I’ve made quick breads, bagels and laminated dough (for croissants) before but I was still a bit intimidated to try and make sandwich bread. But it was actually not as hard as I thought it would be. And it was fun!
I made two beautiful loaves of bread, so beautiful I almost didn’t want to eat them. (Is that weird?) Besides their stunning good lucks, they smell divine. My apartment smelled like a bakery after – it was awesome. Can you tell I love carbs?
My physical therapy is going well. It seems my knee is somewhat improving but I still haven’t been able to bend it completely straight. The therapist mentioned I might have joint problems or arthritis if I don’t get it straight soon. Ack! Just hearing the word arthritis in the same sentence as my name makes me shudder. Shouldn’t I at least get to 50 before anyone mentions the “a” word?
Well anyways, on to a “b” word that I very much adore. To make the bread, I used my digital scale to weigh out all the ingredients. I preferred doing this than measuring by volume with measuring cups for several reasons. The main reason was because I wanted to make a multi-grain variation, and needed to know exactly how much whole wheat flour to replace with quinoa and oatmeal. If you don’t have a digital scale, you can still make this bread – just pay closer attention to your dough and add more flour or water as needed to get a slightly sticky, pliable dough.
The bread is mostly hands-off to make after you mix everything and “stretch and fold” the dough. The “stretch and fold” method can be seen demonstrated here by the author, Peter Reinhart, himself. After I placed the dough in the refrigerator overnight to ferment, the next day I was ready to bake. Make sure you set aside half a day on baking day because the dough will need to be taken out at least 3 hours before baking and then there is also time needed for the dough to proof (rise) after you shape it. I made two shapes of bread – a sandwich loaf and a freestanding loaf. To be honest, I would have made two sandwich loaves but I only had one pan! (First world problems.)
I’ve been eating about four slices of bread a day now. It’s just too good to pass up! I like having some slices in the morning with either butter and cinnamon sugar or with peanut butter and sliced bananas. The bread makes for great sandwiches too. Get yourself some deli meat, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and pickles (a great sandwich always has pickles in my opinion) and pile it all between two slices of your new bread. Drool.
Everyday 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
Makes 2 large loaves or many rolls
Recipe from Artisan Breads Everyday by Peter Reinhart
- 6 1/2 cups (784 g) whole wheat flour*
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 5 tablespoons (2.5 oz/ 71 g) brown sugar
- 1 egg (1.75 oz/ 50 g)
- 1/4 cup (2 oz/ 56.5 g) canola oil
- 1 1/4 cups (10 oz/ 283 g) lukewarm water (about 95 degrees F)
- 1 1/4 cups (10 oz/ 283 g) lukewarm whole milk (about 95 degrees F)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (0.5 oz/ 14 g) instant yeast
*I made a multi-grain version of this bread and per the recipe guidance you can replace up to 156 grams (5.5 ounces) of the whole wheat flour. Here’s what I used below:
- 70 g organic uncooked ground quinoa
- 86 g oatmeal flakes, ground
*In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and sugar together. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and oil together. Separately, combine the water and milk, then whisk in the yeast until dissolved.
*Add the egg mixture and the water mixture to the dry ingredients. If using a mixer, use the paddle attachment and mix on the lowest speed for 1 minute. If mixing by hand, use a large spoon and stir for about 1 minute. The dough should be wet and coarse. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes to fully hydrate the flour.
*Switch to the dough hook and mix on medium-low speed, or continue mixing by hand, for 2 minutes. The dough will firm up slightly and become smoother. If it’s still very wet, add more flour; if it’s very stiff, add a little more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. The dough should be very supple and slightly sticky. Continue to mix with the dough hook on medium-low speed, or mix by hand for 4 minutes more, increasing the speed to medium-high or stirring vigorously for the final 20 seconds to develop and organize the gluten. The dough will be slightly sticky but will also feel stronger and more elastic.
*Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface with a wet bowl scraper (I used a spatula) and knead by hand for a final few seconds, working in more flour or water as needed so that the dough is very supple and pliable and slightly sticky; then form the dough into a ball. Do a stretch and fold, either on the work surface or in the bowl, reaching under the front end of the dough, stretching it out, then folding it back onto the top of the dough. Do this from the back end and then from each side, then flip the dough over and tuck it into a ball. Cover the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes. Repeat this entire process two more times, completing all repetitions within 30 minutes.
*Place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl large enough to hold the dough when it doubles in size. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap, then immediately refrigerate over night or for up to 4 days. (If you plan to bake the dough in batches over different days, you can portion the dough and place it into 2 or more oiled bowls at this stage).
On Baking Day
*Remove the dough from the refrigerator about 3 hours before you plan to bake. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and divide it into two equal pieces for loaves or small pieces for rolls, about 2 ounces each. Shape the dough into sandwich loaves, freestanding loaves, or rolls. For sandwich loaves, place the dough in greased 4 1/2 by 8 1/2-inch loaf pans. For freestanding loaves or rolls, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat and proof the dough on the pan. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap, then let the dough rise at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours, until increased to about 1 1/2 times its original size. In loaf pans, the dough should dome about 1 inch above the rim.
*About 15 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. If making rolls, brush the dough with egg wash prior to baking. (This isn’t necessary for loaves.)
*Bake loaves for 20 minutes, then rotate; rotate rolls after 10 minutes. The total baking time is 40 to 55 minutes for loaves, and only about 20 minutes for rolls. The bread is done when the top and sides are a deep, rich brown; the loaf sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom; and the internal temperature is above 185 degrees F in the center.
*Remove from the pans and cool for at least 20 minutes for rolls and at least 1 hour for loaves before slicing or serving.