Saturday, February 23, 2013

Sandwich Bread

Today we had a snow day! This is how much snow we got!
Actually we were out for ice. I think we could have just had a 2 hr. delay but I definitely did not let the extra day go to waste! The house is really clean, the menu plan is made and I also baked up some bread!
I found this recipe on Annie Eats. I love her site and have made many different things from her. 
I have made this bread before, actually it was the first recipe I have made with yeast. I was nervous to work with yeast but this recipe is so easy and proved to me I could do it. Since then I have made many other breads.
For dinner this week we will use the bread to make grilled deli sandwiches. Annie suggests to slice the bread, freeze it and take it out as needed. I will definitely do that as we won't go through the whole loaf this week.
If you have a fear of yeast I encourage you to try out this recipe. It is so easy and the results are quite delicious!
American Sandwich Bread
Source: Annie's Eats
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

*I did not have an instant yeast. So I had to "proof" the yeast. I mixed it in the measuring cup with the liquid ingredients at the 110 degree temperature. I let it sit and get bubbly for about 5 minutes then added it to the flour.

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 a smooth, 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. Cover the 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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