There’s nothing better than returning home to the smell of freshly baked bread. You just don’t notice it as much if you stick around while the bread is baking. So after I popped this loaf in the oven, I went out for a quick run. It was a cold day too, so returning to an oven-warmed apartment that smelled of bread was a major bonus. It always reminds me of close family friends – their house is always filled with the smell of bread, pie or whatever delicious baked good they have whipped up. They also keep a very well-stocked cellar with shelves and shelves of canned goods and preserves, but that’s for another post.
In the French toast post from a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that I had made the sandwich bread myself. Here’s the recipe. I recommend using the bread as soon as you can, ideally while still warm. Two days at most.
Sandwich Bread Recipe from How to Cook Everything Makes 1 loaf
3 1/2 cups flour 2 tspn salt 1 1/2 tspn instant yeast 1 TBSP sugar or honey 2 TBSP neutral oil or softened butter, plus more for the bowl and pan 1 1/3 cups cool milk
Using a stand mixer with the dough hook, combine 1 3/4 cups flour, the salt, yeast and sugar in the bowl. Turn the machine on low and mix together for 5 seconds. With the machine running on low speed, add the oil or butter and milk. Increase to medium speed and mix until the ingredients form a smooth mixture. Reduce speed to low and slowly add the remaining flour. Return to medium speed and mix until a sticky ball forms and it pulls away from the side of the bowl.
Knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for one minute and shape into a ball. Grease a large bowl with a little oil, add the dough and turn until coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it doubles in size, about 1-2 hours.
Punch down the dough to release any gas. Again, working on a lightly floured surface, shape the dough into a ball. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes.
Using just enough flour to prevent the dough from sticking, flatten the dough and shape it into a rectangle. Fold the long sides of the dough to the middle and pinch together with your fingers. Fold under the ends of the loaf as well.
Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with oil or butter. Put the loaf in the pan, seem side down, and flatten with the back of your hand. Cover and let rise until the top of the dough is nearly level with the top of the pan.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Brush the top of the loaf with water and place in the oven. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool the loaf on a wire rack.