Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Sandwich Bread

So I'm just starting to really get involved in this whole bread making business. I have had great success (and rave reviews) with the Garlic Knots. Then I saw this recipe on my Reader and was instantly intrigued.

For starters, Annie's blog is awesome (seriously, I have no idea how she has so many hours in her day) so I knew the recipe would be great. But I was overall interested in seeing how hard it would be to make our own sandwich bread.

I copied this recipe from her site but put my notes in italics.

3 1/2 c AP flour + extra for surface
2 t salt
1 c warm whole milk (about 110)
1/3 c warm water (about 110)
2 T butter, melted
3 T honey
1 envelope (about 2 ¼ tsp.) instant (or Rapid Rise) yeast

Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 200. Once the oven temperature reaches 200, maintain the heat for 10 minutes, then turn off the oven.

Mix flour and salt in the bowl of a stand 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 the 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. I added flour and I don't think I should have. It would have been fine without it, just a tad bit stickier than I preferred.) Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface; knead to form a smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds.

Place the dough in a very lightly oiled large bowl, rubbing the dough around the bowl to coat lightly. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the warmed oven until the dough has doubled in size, about 40-50 minutes.

On a floured work surface, 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. (I am 99% sure I did this step wrong as well.)

Place the dough seam-side down in a greased 9×5-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, 20-30 minutes.

Keep one oven rack at the lowest position and place the other at the middle position and heat the oven to 350. Place an empty baking pan on the bottom rack. Bring two cups of water to boil in a small saucepan. Pour the boiling water into the empty pan on the bottom rack and 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 reads 195, 40-50 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan, transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

Slice and serve. (And don't forget to take the pan of water out of your oven!)

Oh. Em. Gee.

This bread is phenomenal. The honey gives it just a hint of sweetness. And it's definitely dense enough to hold up to any sandwich you can think of.

I wish the crust would have come out a little prettier but I emailed Annie about it and she told me it could be the use of too much flour. The humidity could also be affecting it. Which makes sense because South Louisiana is very possibly the most humid place on the planet. So I'll definitely take that into consideration when I make it again. And I'll definitely be making this again very, very soon!

Thanks, Annie!

Annie's Eats

1 comment:

  1. Congrats on continuing to become more comfortable with yeast! It is so fun as you learn to do more and more things. Those garlic knots are one of my most favorite recipes! Glad you enjoyed the bread and I hope my suggestions were helpful.
    :) Annie