Monday, October 21, 2013

Perfect-Every-Time White Sandwich Bread


Homemade bread.  There's nothing tastier than hot out-of-the-oven bread ... lovingly and painstakingly made by hand.  With this family's busy schedule, it seems I just don't have time to make handmade bread very often.  Certainly not nearly as often as I would like to feed the family homemade bread.  


Water, sugar and yeast in the pan

I owned a bread maker several years ago but barely used it.  I'm not sure if it was the recipes or the maker, but I never found a recipe whose results I was happy with, and so I got rid of it.  About a year ago, I saw a bread maker on sale and decided I'd give machine bread making another try.


Flour, salt and oil added; now starting to blend

My bread maker makes it so easy to make fresh bread for my family.  The breads at the grocery store are chock-full of preservatives which keep them shelf stable for weeks.  My hungry boys now consume enough bread that I don't have to worry so much about shelf stability, and I'd much rather make it using fresh ingredients and fewer chemicals.



My quest for the perfect loaf began.  I began testing, trying and tweaking various recipes in order to come up with something quick and easy that would produce a perfect everyday bread for sandwiches or toast.  This recipe makes a soft, light-textured 1 ½ lb loaf which has quickly become my family's favourite.  




I've also used this recipe as a base for cheese bread which was absolutely delicious!  Just add about a pound of cheese (cubed) when machine signals you for add-ins.


Ingredients

1 cup warm water (about 100-110° F)
2 tbsp white sugar
2   1/4 tsp bread machine yeast
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 cups bread flour
1   1/2 tsp salt

Directions for Bread Maker
  1. Place the water, sugar and yeast in the pan of the bread machine. 
  2. Let the yeast dissolve and foam for about 10 minutes.  
  3. Add the oil, flour and salt to the yeast mixture.  
  4. Choose: (A) 1 1/2 lb size; (B) light crust**; and (C) sandwich setting (basic or white setting also work well).
Directions for Baking in Oven
  1. Place the water, sugar and yeast in the pan of the bread machine. 
  2. Let the yeast dissolve and foam for about 10 minutes.  
  3. Add the oil, flour and salt to the yeast mixture.
  4. Choose the dough cycle.  
  5. Once the cycle is complete, remove the dough and knead a few times.
  6. Place in prepared bread pan.  
  7. Cover with clean tea towel and let rise to about an inch above the rim of the pan.  
  8. Bake at 350° F for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
** I find that using a darker setting makes the crust too thick and much too dark with this recipe