Sunday, December 20, 2009

Half 'n Half Sandwich Bread

My adaptation of King Arthur's Classic Sandwich Bread:

1 1/2 cups King Arthur Bread Flour
1 1/2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup milk (skim, 1%, 2% or whole, your choice)

1/2 cup hot water, enough to make a soft, smooth dough
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) melted butter, margarine or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoons instant yeast

Mixing: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir till the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. (You may also knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine set to the dough or manual cycle). Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise till puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 60 minutes, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

Shaping: Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8-inch log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 60 minutes, until it’s domed about 1 inch above the edge of the pan. A finger pressed into the dough should leave a mark that rebounds slowly.

Baking: Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for about 35 minutes, until it’s light golden brown. Test it for doneness by removing it from the pan and thumping it on the bottom (it should sound hollow), or by measuring its interior temperature with an instant-read thermometer (it should register 190°F at the center of the loaf). Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a wire rack before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature. Yield: 1 loaf.

Notes:  Baked for 30 minutes and checked temperature incorrectly (I didn't wait long enough for the thermometer to get an accurate reading), so it went in for another 5 minutes. At that point the bread was 193 degrees. Turned out pretty good though.  Soft and tasty, I'd make it again.  I've read that the original KA Classic Sandwich Bread is very adaptable to different flour mixes, so it's a good recipe to mess around with.

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