Introduction: FAILPROOF White Sandwich Bread (almost No-knead)
The core ingredient of any good sandwich is GOOD BREAD. and there's nothing better than homemade bread!
This recipe teaches a simple and fail-proof method of making deliciously simple White Sandwich Bread at home using basic ingredients.
And, it's almost a no-knead recipe (almost).
INGREDIENTS for 1 loaf of bread-
- 450 g (3.5 cups) Flour
- 150 ml milk and 150 ml water (50:50 total 1.25 cups)
- 44 g (3.5 tbsp) sugar
- 9 g salt (1.5 tsp) salt
- 4.5 g (1.5 tsp) yeast
- 50 g (3.5 tbsp) butter
- bread loaf pan (9" x 4.5")
- large mixing bowl
- wooden spatula
- If you don't have Bread flour, just use All Purpose Flour
- Instead of 50:50 milk and water, if want to be extra indulgent you can use 300 ml of milk. If you don't want to use milk at all, you can just use 300 ml of plain water.
- Instead of sugar you can use 2 tbsp honey/ maple syrup
- Instead of butter you can use vegetable oil
- If you don't have a bread loaf pan, you can make it on a normal baking sheet. Grease the pan thoroughly, shape the dough into a football shape and place it seam side down and bake for only 30 minutes.
Step 1: Blooming the Yeast
Blooming/ Activating/ Proofing the yeast is a step to ensure that the yeast is active and functional.
To do this -
- Heat your milk and water till it's tepid warm. Not hot, just slightly warm.
- To this add the sugar, salt and yeast. Mix thoroughly and keep aside for 10 minutes.
Once it becomes bubbly, it means it's proofed and activated!
(If you have a fresh packet of yeast which is well within it's expiry period, you can skip this step completely and directly mix everything together in the next step)
Step 2: Bulk Mixing and Autolyse
In a big mixing vessel, combine the activated yeast liquid, flour and butter and mix thoroughly with the handle of a wooden spoon till it becomes a sticky and shaggy mess. Cover and leave it aside for an hour.
This process is called AUTOLYSING.
During autolysing, the flour gets hydrated, activating enzymes that stimulate the proteins to start the gluten development. It makes the dough easier to work with and is what saves you from kneading the dough too much.
If you live in an area with a warm climate like I do, the dough will start fermenting and rise greatly in the autolyse stage as well.
Step 3: Mini-knead and 1st Proofing
After about an hour, the dough will be super soft. Remove from the bowl and gently knead the dough for just 5 minutes.
WAIT for 15 minutes.
Let the dough take a breath.
Knead again for 5 minutes.
This mini knead helps gluten formation and even fermentation of the dough. The dough should be smooth by now and will no longer stick to your hands and fingers.
Put the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and keep aside for 30 mins to 1 hour (till the dough basically doubles in size) in a warm corner of the kitchen or inside the oven with only the light-bulb on. The yeast activates and the fermentation starts in our bread, and the carbon dioxide produced will lead to the dramatic increase in the size of the dough.
Step 4: Shaping the Loaf and 2nd Proofing
Grease your bread loaf pan with butter on all sides.
After your dough has doubled in size, remove it and falcon punch it. Seriously, punch it till you deflate the dough completely. Remove all your anger on it, it is after all the most therapeutic step of the whole process.
Now, shape the dough with your fingers into a rectangle, flatten the dough to the width of your bread loaf pan. Tightly start rolling the dough from one end till you get a log roll.
Pinch the seams shut and place it seam side down in your (greased) bread loaf pan and gently press down onto the dough to evenly distribute it in the pan. Cover and let it proof again till doubled in size (45 minutes).
To know if the dough is proofed, touch the side of the dough lightly with your fingertip. If the indentation remains, the loaf is ready for the oven.
Step 5: BAKING and Waiting
After the 2nd proofing, gently transfer the loaf pan containing the dough to an oven (preheated to 200°C/ 390°F for 20 minutes) and bake for 30 - 45 minutes till it gets a beautiful golden colour on top. To Check if the loaf is baked, tap the top of the loaf on the crust. A hollow sound means it's ready to be taken out!
Remove and brush the top with butter.
NOW LET THE LOAF COOL FOR 30 MINUTES.
(Don't cut the bread immediately after taking it out of the oven. Letting it cool is essential. Cutting it early will release all the moisture that has built up in the loaf while baking, and this will make it chewy and gummy on the inside and make the bread go dry faster).
Step 6: Make Those Sandwiches!
After waiting for an eternity (30 minutes), Cut the bread and enjoy the fruits of your labour!
If you liked this simple guide on baking delicious sandwich bread at home, please do vote for it in the 'Sandwich Challenge'. Thank you!
Participated in the
Sandwich Challenge 2020