Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hearty White Sandwich Bread

Hearty White Sandwich Bread Loaves by @javelinwarrior



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Fear Conquered: Homemade White Bread

“Do you want to buy a loaf of bread from me?” I ask rather timidly. I’m 12 years old and desperate to make money. Or at least desperate to find people to pay me money.

So I’m peddling homemade bread to friends, neighbors and church-goers. Because maybe someone with an appetite for the homemade will contract a 12-year-old as their personal baker. Not that 12-year-olds make for good personal bakers. At least not this particular 12-year-old.

Hearty White Sandwich Bread by @javelinwarrior

Truth be told, bread-baking holds very little excitement for this 12-year-old. Or passion. And weekly bread-baking for my two customers is just one more chore. A long, finicky, 4-hour chore resulting in unpredictable results. And sadly, I’m not above packaging the shameful bread disasters and pushing them on my customers. Yeah. Not a good personal baker.

Admittedly, lazy 12-year-old personal bakers desperate for money do not make a recipe for success. But learning to bake your own homemade bread - now that’s powerful stuff. No more squishable wonder(less) bread. No more preservatives. No more strange flavors. Just delicious aromas and warm baked bread.

And it’s a lot easier than you might think. Yeasted bread doesn’t have to be finicky and the results can always be beautiful. The proof is this bread. Just dump the ingredients into a bowl, knead everything together, let it rise a couple times, and bake. You can knead by hand (so satisfying) or make it easy on yourself and let a stand mixer do the work. You can even let your bread machine do the whole thing. Because bread can be easy.

Hearty White Sandwich Bread by @javelinwarrior

Just remember, if a lazy 12-year-old can do it (and get paid), so can you. Except maybe for the paid part.



STORY  |  PRINTABLE RECIPE  |  HUNGRY FOR TIPS?

Photo Tutorial

Warm Milk in Measure
Warm 2 1/2 cups of skim milk.

Yeast Dissolved in Warm Milk
Add 3 teaspoons active dry yeast and let yeast bloom for 5 minutes or so.

Oats Added to Yeast and Milk
Add 1 cup rolled oats to yeast and milk.

Flours Added to Wet Ingredients
Add 3 cups unbleached all purpose flour and 3 cups unbleached bread flour.

Melted Butter in Measure
Add 1/2 cup melted unsalted butter.

Butter Added to Flour
Add remaining ingredients to the dough.

Mixing Dough Together with Wood Spoon
Mix dough thoroughly to combine.

Dough Mixed But Shaggy
Roughly knead the dough in the bowl until it begins to pull together.

Dough Turned Out Onto Floured Surface
Gather the dough into a rough ball and turn out onto a generously floured surface.

Dough Resting After Kneading
Knead the dough for 5 minutes, then let rest for 10 minutes; knead for another 5 minutes.

Dough Gathered into Bowl and Covered with Plastic
Form dough into a ball and return to the mixing bowl. Cover with oiled plastic rack and let the dough rise in a warm location.

Dough After Bulk Rise
Let the dough rise for at least 60 minutes until doubled in size.

Dough After Deflating
Deflate the dough and knead for 2 minutes.

Dough Gathered into Bowl for 2nd Rise
Gather the dough into a ball and return to the bowl.

Dough After 2nd Rise
Cover the dough with the oiled plastic wrap and let rise for 30 minutes.

Deflated Dough Split in Half
Deflate the dough the divide in half.

Shaped Loaves in Bread Pans
Form each half of the dough into a loaf and place in greased bread pans.

Loaves Sprinkled with Oats
Brush the loaves with egg wash and sprinkle of rolled oats.

Loaves After Proofing
Let the loaves rise for approximately 30-40 minutes until doubled.

Bread Loaves After Baking
Bake the loaves for 40 minutes until browned.

Hearty White Sandwich Bread Loaves by @javelinwarrior
Let the loaves cool in the bread pans for 10 minutes, then turn out the loaves onto a wire rack and let cool completely.



