Sandwich Bread
#1
So today I tried my hand at a loaf of sandwich bread, that is, bread that is of the right texture that if you make a sandwich using it, it won't just disintegrate. Said bread did not rise, and I'm 99% certain it was the recipe because I used fresh, unexpired (?) yeast, followed directions scrupulously, and have made a fair amount of bread in the past and this recipe looked a little odd to me. I should have been suspicious of a cookbook author who cavalierly dismissed the value of proofing the yeast and touts using a food processor to do just about anything, including kneading bread dough.

So help a sister out. Does anyone have a good, proven sandwich bread recipe?
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#2
My newest obsession is bread from the Book Artisan Bread in Five minutes.
Basic recipe is this:

3 C. very warm (100 degree) water
1 & 1/ tbsp yeast
1 & 1/2 tbsp coarse salt
6 & 1/2 C. all purpose flour

Mix, but do not knead. Let rise two hours (or more) then either use or refrigerate.

To make basic French bread, tear off a piece the size of a grapefruit. Flour it so it doesn't stick to your hands (this is a WET dough) and stretch the top over and down to the bottom. turn it a quarter of the way and do it again. Do this four time, let it rest and rise for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place and preheat a pizza baking stone in oven. when heated and bread has rested, sprinkle corn meal on stone, place pan of water on rack beneath stone, and make two slits on top of bread. Slide bread onto stone, bake 30 minutes.

This makes real french bread, which I use for everything, sandwiches included.

If I want some quick bread, I tear off a hunk the size of an orange, roll it out and toss it in a frying pan with some hot ghee. Three minutes on each side, and it is done, and I have a flatbread called Nan.

The dough will keep in the fridge for two weeks, and get better with age. It is a wet dough, and that is the secret to it keeping well.
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#3
I always proof the yeast because I live in such a warm climate - about half of the yeast I buy is dead.  Waiting is a pain, so I put a little maple syrup in the water.  This site has been useful to me in the past:  The Fresh Loaf
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#4

I use a bread machine and never proof my flour.  I buy big bags of it at the wholesale club and freeze it between uses.

 

A really neat item to have around when you are wanting homemade bread for sandwiches is a bread slicer.  It's a rack with slots to put the knife through at evenly spaced distances, making the thinnest slices possible.

 

Christina

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#5
introibo Wrote:

I use a bread machine and never proof my flour.  I buy big bags of it at the wholesale club and freeze it between uses.

 

A really neat item to have around when you are wanting homemade bread for sandwiches is a bread slicer.  It's a rack with slots to put the knife through at evenly spaced distances, making the thinnest slices possible.

 

Christina


Christina, this is what I do, too. And I never proof my yeast either. I just dump what all in the bread machine and let her rip. I don't freeze my flour, though. I just keep it in a big plastic container and scoop it out from there as I go.

Usually I do the dough cycle and then put big rolls in the oven, Satori. A hollowed out sammich roll will hold up to yer messiest sammich fixings. Last night I made hollowed out roll baskets? You know, with a little bread lid? You put the Beef Burgundy inside with lots of the gravy. They held up.
"Not only are we all in the same boat, but we are all seasick.” --G.K. Chesterton
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#6
Just to let you all know, I do not and will not use a bread machine, and never again will I not proof my yeast. I must have a recipe that doesn't negate yeast-proofing and that involves conventional kneading.
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#7
If you look at the bread machine instructions closely, it does proof the yeast in a sense.  Most bread machines heat the ingredients to a particular temperature before mixing them.  They will call this "preheating" or some such thing.

With the ingredients at the right temperature, the yeast is "proofed" while it is mixed.  In other words, the entire mess becomes the proofing solution rather than just water.

If you try to do this with room temperature ingredients by hand, you are doomed to failure.  Yeast needs to be activated at the proper temperature whether you are making wine or bread.  With bread machines, they usually do it for you.  If you are making bread by hand, or wine, you have to do it.
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#8
I found the technical term for what the bread machine does:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proofing_(baking_technique)
A dough proofer is a chamber used in baking that encourages fermentation of dough by yeast through warm temperatures and controlled humidity. The warm temperatures increase the activity of the yeast, resulting in increased carbon dioxide production and a higher, faster rise. Dough is typically allowed to rise in the proofer before baking.
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#9
QuisUtDeus Wrote:If you look at the bread machine instructions closely, it does proof the yeast in a sense.  Most bread machines heat the ingredients to a particular temperature before mixing them.  They will call this "preheating" or some such thing.

With the ingredients at the right temperature, the yeast is "proofed" while it is mixed.  In other words, the entire mess becomes the proofing solution rather than just water.

If you try to do this with room temperature ingredients by hand, you are doomed to failure.  Yeast needs to be activated at the proper temperature whether you are making wine or bread.  With bread machines, they usually do it for you.  If you are making bread by hand, or wine, you have to do it.

The problem with letting the "mess" do the proofing is that if you end up with a batch of dead or phlegmatic yeast, you've just wasted a whole pile of flour and maybe a cup or two of milk, etc. The point of proofing is to make sure your yeast is live and perky before risking the loss of more than a little water and sugar.

My prejudice against bread machines has nothing to do with whether or not they are capable of raising a yeasty loaf. No amount of proofing proselytization on their behalf is going to convince me to use one even if I ever do have a kitchen with space enough to store one of the evil contraptions. Y'all are welcome to 'em, though.

I do understand the science behind proofing, sort of. At any rate, I can follow directions. Now do you have a favorite (conventional) recipe to share?
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#10
Satori Wrote:My prejudice against bread machines has nothing to do with whether or not they are capable of raising a yeasty loaf. No amount of proofing proselytization on their behalf is going to convince me to use one even if I ever do have a kitchen with space enough to store one of the evil contraptions. Y'all are welcome to 'em, though.

If it's any consolation I don't like them either. I had one, but got rid of it.  For me the whole point of making bread isn't getting the bread, but the process.  I love the feel of the dough and the way the smell changes as the dough develops.  Nowadays, though, I seldom have time and usually just make pizza dough or foccacia.  For that I use Henry Hill's cookbook - it's truly one of the very best cookbooks I've ever owned.
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