I don’t know why. It’s become an obsession.
I’ve made five loaves of bread in the past 4 weeks.
Some have been more successful than others but I am committed to making the perfect loaf of bread.
And not just any bread. But SANDWICH bread.
Or something that will pass as that. (To 3 hungry and growing boys. )
There is just something about MAKING bread.
The slowness of it. In a world that moves SO fast.
It’s a tactile thing which meets some need in me – hands on measuring, mixing, kneading the dough.
It’s almost ‘parental’ — creating the dough, kneading it, finding just the right place to set it to rise….checking it, until finally it can go in the oven. (ok, maybe that analogy is just because my youngest is turning 13 this month….my baaaaaaaaaaby is growing up!)
I purchased an awesome bread pan for this challenge.
It’s a “pullman” loaf pan.
And it turns out bread that looks, well, like a commercial loaf of sandwich bread.
And it’s so pretty when it’s sliced!
So far, this is the most successful loaf but it was a little dense, a little coarse (sounds like some people I know. not naming any names….just sayin’….)
Here is the recipe I’m using:
4 3/4 cups All-Purpose Flour
1 cup water
2/3 cup ) milk
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
6 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons potato flour
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
Basically you mix all the ingredients until they pull away from the bowl and form a shaggy ball. Then turn the dough out and knead for 7ish minutes (by hand) (will vary by machine) until dough is nice and smooth.
Place dough in a greased bowl and let rise until JUST doubled. (1 1/4 – 2 hours)
Remove dough and shape into loaf the length of your pan. Place in greased pan and allow to rise until it is just below the edge of the pan (if you are using the lidded pullman pan). Once the dough has risen, place lid on pan and put pan in oven at 375 for 25 minutes. Carefully remove lid and bake for another 20 minutes.
Cook until inside temp is 190.
Remove pan from oven and turn bread out on to wire rack to cool.
I usually let it cool for a few minutes upside down and then turn it right side up to finish cooling.
Slice and enjoy!