09 December 2013

Half and Half Sandwich Bread

I haven't bought bread from a store for nearly a year and after a bit of testing and tweaking, here's our everyday sandwich bread.  It's a half and half recipe of whole wheat and white flour which yields a solid yet fluffy loaf.  Be sure to include the vital wheat gluten to keep the bread from drying out and being too crumbly.  We make ours in the bread machine but this could just as easily work in the oven.
Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup water
2 1/2 Tablespoon butter, cubed
2 Tablespoons honey or molasses
2 cups white flour
2 cups wheat flour
4 teaspoons vital wheat gluten (yes, you need it!)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon yeast (if your loaf doesn't rise enough, add up to 1 1/2 teaspoon.  If it rises too much, reduce to 1/2 teaspoon)
1 Tablespoon dough conditioner (optional)
1 Tablespoon milled flax seed (optional)
1 Tablespoon wheat germ (optional)

Bread Machine
Add all ingredients in order of recipe.  Set to wheat, light crust and start.  Remove immediately from pan when finished and allow to cool slightly before slicing or completely before storing.

Oven
Dissolve yeast in water.  Add honey or molasses and melted butter.  In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients.  Add yeast and knead for five minutes.  Spritz bowl with cooking spray and put in dough.  Cover and let rest one hour in a warm place.  Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead again about five minutes.  Place in greased bread pan, cover and let rest an additional half hour.  Bake at 350F for 25 to 35 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when thumped.  Remove from pan and cool slightly before slicing or completely before storing.
Enjoy!

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