Sunday, February 17, 2008

I Baked Sandwich Bread

i baked bread

I really love bread. Especially home baked bread. I've been testing random bread recipes and baking methods for years with varying degrees of success (or failure...). Mostly, the successes have come in the form of giant "rustic" loaves and foccachias from Jamie Oliver books. Thanksgiving brought my first real roll victory with a recipe from VegWeb, but I've never mastered the sandwich loaf--until now. Well, if by "mastered", you mean made an edible loaf that didn't fall apart when we sliced it. I've had this recipe in my box for over a year, but I guess that I didn't really believe that it would work out. Last night, I really wanted toast and all we had in the house was pita. I looked through my bookmarks and decided that I should at least try this recipe before totally writing it off. After reading through all 10 pages of the comments, I made a few adjustments, halved the recipe to yield one loaf and ended up with my first real homemade sandwich bread. Next time, I'm going to try 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat flour and maybe toss in some seeds. I also think that it would make an excellent cinnamon raisin loaf.

My adjustments:
DO stir the yeast into the water.
Let it rise for at least an hour each time.
After the first rise, knead the dough for 10 full minutes.

I really think that the reason this loaf turned out so much better than all of my previous attempts was the kneading. I've always been a lazy kneader--two or three minutes max and not really doing a good job to begin with. With this dough, I timed myself and kneaded the dough for a full ten minutes which made the dough so much nicer.

EDIT: I forgot to mention that I brushed the top of the loaf with Earth Balance once before baking and once after about 20 minutes of baking. Ok, that's all!

Update: my new (improved, I hope) instructions for making this bread are here.

1 comment:

Vegan_Noodle said...

Mmmmm, I love fresh baked bread. Amazingly I've never made any myself, but I'll just smell it through the screen.... sniff.