Basic Sliced ​​Bread Recipe – Mother Earth News

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PHOTO: JIM MACKENZIE


The addition of butter and eggs enriches our sandwich bread recipe.


When the meal isn’t the bread but what’s between the slices, you’ll want something light and with a thin crumb. A good sandwich loaf recipe produces a loaf that has character but is soft and chewy and acts as a supporting actor to the toppings. Historically, American sandwich bread has been lightly fortified with a little fat in the form of milk and oil. The recipe here is based on an early 18th century English bread called “French bread”. The only change I made is to reduce the eggs from three to one (the original is more like a challah). This recipe calls for more yeast than I use in another crispy white bread recipe so the bread dough rises faster and gives a softer crumb. It also requires less liquid, so the crumb will have a finer texture.

Ingredients and supplies:

3 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1 tablespoon softened butter
1 egg (preferably from a pastured chicken for the rich color and nutrition the yolk provides), beaten
1 teaspoon of salt
2 1⁄4 teaspoon dry yeast
1 1⁄4 cup warm milk
1 loaf pan, buttered
1 egg, beaten and thinned with water, for brushing (optional)

To note: If you are rehydrating the yeast with water, subtract the amount of water you added to the yeast from 1 1/4 cups of milk.

Directions:

Place the flour in a bowl with the softened butter. Use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until no large chunks remain. Then add the beaten egg, salt and yeast. Holding the bowl with one hand, stir in enough hot milk to form a paste. At this point, the dough should be irregular and rough.

Turn out onto a lightly floured board, wash your hands of the dough and, with damp hands, knead a few times to make sure the dough is well combined, then place it in a clean, lightly buttered bowl and let the dough get up, covered, in a warm place. After having doubled in volume (about 1h30), return to a lightly floured board. Gently press the gas and shape the dough into a rectangle to fit in a buttered loaf pan. Cover, place in as warm a place as possible and let rise until almost doubled. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

When the bread is ready, brush the top of the bread with a beaten egg diluted with a little water (this step is optional). Bake until crust is golden brown, about 1 hour. Remove from oven, unmold and let cool on the side for at least 3 hours before cutting.

Posted on December 1, 2010

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