I haven’t been very exploratory with different breads lately, but I have continued to make minor adjustments to my go-to whole wheat sandwich bread. My goal was to make a soft and tender bread (i.e. avoid a dry texture), so I used canola oil and honey (instead of butter and sugar) with a combination of milk and water for hydration.
Another thing I’d like to try is soaking my flour in an acidic mixture as instructed here. It has me curious about the impact on health, digestion, and texture of the baked goods.
Whole Grain Sandwich Bread
Basic whole wheat sandwich bread that's soft and tender.
The inclusion of honey, oil, and milk help this bread stay soft and fluffy instead of dry and crumbly.
- 1 c whole milk
- 1/2 c water
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- 450 gm freshly-milled hard white wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- Stir together the milk and water and heat until warmed. Add the canola oil and honey and stir until combined.
- In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and yeast (keeping the yeast and salt from directly touching each other).
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Cover with a towel and rest for 15 min. to hydrate the flour.
- Knead for 20 min., coating hands in water to keep dough from sticking and to keep it more supple.
- Place in bowl and tightly cover. Rise until doubled (this took 2 hr. 20 min. for me on a cool day).
- Flatten out the dough gently and reshape into a ball. Cover and rise again until doubled (about half as much time as first rise).
- Coat the inside of a loaf pan with non-stick spray, and spray a layer onto the counter and lay dough on top. Flatten the dough out with your palms and then fold two edges toward the center like a letter. Turn and roll up tightly, avoiding any air pockets. Place in prepared pan and cover with plastic and let rise until it comes about an inch above the rim.
- After it’s been rising for about 10 min., turn the oven to 425° to preheat.
- Bake 10 min. at 425°. Then reduce heat to 325° for remaining time, about 20 min. The bread is done when it’s between 190-200° inside.