Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kitchen Adventures: American Sandwich Bread

These days American Sandwich Bread is something you buy in the bread aisle in the store. Most of the time it has a couple, or several unrecognizable ingredients listed. It usually has high fructose corn syrup, however this is not the time to discuss my views on high fructose corn syrup.  Needless to say, American-style sandwich bread isn't something people often think of investing the time to make from scratch.

That's silly. The Baking Illustrated recipe uses a mere seven ingredients: flour, salt, milk, water, butter, honey and yeast. The yeast is rapid rise, which will essentially halve your first and second rise time.  It's definitely worth it.
Mmm, bread!

Admittedly, this recipe does require a mixer with a dough hook to do your heavy lifting for you or in this case kneading.  However if you're serious about baking (or even cooking) you should most likely invest in a decent heavy duty model with a warranty.
A blur of kneading action
The first rise take 40-50 minutes and then you shape it into your loaf pan for it's second rise, which takes 20-30 minutes.
Ready to rise for the first time
Second rise complete, ready for the oven!
Lastly it's off to the oven to bake until the internal temperature of the bread is approximately 195 degrees Fahrenheit. Your home will smell like delicious baking bread and may have other members of your household salivating. It's tempting to snag a slice of this fresh out of the oven, but allow it to cool for at least 20 minutes before you slice into it.  You will be less likely to tear up the beautiful loaf!
This recipe was simple and the results were worth it.  The bread resembles its mass produced cousins only in appearance, because it tastes pleasantly of yeast and honey.  It's delicious in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and Eric can attest to its performance as toast.