In the past few years, my family has worked hard to be very earth and health conscious. My reasoning for this is simple; I’d rather spend money on good food instead of doctors and I’d like to leave this world a better place for my son. So, we eat primarily organic–everything from the grocery store is organic or local, but there is the occasional going out and eating at a restaurant that might not be. We recycle, we use cloth wipes, cloth diapers, and very rarely use paper products. So, it just makes sense that I would now be turning my attention to becoming self-sustaining. Ideally, I want chickens and a dairy cow. But, for now, a garden and making food from scratch will have to do.
I have found myself not trusting already prepared foods. If it has more than five ingredients and/or words I cannot pronounce let alone know what purpose they serve in my food, they’re out. This is why I’ve starting making our own sandwich bread. My husband gave me a few requirements–fluffy, not crumbly, and moist–and when looking for a recipe, I took them into consideration. We’ll call it beginners luck because on my first try I found the perfect one!
The Perfect Sandwich Bread (For Beginners)
2 cups warm water
2 TBSP sugar
1 packet of yeast (1 TBSP)
5 1/2 cups of All Purpose Flour
1 TSP Salt
2 1/2 TBSP Softened Butter
Wooden cutting board
(2) 9X5 pans
Two mixing bowls
Proof your yeast first!!! I cannot stress this enough because I had yeast fail me and ended up having to make a double batch of bread. Think lots of bread and lots of extra kneading. So, follow my advice and pour two cups of warm water into a bowl and dissolve your sugar. Then add yeast and dissolve, too.
Leave to sit for 10 minutes. When you return the top should be covered with bubbles and that’s how you know it’s good to go.
Next, remove your rings if you intend to mix/knead by hand. Then add in the flour and salt. Cut the butter into smaller pieces and add them in as well.
Now you’re ready to get your hands dirty. Get to kneading, you’ve got a ways to go. Somewhere between 10-20 minutes your dough will come together to be smooth, elastic, and it will stop sticking to your bowl/hands.
When this happens, move your dough to a larger, clean bowl for its first rise. Oil a piece of plastic wrap and gently lay it over the top of your dough. Cover the bowl with two dish towels and put it in a warm area to rise for one hour. Now, go do something fun.
After the first rise, your dough will be quite large. Knead it again in the bowl so that all the air is out and then transfer dough to a wooden cutting board coated with flour.
Here you will split the dough into two equal parts. Knead the first piece while shaping it into an oval. Then place into the lightly greased bread pan. Repeat with the second piece.
Now, preheat your oven to 350° and set your pans on top of the stove to do the next hour rise. Leave them uncovered this time.
When your second rise is finished, your oven will be ready and so will your dough. Put both pans in the oven and cook for 35 minutes.
When cooked, remove from oven and leave five minutes to cool. After five minutes, remove your bread from the pans and leave to finish cooling COMPLETELY on a bread wrack.
When COMPLETELY cool, cut into slices, bag, date, and store them. They will last up to four days out on the counter or in the fridge. If you won’t use two loaves quickly, I recommend freezing one.
There you go! Super delicious and simple sandwich bread with a wonderful texture!
Also, I’ve made this bread with half white flour and half whole grain, still super delicious and it doesn’t take as long to knead.