The Perfect Sandwich Loaf
This makes one 2lb loaf - which is the size that most larger bread tins hold. I also make rolls with this recipe and they are always delicious.
I have found the trick for making softer crusted loaves is to cook them for longer at lower temperatures.
This is a recipe that uses both sourdough yeast and commercial yeast - wild for digestibility and taste, bought for lightness. You can omit the instant yeast, but be warned that you need to keep a steady eye on the desired dough temp to get a decent rise. The commercial yeast also speeds up the fermentation, taking off a good 3 hours to from start to bake. While making the first video of this recipe, I didn’t add yeast and I didn’t proof it warm enough and it was a dense little cakey bread - still delicious, but not quite the success I was hoping to show off.
This recipe also uses a sponge technique. Its sort of like a super-charged levain - getting everything going and ready to take off in the sourdough. You can just dump everything in and hope for the best, but I always find better results with this bread with that added step.
200g recently fed starter
220g strong bread flour
7g of instant yeast
220g warm whole milk
230g strong bread flour
3Tablespoons sugar (or less to suit taste - honey works well here as well)
60g melted butter
1 egg yolk
Mix the ingredients for the sponge, cover and set aside for about an hour until it’s frothy and has swelled.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well - either use a machine with a dough hook or knead until it is silky and smooth.
Stretch and Fold vs Kneading
In a bread like a sandwich loaf, where you want a more neutral taste, kneading, either by hand or with a dough hook attachment speeds up the gluten development without the yeast and acid taking over and souring the bread. You can tell the gluten develops enough by doing the windowpane test. This is pretty much what it sounds like - simply take some dough and pull it apart. If you can see light through it without the gluten breaking, you are good to go.
The dough should be sticky, but not too wet. If you are using a machine it will stick to the bottom of the bowl but not the sides, so adjust the mixture accordingly - a bit more water or a bit more flour as needed.
Once you are happy with the consistency, cover the dough and let it rise until doubled (about 1.5-2h).
Punch down and reshape to go into a loaf tin. Let rise for 1-1.5 hours in a warm place. Ideally, the dough will have risen a good inch above the loaf tin, but you will also get some oven spring when you bake it as well. Bake at 180C for 35-40 minutes.
This recipe is easily doubled and makes delicious light dinner rolls as well.
Making a Kaiser Roll
Take roughly 90g of dough and roll into a length of about 12in/30cm.
Wrap it around your hand and tuck the ends in creating a knot.