Sandwich Bread

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    1

    ( 2 pound 900 gram ) loaf

Appears in

If you want to make a softer bread with a more delicate crumb, and one with a classic sandwich bread shape, here is a dough that uses buttermilk as both a gentle flavoring device and as a fat to soften the bread.

Both the Basic Dutch Oven Bread and this sandwich bread work well for a hearty BLT. I would use this bread for a from-scratch Turkey Club.

Ingredients

  • 18 ounces/480 grams bread flour or all-purpose flour (about cups)
  • cups/360 milliliters buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 ounces/90 grams room temperature butter, cut in thirds
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon/15 grams kosher salt
  • Egg wash: 1 large egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk (optional)

Method

Combine the flour, buttermilk, egg, honey, butter, and yeast in the bowl of a standing mixer (or a mixing bowl if kneading by hand) and mix with a dough hook (or sturdy spoon) till a dough forms. Add the salt and continue mixing (or kneading) until the dough is very smooth and elastic. Pull off a piece of dough; if you can stretch it so that it becomes translucent, the dough is properly mixed. This should take a few minutes in a mixer. Be careful, because it’s possible to overmix the dough using the mixer, in which case it won’t have quite the same rise. (It’s difficult to overknead dough by hand.)

Cover the bowl and allow the bread to rise for 2 hours, or until it’s doubled in volume (times can vary depending on how hot your kitchen is). If the dough begins to deflate, it has risen too long and may be compromised to some extent.

Transfer the dough to a floured board and punch it down to release the gas and redistribute the yeast. Cover it with a dish towel and let it rest for 10 minutes. Shape the dough into a boule by cupping the dough between both hands and moving the boule around in a circle until it forms a tight ball. Then roll the boule back and forth into a cylinder the length of your loaf pan.

Coat the loaf pan with cooking spray. Place the dough in the pan, cover it with a towel, and let it rise for 1 hour.

Preheat your oven to 450°F/230°C.

When the dough has risen, remove the towel and make one slash lengthwise along the top of the dough. If you would like a beautiful browned crust on top, brush the egg wash over the top of the loaf. Put the pan in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375°F/190°C and continue to bake for another 30 minutes, or until it’s done. It should sound slightly hollow when tapped and an instant read thermometer should read at least 200°F/93°C or higher. Allow it to cool completely before slicing.