Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Classic Sandwich Bread

I've been practicing Deborah Madison's "Classic Sandwich Bread" recipe on and off for a year now.  Just never thought to blog it.  Not that I have a lot of time to bake homemade bread; however, if I know I'll get to have half a day at home - baking a good homemade bread is a wonderful way to spend my time.  

This particular recipe is in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

I've tried preparing this wonderful yeasted bread with the mixer/dough hook as well as by hand.  I really prefer the texture of the bread when I just use a wooden spoon and a bowl - I guess I tend to overmix when using the mixer.  Madison suggests substituting the AP flour with more nutritional versions such as quinoa, amaranth, spelt, and kamut.  I'm going to go with one of these options the next time I make the recipe.  So far, I've only baked the basic recipe.  It just comes out so beautifully.  It's so delicious and versatile -- and CHEAP!  My husband and I had a goal to dine thriftily this week.  This idea that started as another way to be thrifty has turned out to be a real treat.  My husband asked if I can make bread every week-----maybe if he helps.

I'm going to post the recipe -- but, buy this book.  It's wonderful for everyone - not just vegetarians!

2 1/4 teaspoons (1 envelope) active dry yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm milk
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 to 4 cups bread flour
Egg Glaze

In a small bowl, stir 1/2 cup of the water and the yeast together, add the sugar, and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.  In a larger bowl, combine the milk, remaining water, the honey, oil, and salt, then stir in the proofed yeast.  Using a wooden spoon or the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, work in the flour a cup at a timeuntil you have a shaggy,heavy dough that leaves the sides of the bowl.  Turn it out onto a lightly floured counter and gradually knead in the remaining flour until the dough is smooth and resilient, about 5 min.  Put in in a deep oiled bowl, turning it so that the top is oiled too.  Cover with a damp towel and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in bulk, an hour or longer.  

Deflate the doughby pressing down on it, then divide it into two equal pieces, shape into balls, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, oil two bread pans.  Flatten the dough into two rectangles the length of hte pan.  Roll it up tightly, pinch the seams together to seal the ends, and place in the pans, seam side down.  Cover again and let rise until hte dough is just above the edge of the pan, about 35 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 375.  Leave the dough as is or score the top with three diagonal slashes.  Brush with the egg glaze and bake until browned and pulling away from the sides, 40 to 45 minutes.  If the tops get too dark, cover loosely with foil. Turn the bread out, tap the  bottom to make sure it has a hollow sound, not a thud, then set on a rack to cool.  



pen* said...

have you tried to make in a wheat variety?

SMcLyon said...

I did try a molasses wheat --a different Deborah Madison recipe that I didn't think to blog. I'm kind of lazy about this sometimes. I also recently tried this same classic sandwich bread recipe, substituting the AP flour w/ Spelt! It was good. I really like it as toast.