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Hearty White Sandwich Bread

    by Javelin Warrior
     Prep Time: 2 hr 30 min
     Cook Time: 40 min

Ingredients (2 loaves)
    Traditional Loaves
    • 2 1/2 cups milk, warmed (105-115℉)
    • 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
    • 1 cup (110 grams) rolled oats, plus more for sprinkling
    • 3 Tablespoons honey
    • 3 cups (435 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
    • 3 cups (435 grams) unbleached bread flour
    • 1 Tablespoon vital wheat gluten
    • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • Organic shortening (for greasing bread pans)
    Egg Wash
    • 1 large egg
    • 1 Tablespoon milk
    Bread Machine
    • 1 1/8 cups milk, warmed (105-115℉)
    • 1/2 cup (55 grams) rolled oats
    • 1 1/2 Tablespoons honey
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    • 3 cups (435 grams) unbleached bread flour
    • 1 teaspoon vital wheat gluten
    • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
    Instructions

    Traditional Loaves
    1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm milk with your fingers; set aside for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to bloom
    2. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl in the order listed and mix together thoroughly with a large wooden spoon until the dough gathers into a sticky mass (you can alternatively use a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook)
    3. Turn out the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, adding extra flour as necessary if the dough is too sticky to work with (you can alternatively use a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook); after kneading, let the dough rest for 10 minutes, then knead again for 5 minutes
    4. Gather the dough into a ball and return to the mixing bowl; cover with oiled plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 1 hour; punch down and deflate the dough, gather into a ball, re-cover with the plastic wrap and let rise for another 30 minutes
    5. Make the egg wash by thoroughly beating together the egg and milk with a fork; set aside. Grease two bread pans with shortening
    6. After the dough’s final rise, deflate and gather the dough into a ball; divide the dough in half; shape each half into an oval loaf, transfer to the prepared bread pans and brush the loaves with egg wash and sprinkle with rolled oats
    7. Let the loaves rise in a warm place for 30 to 40 minutes until doubled in size and preheat the oven to 375℉ during the final 15 minutes of the rise
    8. Bake the loaves for 30 minutes (if using metal pans) or 40 minutes (if using glass or ceramic pans), then remove from the oven and let the loaves cool in the pans for 10 minutes; turn out the loaves and serve immediately for best flavor (or cool completely for best slicing texture)
    Bread Machine
    1. Following the order listed, add the Bread Machine ingredients to the basket fitted with the mixing paddle(s); select the French Bread (or White Bread) cycle for a 2 pound loaf and start the machine (the bread machine will do the rest)
    2. After the bread machine completes the bake cycle, turn out the baked loaf and serve immediately for best flavor or cool completely for best slicing texture
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    STORY  |  PHOTO TUTORIAL  |  PRINTABLE RECIPE

    Hungry for Tips?
    • Substitutions: If you don’t have honey, use granulated sugar (the flavor changes slightly). If you don’t have vital wheat gluten, you can leave it out (the texture isn’t quite as lovely). If you don’t have bread flour, you can use all all-purpose (although the gluten may not be be quite as resilient or easily activated). If you don’t want to use butter, use olive oil instead (the bread won’t be quite as soft).

      Melted Butter in Measure
       
    • Bread Pans: I use ceramic CorningWare bread pans which I love. But glass or metal pans work just fine. If you use metal pans, reduce the bake time 5 to 10 minutes. If you don’t have bread pans, you can instead bake the loaves in two large soufflĂ© dishes or even in large oven-safe bowls. Just make sure you generously grease your baking dishes of choice so you can get the loaves out.

      Loaves Sprinkled with Oats
       
    • Stand Mixer: You definitely do not need a machine to bake this bread. I typically do the whole thing by hand, without ever touching a stand mixer, but if you prefer to let the machine do the work, the bread turns out virtually the same. And for those of you with a bread machine (a wonderful kitchen appliance I highly recommend), the bread turns out delicious every time.
       
    • Shaping: The most important part of shaping the loaves is to deflate the dough and tuck any seams or edges under the loaf so that as the loaves rise and bake, so unsightly air pockets or seams don't pop out. Beyond that, use any technique you like to shape the loaves.

      Shaped Loaves in Bread Pans



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    3 comments:

    1. Great crumb structure on your bread! We bake all our own bread these days, and it's so worth it. And it really doesn't take that much time or effort once you get into it. Super recipe. lovely photos -- thanks.

      ReplyDelete
    2. I agree, John, homemade bread can really fit into most schedules once you get the hang of it. All you need is a few hours around the house to "monitor" things...

      ReplyDelete
    3. I agree with John - great crumb structure! What a gorgeous loaf of bread! For years I made all of our bread, then spent may years buying it. Two years ago I got back into and have been making our bread every since. Just love it!

      ReplyDelete