Good News and Classic Sandwich Bread

May 15, 2008 at 5:44 pm | Posted in savory things, yeast breads | 23 Comments

classic sandwich bread

I woke up this morning to some good news: my Rhubarb-Filled Yogurt Cupcakes won Cupcake Hero’s Earth Day event!  I’m so excited, and not to brag (hahaha), but it’s actually my second CH win!  Thanks so much to Laurie, Tempered Woman, Joy and Leigh, who collect, bake and round-up the CH entries each month.  That takes not only heaps of ingredients, but lots of time, effort and witty paraphrasing skills as well.  Definitely check out the round-up to see all the Earth loving cupcakes they received last month.

Now, onto the bread.  I have some bread baking experience, but it’s pretty limited.  I’ve made zillions of batches of brioche, bagels and English muffins through my various jobs, and I make my own pizza dough all the time at home, but I never bake my own baguettes or dinner rolls, and I rarely even make a simple loaf bread.

What brought this on then?  Laziness may sound like a weird reason to bake your own bread, but that’s what it was, pure and simple.  I was too lazy to walk the 25 minutes down to the grocery store (I don’t drive).  R has been in Malaysia on business the last couple days. If I were in New York and R was away, I’d likely use that freedom to go and get bombed with my single friends if it weren’t a work night (you can keep that on the down-low), or at least order some yummy delivery if it were.  Since I don’t know too many people in Sydney to go boozing with, and there aren’t really any delivery options where I live, it was a tuna sandwich and the company of Tim Gunn’s Guide to Style for me last night.  I can’t manage a whole can of tuna myself, so I still had half my salad to eat for lunch today.  But…you guessed it…no bread.

Being lazy today, I’m lucky that making this type of bread is so freakin’ easy.  I had originally wanted to use a recipe from Rose Levy Beranbaum, but it required making a sponge starter and then it needed three rises for the dough.  While it would have had great flavor, it also wouldn’t have been ready by lunch-time, and that was the whole reason for getting the yeast out!  Then I remembered a recipe that I’d torn off a bag of King Arthur flour a couple years ago.  It only takes about two hours of total rising time, and if you use a stand mixer, measuring out the ingredients is really the only work there is.  It’s baked in a loaf pan, so there isn’t even any tricky shaping to do.  And I don’t know if it was because the bread was so fresh and soft, or if it was because I was so antsy after waiting for it to cool down, but that was one tasty tuna sandwich!

In true lazy fashion, I’ll just show you the way to King Arthur’s recipe, rather than type it myself.  I made mine in my stand mixer, using the dough hook.  I know that King Arthur’s AP flour has a higher protein content than most.  Since I can’t kind KA flour in this neck of the woods and I have no clue as to the protein content of the flour I buy here, I substituted 1/4 cup of the AP flour in the recipe with bread flour.  I substituted another 1/4 cup with whole wheat flour, just for fun.  Be sure take your baked bread out of the loaf pan and cool it on a rack for about an hour before slicing into it.  This rest period helps set the bread’s texture and crust.

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23 Comments »

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  1. Looks good. Much better than a sandwich made with presliced bread.

  2. PS Congrats on the win!

  3. aww hook a brotha up with a bite my friend. Love the blog and the wonderful food pics! mmm mmm good!

  4. MMMMM looks good!
    I too, am in Sydney, and I bake a bit of bread. Unfortunately, there’s nowhere in Australia you can get KA flour and you can’t order it in yourself because customs won’t let you.
    I have baked a number of different KA recipes and find that you need a fair bit more plain flour than they specify for their AP – it could be the protein content, it could just be the humidity here – I don’t really know!
    KA all purpose flour has 12-13% protein. The standard plain flour you get here has 9 – 10%. You can get a brand called Anchor in most supermarkets now and they have a special pizza and bread flour which has 11% . It’s still not as high as KA but you would probably be better off replacing all the plain flour with that flour for bread. I have made a few loaves lately using Anchor bread flour (not KA recipes) and they have all turned out pretty good (i think!)

  5. We could have gone boozing while I was still there! Another reason why you have to come to SA, we could do wineries and stuff! The wine regions are so much better here than NSW as there’s also food and other gourmet thingies at the wineries.

    Thanks for sweet comment, we got here safe and sound, its great to be home!

    You’re amazing if baking bread is easier than walking BTW!

  6. Congrats on your stunning win! I have made many a bread but have yet to do a plain sandwich bread!

  7. Congratulations, Steph!

  8. That’s some yummy looking sandwich bread!
    Congrats on your win! :)

  9. Congratulations on winning Cupcake Hero!

  10. congrats! you had some stiff competition there, but i loved your cupcakes the best too. did you use an actual green background for the photo or did you ‘shop that color in? just curious :)

  11. is it sad that for the past week my life has consisted of tim gunn programming and simple one plate dinners?! haha… school totally kills all social activities. I want to get more into bread baking but it seems really hard. Lots of skill and patience.. both which I don’t have :)

  12. i just read about it over at quirky cupcake–congrats—your cupcakes look amazing!!!!

  13. This looks wonderful! Nothing beats homemade bread. Congrats on the Cupcake Hero win!

  14. Thanks everyone!

    Thomas–You are welcome to come over for lunch anytime!

    mrs potato head–That’s great info to know! I buy the Anchor bread flour, so I’ll just try a straight replacement next time I use a KA recipe.

    Sathya–We totally should have! I’ve been to the Barossa and McClaren Vale…would love to go back to check out other SA wineries!

    Mimi–I have some squares of colored paper (some with designs) that I use for backgounds…it’s scrapbooking paper that I get at the craft store.

    Amanda–I, for one, think TG is great company! I wish he and Veronica would come over here and go thru my underwear drawer and closet…I really need new clothes!

  15. I bow before you – good job on the win!! Now all I can think about is rhubarb.

    You’re obviously far more ambitious than I am – I wouldn’t have walked and for sure wouldn’t have made the bread. I gotta admit thought, the end result is great so I guess the end justifies the means.

  16. Congrats on the CH win! :) This sandwich bread looks so pillowy soft and delicious! I’ll bet it elevated the tuna sandwich to a whole new plane. –Amy

  17. I really looks great. Homemade bread makes the best sandwiches

  18. Your bread looks great ~ soft and delish! I don’t really bake bread often ~ more of a cook than a baker for sure but if I could bake bread like yours then I would probably try to make it more often.

    Thanks Sharona May

  19. I’d love to have a fresh loaf of homemade bread for the pimento cheese that my husband brought home from the vegetable stand last night! Yum.

  20. Steph, I have had a lot of success with the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a day. Really handy if you want fresh bread but don’t get through loaves quickly. I will post on it soon. But if I have piqued your interest the website is

    http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/

  21. andrea–yes, mrs potato head (who commented above) also told me she’s had good results from this book. i’m definitley interested in checking it out–thanks for the link!

  22. Steph–this looks great! I was planning on making a chicken salad this weekend for a picnic we’re planning on taking…this is the PERFECT thing! Thanks for sharing this! I’m excited about it!

    By the way–great photos as always!!

  23. Danielle–Thanks! Let me know how it comes out. Can you get the King Arthur AP where you liive? If not, you may want to take into account differences in protein content and sub some or all for bread flour (although she is referring to Aussie flour, see mrs potato head’s comment above).


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