very lightly oiled large bowl, rubbing the dough around the bowl to coat lightly. Coverthe bowl with plastic wrap and place in the warmed oven until the dough doubles in size, 40 to 50 minutes.

4. Gently press the dough into a rectangle 1 inch thick and no longer than 9 inches. WIth a long side facing you, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing with your fingers to make sure the dough sticks to itself. 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, 20 to 30 minutes.

5. Keep one oven rack at the lowest position and place the other at the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place an empty baking pan 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 at set the loaf onto the middle rack. 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 and serve

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