Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sandwich Bread

I love bread. I am so pleased that I live in a time when the boom in artisanal bakeries has made it possible for me to experience breads made with all kinds of flours, fermentation methods and flavors. But every now and then I want to eat an old-fashioned American-style sandwich made with soft American-style sandwich bread. Unfortunately, the stuff available at the grocery store is generally tasteless or gummy and is loaded with preservatives. The solution, of course, is to make it yourself.

A few years ago I came across a sandwich bread recipe at the King Arthur website that is ideal for the style of sandwich I have described. It is easy to make, slices beautifully and is soft and tender. The only change I have made to the recipe is to incorporate a small amount of toasted wheat germ.

Lightly toasted, this bread makes a wonderful chicken salad sandwich:

Egg Salad, too:

I am certain that it would make a very fine cold meatloaf sandwich or even a nice fried egg sandwich with a thin slice of cheese. Because it is a bit fragile, I don't think it would stand up to peanut butter for a PB&J, or to anything too sloppy or juicy.

King Arthur billed this recipe as "Oatmeal Toasting and Sandwich Bread", but I use it almost exclusively for sandwiches. For the most part, I prefer toast made with a hearty whole grain bread, or a substantial sourdough or semolina. But I have to admit, that if someone were to serve me a warm slice of buttered toast made from this bread...with perhaps some homemade preserves on the side...I would manage to choke it down....

Oatmeal Sandwich Bread

2 1/4 t. active dry yeast (1 envelope)
1 1/4 c. lukewarm milk
2 1/2 to 3 c. unbleached bread flour
1/3 c. toasted wheat germ
1 c. old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 t. salt
2 T. unsalted butter, room temperature
3 T. honey

Place the milk in a large bowl and add the yeast. Let stand a few minutes to allow the yeast soften. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour along with the remaining ingredients and stir to form a shaggy dough. If the dough seems too wet, add the remaining flour, a little at a time—using only as much as is necessary to form a shaggy dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface

and knead until smooth and elastic (5 to 10 minutes).

Place the dough in a buttered bowl. Turn the dough to coat with butter and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise until doubled in bulk (about 1 ½ to 2 hours).

When the dough is fully risen, deflate it gently. Shape the dough into a fat log and place in a greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

Cover loosely with buttered plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.

You know it is ready if a slight indentation remains when the loaf is lightly pressed.  Bake in a preheated 350° oven until the internal temperature reaches 190°F—about 35 to 45 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely before slicing.  Makes 1 loaf.

(Adapted from King Arthur Flour Company)


Paige said...

Hi Chris! Without seeing your recipe, I'm not sure what happened. The honey in this recipe helps with browning. You might be in a pan that is too deep. Or it might have something to do with the material the pan is made out of. It could be any number of things. If the loaf is fully baked and has a nice texture, you probably didn't do anything wrong...were there pictures with the recipe you made so you know what it was supposed to look like?

aproseable thumbs said...

Hi Paige,

Love your blog! What a perfect vehicle for you to share your vast culinary expertise. Your writing skills are terrific and I feel that even a novice cook, such as myself, should have success trying some of these recipes. Is there a book in your future? Keep up the great work.

John Perkins, aka aproseablethumbs :-)

Paige said...

Hi John, Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your kind words! If you try a recipe off of the blog, let me know how it turns out for you. See you soon!

Paige said...

Hi Chris, I did not brush it with butter. Let me know how yours turns out!

Amanda said...

This bread looks delicious, have it bookmarked!

The Happy Whisk said...

Love, love, love making bread.

Paige said...

Thanks Chris!!