American Sandwich Bread

A lot of the breads I make are ridiculous all day affairs, which is fine for me, as I am sort of underemployed. Not everyone has all the time in the world, though, so here’s a bread that, yeah, still takes a few hours, but you can do it in a morning and have it on the table at lunch. I know, because I did it this Sunday!

Ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 package rapid-rise yeast

Adjust your oven rack to a low shelf and preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Once the oven’s reached 200, leave it on for 10 minutes and then turn it off.

Meanwhile, combine the flour and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer and attach the dough hook. Combine the remaining ingredients in a 1 quart measuring cup. (If you’re microwaving the measuring cup to heat the liquids/melt the butter, don’t put the yeast in until it’s done in the microwave.)

Turn the mixer on low and pour in the milk mixture slowly.

Beat on slow until the dough comes together. I stopped it and scraped at the bottom once or twice to get the flour off the bottom/sides. (The mixer probably would have gotten it eventually, but I was impatient.)

When the dough has come together, turn the speed up to medium and knead until smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes. Stop several times to scrape the dough off the dough hook and away from the sides of the bowl as needed. Having the mixer on medium may feel way too fast, but actually helps fling the dough off the hook so you don’t have to scrape it off as often. While it kneads, lightly grease a large bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly to form a smooth round ball. Place the ball in the greased bowl, rotating to coat the ball all over. Cover with saran wrap.

Place the bowl into the off, but warm, oven, and let rise until doubled, 40-50 minutes. Grease a 9X5″ bread pan.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press into a rectangle 1 cm thick and 9 inches long.

Roll the dough up into a 9″ long log, pressing to seal the seam. Place, seam-side down in the prepared bread pan, and press down gently to spread evenly so the dough reaches all four corners.

Cover once again with saran, and place somewhere warm to rise until doubled, 20-30 minutes. I put mine in the oven to start, but took it out when I needed to preheat the oven.

Preheat the oven to 350 and put a spare baking pan below, if you have room, or on the same low shelf as you’ll be putting the bread. Boil 2 cups of water.

When the bread has risen, put it in the oven and pour the two cups of water into the empty baking dish, being careful not to burn yourself with steam or spatters. Bake 40-50 minutes, until well browned, and hollow sounding when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

I quite liked this bread. There’s just enough of a hint of the honey and butter, and a nice light texture. No surprise, then, that this also comes from my Cook’s Illustrated cookbook, as they’re brilliant. I’ll be submitting this one to yeastpotting.

Oh, and apparently what makes this “American” is something about having butter and milk, creating a more tender crumb than European breads.

American Sandwich Bread

From The Best Recipe by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated.

  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 package rapid-rise yeast

Adjust your oven rack to a low shelf and preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Once the oven’s reached 200, leave it on for 10 minutes and then turn it off.

Meanwhile, combine the flour and salt in the bowl of your stand mixer and attach the dough hook. Combine the remaining ingredients in a 1 quart measuring cup.

Turn the mixer on low and pour in the milk mixture slowly. Beat on slow until the dough comes together then turn the speed up to medium and knead until smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes. Stop several times to scrape the dough off the dough hook and away from the sides of the bowl if necessary. While it kneads, lightly grease a large bowl. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly to form a smooth round ball. Place the ball in the greased bowl, rotating to coat the ball all over. Cover with saran wrap. Place the bowl into the warm but off oven, and let rise until doubled, 40-50 minutes.

Grease a 9X5″ bread pan.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press into a rectangle 1 cm thick and 9 inches long. Roll the dough up into a 9″ long log, pressing to seal the seam. Place, seam-side down in the prepared bread pan, and press down gently to spread evenly so the dough reaches all four corners. Cover once again with saran, and place somewhere warm to rise until doubled, 20-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 and put a spare baking pan below, if you have room, or on the same low shelf as you’ll be putting the bread. Boil 2 cups of water.

When the bread has risen, put it in the oven and pour the two cups of water into the empty baking dish, being careful not to burn yourself with steam or spatters. Bake 40-50 minutes, until well browned, and hollow sounding when tapped on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.

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About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. (Over the summer, my bike glove tans will probably become pretty glaring in some of these photos.) I'll be sharing my adventures in the kitchen. Expect lots of recipes to have chocolate swapped in to replace other inferior ingredients.
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