So, I’ve been making my own bread lately in an effort to save some money and make sure we aren’t eating any funky stuff.
Seriously, those breads that you buy at the store aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.
They seem like they should be good, all healthy and cracked wheat and nuts and seeds and all.
Some really weird stuff allowed in there.
Look it up but consider yourself warned.
You should just trust me and bake your own.
Besides, there’s something calming and fabulous about making your own bread.
Now, I know what you’re thinking.
Really, I do!
It’s a gift, actually.
You’re thinking that baking bread takes ALL DAY.
Um, I got your back. 🙂
You’re looking at about a 2 hour time investment.
For freshly baked bread.
From your own oven.
The smell of bread baking can fill more than just a house – it can fill your soul.
I mean, just think about the times you’ve walked past a bakery, whether it be in a grocery store or out on a quaint main street, and smelled freshly baked bread.
It’s like heaven!
You know your nose tipped up and wanted to follow those amazing wafting odors like your feet were floating just above the ground and had a mind of their own.
So, when I recreated a recipe (of course, I recreated it. This is ME we’re talking about here!) that received a hearty stamp of approval, I’ve been sticking with it. Haven’t bought a loaf of bread in a couple of months, actually. 🙂
This bread is PERFECT for sandwiches of all kinds!
Or, you could just toast up a slice and slather it with some peanut butter.
And so much better than anything you’ll find wrapped in plastic with a date stamped on it.
I promise. 🙂
Om nom nom!
The Best Sandwich Bread
makes 1 loaf
2 – 2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (I use King Arthur for both)
2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup warm milk (about 110 degrees) (I use 1% but you can use what you have)
1/3 cup warm water (about 110 degrees)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons raw honey
1 envelope (about 2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast
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 2 cups unbleached flour, 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour, wheat germ, chia seeds, and 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 mixer on to low and slowly add the liquid to the flour mixture. When the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix unit the dough is smooth and satiny, stopping the machine two or three times to scrape dough from the hook, if necessary, about 10 minutes. If, after 5 minutes of kneading, the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add the remaining flour, 1 tablespoon at a time and up to 1/4 cup total, until the dough is no longer sticky. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured 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 with plastic wrap and place in the warmed oven until the dough doubles in size, 40 to 50 minutes.
4. Gently pat the dough into an 8-inch square that measures 1-inch thick. Starting front the side farthest away from 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 x 5-inch loaf pan and press it gently so it touches all sides of the pan. Cover pan with plastic wrap and set aside until the dough almost doubles, 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. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and pour into an empty baking pan. Place on bottom rack of oven and set the loaf pan on 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 reads 195 degrees, about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan, transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
*Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
Talk to me – What’s your favorite sandwich? Do you pile it high like a Dagwood or do you believe in “less is more?”