Classic Sandwich Bread is one of the first breads I ever made. The recipe I used was from trusty King Arthur Flour. I've never had any of their recipes fail me yet! And the comments are always helpful, PLUS they have a hotline!
I've made this bread so many times, I know it by heart. It has never failed me.
The original recipe calls for 1/2 cup of milk and 4 tablespoons of butter.
My husband and I don't keep dairy at home except when we're lucky enough to find oat milk in stock. But I do like to always have whipping cream on hand, just in case I want a little something something for dessert. I don't know the reason behind it, but heavy cream keeps longer than regular dairy. Works perfectly for me, as I don't need it frequently.
So what I do is mix 50% whipping cream with 50% water.
I also use olive oil instead of butter. You may like this change if you're watching your cholesterol too, or if butter is hard to find (which I've heard it is during these quarantine days). I love the bright yellow that olive oil imparts on my loaf!
CLASSIC SANDWICH BREAD
🍞 3 cups all purpose flour
🍞 1/4 cup hot water + 1/4 whipping cream
🍞 1/2 cup hot water (you may need up to 2/3 cup, depending on your climate)
🍞 4 tbsp olive oil
🍞 2 tbsp sugar
🍞 1-1/4 tsp salt
🍞 2-1/4 tsp active dry yeast
In a large bowl, dissolve the sugar in 1/4 cup of water. Add the yeast and give it a few minutes to get foamy.
Add the remaining ingredients.
Stir until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer to a lightly greased surface and knead until smooth and supple (around 6-8 minutes).
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with a towel, and give it time (approximately 1-2 hours). The dough may not double, but it should get puffy.
Gently deflate the dough and place into a greased 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 loaf pan. Cover again and let it rise again for another 60 minutes. It's ready when it's domed approximately 1" above the edge of the pan.
Towards the end of the rise, preheat your oven to 350°F.
Bake for 35 minutes. Your loaf should be light golden brown.
Remove from the oven and let cool (if you can!) before slicing.
We love this bread crust and fight over the ends while it's still piping hot.
Everyone's oven is a bit different. Mine tends to be about 25° under any temperature I try to set it at, so I've learned to compensate with more heat and an extra 5 minutes or so.
The best way to test for doneness when making bread (if you don't have a thermometer) is to thump its bottom. The loaf should sound hollow.
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