Homemade sandwich bread
I’ve heard that whatever activity you’re doing on the first day of the new year will be what you do for the rest of it. To kick off 2019, I had the idea to make homemade bread.
In the past I’ve made homemade cookies, other pastries and meals so I thought it wouldn’t be too difficult to make fresh homemade bread. Little did I know I was wrong but along this short journey I have now found a new hobby — bread making.
What attracted me to the idea of making homemade bread is knowing what ingredients I am putting in my body. Another bonus, as I am trying to be cut down on my use of plastic, is not purchasing bagged bread as this plastic cannot be recycled.
I started by diving into the world of making white sandwich bread. I looked at my recipe and went out to buy the ingredients, luckily I had everything I needed except yeast. I knew nothing about yeast. I’m still learning about yeast and how it works to be completely honest.
But alas, I overcame this obstacles and came out with a couple bread loaves.
The bread is not overly sweet. It’s simple and fresh. The smell reminds me of walking into a bakery in the morning. It creates the classic homey smell, you can smell the yeast wafting from the oven.
It’s a bread with substance. The crust isn’t thick so there’s no need to cut it off. It also is soft but firm. This makes it a multi-purpose bread. It tastes as bread should — simple.
Another perk to this recipe is it makes two loaves of bread and it freezes excellently. You can store it in a ziplock or cotton linen bag.
As in the name it makes great sandwich bread, it toasts perfectly and the butter will melt right into it. It also makes amazing French toast as the bread absorbs the egg batter perfectly. It can be used for garlic bread, homemade croutons among many other carb-centric recipes.
Homemade sandwich bread
Makes 2 loaves
2 1/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
5 1/2 cups of flour
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons oil
To begin, get hot water, 100 degree Fahrenheit according to the active dry yeast packet. Add the active dry yeast and let it sit about 30 seconds before mixing it into to the water. Also add a pinch of sugar. Let sit for ten minutes.
Within ten minutes you’re yeast should either look bubbly or foamy. If not, the yeast is not active and the bread will not rise. It is important to make sure the water is hot enough otherwise the yeast will not bubble or look foamy.
Begin adding the flour, salt, oil and sugar. Mix till smooth. It’s best to not add too much flour at once as it can easily become too much flour. You can always add more, you can’t remove the flour once it’s mixed in.
Mix in half cup of flour at a time to the water and yeast mixture. The dough should be tacky but not sticky.
Put flour down on your work surface and either a little oil or flour on your hands and knead the bread for 5 to 7 minutes. Roll the dough into a ball.
Oil a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough ball sit for one hour. The dough should be doubled in size.
After one hour, press down on the dough to de-gas it. Cut the dough in half creating two pieces.
Roll out the two pieces of dough on your work surface with a rolling pin to fit the length of an 5 inch by 9 inch glass pan. The dough should be about 8 inches in length. Starting from the short side, roll the dough into a cylindrical shape.
Place the rolled dough halves into a lightly greased bread pan with the seam side facing down. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit once more for an hour. The dough should continue to rise.
This step is important to do so the bread becomes uniform. My first time I made the mistake of not letting it sit an extra hour and it had a swirl to it and didn’t hold it’s form.
Brush melted butter on top if you wish to add an extra buttery flavor.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and cook for 30 to 35 minutes till golden brown. If you tap the bread it should sound hollow when it’s done.
Let cool and serve.
To see the original recipe, visit http://lilluna.com/basic-homemade-bread-recipe/.