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Sunday, February 21, 2010

White Sandwich Bread

Even if I hadn't purchased a 25 pound sack of flour and a bulk package of yeast at Costco I would like to think I would still make homemade bread.  This recipe is for a simple, all-American, white sandwich bread.  The type of bread that stands up to a thick slather of mustard and a pile of ham and cheese.  Not the kind of white bread that you can smush into a 1/2" cube between your fingers. Enjoy it with your favorite sandwich fixins or, like we do, warm and slathered with butter and drizzled with honey.  It's unbelievably good.

You'll Need:

1/3 cup water
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 cup milk
3 1/2 cups flour
3 Tb honey
2 Tb butter

Getting Started:

Heat water to about 110 degrees F (warm but not hot to the touch) and stir in yeast.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Yeast will be foamy.

Melt butter.

Heat milk to 110 degrees F.

Now You're Cookin':

Combine flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.

Add in milk, butter, honey and yeast mixture and stir with a spoon until the dough comes together into a ball.

Dump dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Knead for 10 minutes adding only as much additional flour as is necessary to keep it from sticking to your hands and the kneading surface.

Roll dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl.  Turn dough over to coat with oil.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, lightly oil a loaf pan.

Punch down dough and dump out onto a lightly floured surface.

Press dough into a roughly 1" thick rectangle.

Roll into a cylinder shape.  Pinch seam together and place loaf seam-side down.  Try to make your dough roll the same width as the loaf pan.  If longer than the loaf pan tuck ends under.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Boil 2 cups of water.

Once oven is preheated and water is boiling put an empty loaf pan, cake pan, or other medium sized baking dish on the lower oven rack and pour in boiling water.  The steam will help the bread develop a nice crust.

Place bread on upper rack (in the middle of the oven).

Bake 40-50 minutes.  Crust should be browned and firm and the interior of the loaf should register 190 degrees F.

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