Thursday, May 24, 2012

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

It had been a while since I had made bread.  Actually, it has been a really long while since I had made sandwich bread (over a year, probably). That's probably because I haven't had too much success in the past with making sandwich bread.  The taste is always good but the dough doesn't seem to rise completely.  But when I saw that this recipe was an all-wheat flour bread that was supposed to have a soft crumb and didn't need a second rise (read: less time waiting), I was sold.

I threw this together after work (and before making us late we met up with a friend for dinner) and tried to carefully follow the directions about the texture of the bread.  I added flour slowly and while I think I needed all the flour listed below (the amount of flour will vary because of a variety of factors so the same might not be true for you!), the dough still had a slightly sticky texture to it (I had to flour my hands and the dough in order to move it from the bowl to the bread pans).  While I plan to keep experimenting to see what dough texture is best, this bread produced as promised - two large bread loaves that rose well and had a wonderfully soft crumb. My toast this morning and my peanut butter and honey sandwich this afternoon were a testament to it!

Bread freezes well, so I plan to freeze 1 - 1 1/2 loaves, depending on how quickly it gets consumed (my dad taught me to double bag bread in 2 freezer bags to prevent any freezer burn).

Oh, the vitamin C threw me for a bit of a loop as I 've never seen it in a bread recipe.  However, the acidic properties in the vitamin c are supposed to help the gluten develop which was a good enough explanation for me! We keep ascorbic acid in the house for when we're coming down with something so it was easy to add 500 mg of it.

PS - I've now added printable recipe pages! If you go to the end of the post, you can click on the link for a printable recipe. This is new to me, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know!

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
Taken from: Mel's Kitchen Cafe
Makes 2-3 loaves

*The amount of flour needed in this recipe will be different (based on humidity, altitude, etc) so it is best to judge on the texture and look and feel of the dough rather than how much flour I’ve added. I did not use this resource, but Mel's tutorial on yeast may help you identify how a perfectly floured dough should be.
  • 6-8+ cups wheat flour (I ran out of wheat flour so added in about a cup of white whole wheat flour and a cup of all-purpose)
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast (I used a little over a tablespoon over dry active yeast)
  • 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
  • 500 mg ground or crushed vitamin c or ascorbic acid (you could crush a vitamin c pill or we keep ground vitamin c around when colds strike) , crushed
  • 3 1/4 cups very warm water (typically around 100-110 degrees is best)
  • 1/3 cup oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1/3 cup honey or sugar
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  1. In a large bowl or stand mixer, mix together 2 1/2 cups of wheat flour, yeast, vital wheat gluten and vitamin c. Add the warm water and mix well. Add the oil and honey (or sugar) and mix again. Cover the bowl and let the mixture sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the salt and start the mixer (or mix by hand), adding the remaining flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl to form a soft dough. You may not need to add all of the flour (although I needed almost all of it).  Judge the dough by feel not by the amount of flour you’ve used. It might be slightly sticky but should hold it’s shape. Let the dough knead for 7 minutes in the stand mixer (or 15 minutes by hand).
  3. Grease bread pans. (I have large 10" loaf pans so I made 2 loaves; you could try 3 loaves if you have smaller 8" loaf pans. I'd probably recommend going with 2 loaves if you have 9" pans). Form dough into loaves and place into greased bread pans. Let rise until the bread is 2 inches above the top of the bread pan (we went out for an about 90 minutes and it was risen when I came back).
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes (Following Mel's recommendation, I let the bread rise 1 inch above the top of the pans and then put the bread in a cold oven and turn the oven on to 350 degrees and bake the bread for 32-35 minutes).
  5. I let mine sit for a few minutes in the pan and then emptied onto a cooling rack.
  6. Devour as soon as you want.  Cool completely before freezing.
Click here for printable recipe page


Post a Comment