I have been thwarted the last two times I have purchased sandwich bread from the local Stonehouse Bakery. They use good ingredients but their bread has been afflicted with bread mold the last two times. This last time, I bought it the day it was made and it still had 4 days left on the exp. but before I could eat a slice – low and behold – spores were growing right under the label. Boucci recommends something w/ a sourdough starter for longer life expectancy but there are days where I want a nice, soft sandwich. Not, a sandwich that requires me to gnaw on it or burn a lot of energy chewing. Yes, some days I am lazy like that and just don’t want to work my jaw muscles. Mine are pretty toned and all but I just don’t feel like that is an area I need to strength train daily.
I decided no more throwing good bread to my worms. (Yes, we are proud worm farmers – more on that another day). So here is my go-to loaf for soft, sandwich bread.
1.5 cups of warm water (102-105 degrees)
1 tablespoon dry yeast
1 heaping tablespoon of honey or sugar
1.5 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup oil (I have used various types with good results. DO NOT use a high quality olive oil as they do not like heat).
2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1.5 cups whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
* King Arthur Flour is my favorite. They are now making organic versions.
1. Combine first 4 ingredients and allow to sit 5 minutes
2. Add oil then flours and knead for a few minutes
3. Let your dough sit in a nice, warm place for 45 minutes – 1hr. It should double in size. Meanwhile put a little oil in a 6 cup loaf pan and grease it up.
4. Gather your dough and form it into a loaf. Be gentle with it but it should de-poof and you can stretch the top and tuck the sides under.
Let it sit there while your oven warms up to 375 degrees
Bake for 35-40 minutes until it has a lovely brown color.
Being around hungry cyclists has been good for my cooking ego. They have so much gratitude after long rides. 🙂 Young Stephen here recently completed the Lumberjack 100. Even though he had a mechanical after 5 miles and had to run back and re-start, he churned out an admirable time. Here’s to completing what you start, hearty appetites and big, soft sandwiches.