I wanted to make bread the other day. It was a bit of a whim, but as soon as it caught hold, I was determined to do it. I only had all-purpose organic white flour on hand, so I decided I would make white sandwich bread. All I needed to do was get a good recipe.
The Baker Upstairs came through, and I am so excited about how this bread loaf turned out. The biggest difference between how I did it and how the original was done is that I didn’t use a stand mixer. Because, well, I don’t have one. So I did it all by hand.
Now, the key to a good bread is kneading it. That can be intimidating, but I didn’t think too hard about it and just went for it. I found that I could feel as the bread got to where it needed (haha, get it?) to be. Kneading gets the gluten to get all elastic-y and creates the texture of the bread. When you get it to that point, the dough resists being pulled apart more. It holds itself in a big ball that’s easy to plop into the bowl to rise.
How to knead is actually quite simple. You push and spread the dough and you fold it back over. Over and over and over. In different directions. Do it on a floured or otherwise non-stick surface with floured hands, and don’t be afraid to add more flour whenever things start getting sticky.
The biggest problem I had was that I have two loaf pans and this makes three loaves. As a result, the last loaf didn’t come out as perfect because it went through a third rise, which just didn’t work as well. I will be getting another loaf pan before I make this again.
When these loaves came out and cooled enough to eat, quite a bit of the first loaf disappeared within an hour. My hubby shared the first slice with our toddler. Then we each devoured another slice with our chicken alfredo (made with spaghetti squash noodles from squash from my garden).
I’ve also been using it to make pb&j sandwiches, and it holds up well as a sandwich bread.
And the crust on it…just perfect, you guys. It really is. It’s not too tough and the top is buttery.
Is your mouth watering yet? Okay, go make this.