Money is tight as it is the end of the month. I only have so much left in my food budget. As I’m calculating how much my grocery list is going to cost I’m trying to figure out where I can cut cost. Realizing I put $5.00 towards bread, I thought lets test things out and just make my own sandwich bread for the rest of the month.
I’m a believer in bread flour however it cost more money and I only have 2 cups left. So I thought I just need to focus on using my all purpose unbleached white flour.
There is nothing like fresh bread, it’s amazing! Ill prepare you now, you can’t rush through and make bread in a hour. Well, you could but its better not to. If you want a great texture that’s fluffy and light you need to follow the process. So plan on 2-3 hours for fresh bread.
My biggest concern was how long will the bread last? I’m use to the store bought bread lasting a week or longer. So I needed to make sure the bread would last at least 3/4 days. This bread recipe will do that because it includes fat, which will aid in preserving the bread.
This White Sandwich bread has more ingredients then just flour, water & yeast. This concerned me in the times past because it adds to the cost of the bread. However it’s worth the extra cost and it’s going to be much healthier then the cheapest bread you can find for $1.00. Using unbleached all purpose flour helps keep the cost lower. The only thing is APF flour has less gluten and rising can be less compared to bread flour. Plus I will be using butter which also inhibits gluten growth. Therefore why using a egg helps because it works as a leavening agent to help the dough rise, plus aids to a tender crumb. Adding milk & sugar adds flavor and a slight sweetness, plus helps brown the bread.
So please try this everyday white sandwich bread.
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour (plus 1/2 cup for reserved for dusting)
1 package of fast/quick rise yeast
1/2 plus 1/4 tSp sea salt
1 egg at room temperature
2 tBs plus 1/2 tSp sugar
3/4 cup plus 1/8 cup of potato water (see step 1 for instructions on potato water)
1/4 cup milk
3 tBs butter (I use salted)
1 potato = reserve 1/8 cup plain mashed potato (I use baked but you can use whatever you have. If a red or Yukon use 2 potatoes)
Yeast: Most of my bread recipes use fast/quick rise yeast. You can use Active Dry yeast, however you need to activate yeast for faster activation. You can add the AD yeast without activating it however the time it will take for the yeast to do its job will just take much longer so expect that.
Milk: If you find yourself without milk don’t worry, well unless you don’t have these other items. You can replace the milk with evaporated milk, half & half, or use more potato water and add 2 tBs of sour cream. If no sour cream or evaporated milk just use potato water. This will cut back on the richness but don’t worry because the bread will still be good!
Butter: I never have unsalted butter, if you do you can use unsalted butter. However you may need to increase salt by another 1/4 tSp to make up for the lack of salt. If you find you don’t have butter you can substitute with oil. Use 2 tBs of a canola or vegetable oil.
For faster rise in those cold homes during the winter, you can pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. Once bread is ready to rise turn off oven. Let oven sit for 2 min then place covered bowl of dough into oven. Using plastic wrap (I buy from Dollar store) will also work much better then a towel. However if you don’t have plastic wrap go ahead and use a towel.
Step 1: Get your potato ready. Peel & dice potato into small pieces. Place in a pan with 4 cups of cold water. Boil for 10-15 min or until potatoes until cooked so you can mash. Once potato is cooked drain water into a bowl so you can reserve water. You will have about 3 cups of potato water. You only need less then 1 cup for recipe. I save my extra water & mashed potatoes and use for my bread. I store in fridge for up to 3/4 days. Mash potatoes. I use my mesh strainer to make sure no lumps. Mesh strainer acts like a rice masher.
Step 2: Remove 3/4 plus 1/8 cup of potato water and place in pan. Add milk, butter & sugar. Warm until butter melts and temperature reaches 120 degrees. Then add 1/8 cup of mashed potatoes to liquid.
Step 3: combine 3 cups of flour & package of yeast into one bowl. Add liquid mixture then add egg and mix together until well combined.
Step 4: Cover with towel and let dough sit for 10 min. This helps flour absorb the liquid better.
Step 5: Add salt and combine well into dough. You can’t hurt the dough so mix well.
Step 6: lightly dust flour onto counter from using the extra 1/2 cup flour. Place dough onto flour counter and then dust top of dough with more flour.
Step 7: Knead the dough. Lightly dust dough as you go so it’s manageable to knead. Be careful not to add dusting flour if dough is dry. To much flour will ruin texture of dough. It’s okay for dough to be sticky however not so sticky you can’t knead dough properly. Knead by hand for 10 min then let dough rest for 2-5 min. Then knead for another 5 min. It’s very hard to over knead by hand. If using a stand mixer knead for 5 min, rest for 2 min, knead 2 min, then let rest. If dough is not done kneading I recommend kneading by hand for 2 min. You know you are done kneading once you push lightly with finger into dough and the dough bounces back quickly and indent doesn’t stay. If you see a shadow of indent that’s okay, just not an actual indent.
Dough after 10 min of hand kneading
Dough after resting 5 min
Dough when kneaded for an additional 5 min.
Step 8: oil a bowl with 1 tSp of oil, canola, vegetable or olive oil. Then place ball of dough into bowl and oil lightly the top of dough and sides of dough. This keep dough from drying out. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm area of kitchen. If you pre-heated oven to 200 degrees you can turn off oven and place bowl in oven. Should take 45 min for dough to double in size.
Don’t over rise dough or it will deflate because yeast has run out of energy.
Dough doubled in size
Step 9: once dough has doubled lightly punch down dough. Roll out onto lighlty oiled counter (you can use flour however I prefer oil) and flatten/squish out all bubbles. No large bubbles because this will cause gaps in bread (of course not the worst thing…but makes for a messy sandwich).
Step 10: shape dough into a loaf. Flatten out then fold from top to middle, right side to middle, left side to middle then bottom to middle. Then flatten out and fold again top, right, left bottom. Then take top and fold to bottom and create a crease and pinch dough together until sealed. Then fold sides in a d pinch into dough to seal.
Step 11: oil loaf pan. I like to use parchment paper to help lift bread out of pan after baked. Lightly brush oil or melted butter ontop of dough. Loosely cover with plastic wrap, don’t deal plastic down onto pan. Place back into oven (making sure it’s off first) and let bread rise for 30 min
If bubbles form like mind did ONLY because I let it proof for 1hr (left house) you can use kitchen scissors and slice to pop bubble.
Step 12: Remove pan and pre-heat oven to 375. Once oven has reached 375 make sure oven rack is in the center. Then remove plastic wrap off dough and place pan into oven. Bake for 20 min. Bread will be nice brown top.
Step 13: Remove pan and place on cooling rack for 5 min. Then pop bread out of pan, remove parchment paper and place on cooling rack. It’s important to let bread rest. The top will be rock hard but as it rest will soften. It’s like resting your meat before you cut. The moisture in the bread is distributing and relaxing bread. It’s also important you remove bread from pan so bread does not get soggy at the bottom from the steam. I highly recommend letting bread rest for at least 30 min to 2 hrs before slicing.
Bread will last 3/4 days if properly wrapped in plastic once completely cooled for 2-4hrs. I’ve wrapped mine up in wax paper then plastic wrap to seal. Or place into a large ziplock bag.