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Monday, February 9, 2009

Light Wheat Sandwich Bread

This is my favorite wheat bread recipe. It is a soft wheat bread that cuts nicely into slices, perfect for making sandwiches. The recipe is originally from The Bread Bakers Apprentice but I made few small changes to better fit into my style of cooking and using ingredients I usually have on hand. See my post on Bread Baking 101 for some helpful hints!

2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour *Or you can easily adapt this recipe to half W.W. and half White.
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups yogurt milk (yogurt mixed with water to make a milk consistency) at a slightly warm temperature ~OR~ buttermilk ~OR~ milk with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar added allowing to sour for 2 minutes

1. Mix together the ingredients in your Kitchen Aid until it forms a ball. Knead for 8 minutes. It should be soft and supple not too sticky or worst yet too hard.

2 Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

3. Ferment at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size.

4. Remove the dough from the bowl and press it out by hand (I like to make dimples in the dough gently forcing it to form the shape I desire) into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick, 6 inches wide, and 8 to 10 inches long. Form it into a loaf and place into a well sprayed bread loaf pan (1.5 quarts) Mist the top with spray oil and loosely cover with plastic wrap.

5. Proof at room temperature for approximately 60 to 90 minutes or until the dough crests above the lip of the pan.

6. Preheat the oven to 350 F with the oven rack on the middle shelf.

7. Place the bread pan on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue baking for 15 to 20 minutes.

8. When the bread is finished baking, remove it immediately from the loaf pan, brush it with butter and cool it on a rack for at least 1 hour. If you cut into it too soon (which usually happens in my house) it will be gooey inside and will tear apart as you cut into it.

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