This sandwich bread was so pretty! It also sliced like a dream. 🙂
The recipe is from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, via Smitten Kitchen.com. I weighed the flours and used coarse salt. I mixed and kneaded the dough in a stand mixer and used a proofing oven as well.
The original post had a link for the windowpane test– which was quite helpful! I added additional kneading time to my dough after it failed the test.
Yield: One 2-pound loaf
- 2 1/2 cups (11.25 oz) unbleached high-gluten or bread flour
- 1 1/2 cups (6.75 oz) whole-wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (.75 oz) granulated sugar or honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (.38 oz) coarse salt
- 3 tablespoons (1 oz) powdered milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (.17 oz) instant yeast
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups (10 oz) water, at room temperature
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the high-gluten/bread flour, whole-wheat flour, sugar (if using), salt, powdered milk, and yeast in a 4-quart mixing bowl.
- Add the butter, honey (if using), and water.
- Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until the ingredients form a ball. If there is still flour in the bottom of the bowl, dribble in additional water. The dough should feel soft and supple. It is better for it to be a little too soft that to be too stiff and tough.
- Using a dough hook, knead the dough on medium speed for 6 to 8 minutes. (To knead by hand, sprinkle flour on the counter, and transfer the dough, and begin kneading, adding more flour if needed to make a firm, supple dough that is slightly tacky but not sticky. Kneading should take about 10 minutes.) The dough should pass the windowpane test and register 77 to 81 degrees F.
- Lightly coat a large bowl with cooking spray and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling it around to coat it with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Ferment at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the dough doubles in size. (I used a proofing oven for 1 1/2 hours.)
- Remove the dough from the bowl and press it by hand into a rectangle about 3/4 inch thick, 6 inches wide, and 8 to 10 inches long.
- Form it into a loaf by working from the short side of the dough, rolling up the length of the dough one section at a time, pinching the crease with each rotation to strengthen the surface tension. It will spread wider as you roll it.
- Pinch the final seam closed with the back edge of your hand or with your thumbs.
- Place the loaf in a lightly oiled 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch bread pan; the ends of the loaf should touch the ends of the pan to ensure an even rise. Mist the top with spray oil and loosely cover with plastic wrap.
- Proof at room temperature for approximately 60 to 90 minutes (final rising times vary), or until the dough crests above the lip of the pan. (I used a proofing oven and the dough was ready in about 45 to 50 minutes.)
- Preheat the oven to 350° F with the oven rack on the middle shelf. (I used the true convection setting.)
- Place the bread pan on a sheet pan and bake for 30 minutes.
- Rotate the pan 180° for even baking and continue baking for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the oven. The finished loaf should register 190° F in the center, be golden brown on the top and the sides, and sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.
- When the bread is finished baking, remove it immediately from the loaf pan and cool it on a rack for at least 1 hour, preferably 2 hours, before slicing or serving.