Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Basic Sandwich Bread

When I found this recipe over at The Frugal Girl (over a year ago) I decided to give it a shot. We liked the occaisonal loaf of homemade bread, but I never was too keen on the whole kneading thing, so I attempted it in my bread machine. It was one big.fat.flop. So I threw it away and never attempted again.

Fast forward a year and I was itchin' to try and make sandwich bread again so I could break free from the chains of having to buy bread at the store each week. I tried it just like Ms. Frugal herself and used the KitchenAid for the mixing, and then I kneaded the dough by hand. I know. Stop.the.World.

But guess what?!? It turned out FABULOUSLY! And it was EASY! And my arm muscles are getting so much more defined now that I knead our own bread! Okay, that last one may be more credit to Jillian than to the bread, but whatev.

So, we no longer purchase bread at the store. I just make a batch of this each Monday morning and we're good to go for the week. Don't be discouraged if this bread doesn't turn out 100% wonderful after your first, second or even tenth try. It takes practice. And experience. But you'll get the hang of it. The more you learn, the better it will turn out! So get kneading!

And here are some of Frugal Girl's "pointers" posts about bread baking, which have helped to improve my bread baking skills TREMENDOUSLY!!

How to Knead Bread Dough
A Lesson on Gluten
Gluten and Kneading
Troubleshooting Yeast Bread I
Troubleshooting Yeast Bread II
Does Homemade Bread Save Money?


5 3/4-6 1/4 c. All-Purpose Flour
2 1/4 t. (equivalent to one packet) Active Dry Yeast
2 1/4 c. Water
2 T. Sugar
1 T. Vegetable Oil
2 t. Salt


In a large standing mixer bowl, combine 2 1/2 cups of flour and yeast. In the microwave, heat water, sugar, oil, and salt to 115-120 degrees (use a candy thermometer for this). Add hot liquids to flour and yeast. Beat at low speed until combined, then beat at high speed for 3 minutes. Add enough additional flour to make a soft, but kneadable dough, and turn out onto a floured surface. Knead for 5-10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Put dough back into mixing bowl, cover with wet tea towel, and let rise in a warn, draft free place for 1 hour. Punch dough down, divide into two pieces, and roll into a rectangle, about 6″x18″. Starting from the short end, roll up jelly-roll style and place into two greased 4×8 inch loaf pans. Cover with wet tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft free place for 30-40 minutes, or until doubled. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool before slicing.

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