Quick and Easy White Sandwich Bread

What a day it tuned out to be! School was out again.. We had big fat snow flurries raining down on us, and school was out once again for the second week in a row. Three kids and a dog on a snow day at home.. This should read like a movie. Instead my kiddos acted as if they were handed the elixir to life and my furry went to play in the flurries and in the process got all covered with snow. Dug a nice trench in the backyard with all the  madcap running in it as well. I on the hand decided to cozy up on the recliner with a steaming hot cup of coffee and a book. The first part, I did get to, but since snoozies snuck up on me the book remained unread. Lunch called and there I was looking at the remains of a sad looking loaf of bread and decided to wolf down a semi – naked burger. You know, burger – the normal and all with a yummy patty sandwiched  between 2 slices of bread. Of course loaded with spinach and jalapenos and more. And then you go the carb less route, basically burger without the bun! So therefore by the power of interpretation, a semi naked burger would be when you run out of bread and have only one slice of it !

And thus was born the necessity to bake this afternoon, cause the other option would have been to run to the store . And that would happen only if you would have been able to bribe me with a million bucks and a steaming hot mug of latte. Since it did not, here we are baking bread!

So there you go, for one of the most easiest and most versatile sandwich bread that is pillowy soft and has a fantastic crust and crumb for such minimal effort. Have it plain or toast it and slather it with butter and jam . For the more adventurous, make thick slices of these and make fresh french toast. But make no bones about this, for this might be plain fare, but it appeals very well to all.

Slice think or thick - you choose
Slice think or thick – you choose

Ingredients:

  1. Unbromated and Unbleached  APF    :            3 +0.5 cups reserved as required
  2. Very warm water                                    :            1¼ cups
  3. Instant acting dry yeast                         :            2 ¼ tsp. or 1 sachet of it.
  4. Sugar / Honey/ Agave                           :            2 Tbsp.
  5. Oil                                                             :            ¼ cup
  6. Salt                                                            :            1½ tsp.
  7. Milk ( optional)                                       :            1 Tbsp.

Method:

  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add in 3 cups of flour, sugar and salt and using a flat beater mix it well.
  2. Next add in the dry yeast and stir in well using the flat beater.
  3. Add in the oil and water simultaneously and using the flat beater mix it in thoroughly.
  4. Now switch to the dough hook and knead it for about 4-6 minutes until you get a nice smooth dough. Add in more flour from the reserved 1/2 cup if required.
  5. Rest it in the bowl for about 5 minutes or so.
  6. Take it out on a greased surface ( I typically spray the surface of my kitchen counter and dump the dough in it) and roll it out to form a rectangle and make a log. Pinch the ends of the seam and the sides and place it seam side down on a greased baking pan of 9 by 5 inches.
  7. Cover it with a kitchen towel and let it rise in warm, draft free zone for about 25 minutes or until doubled in volume.
  8. Meanwhile pre heat the oven to 375 deg F.
  9. When dough has sufficiently risen, make a couple of gashes ¼ inches or so deep or make one slit down the center using a very sharp knife and place it in the oven after giving it a milk wash.
  10. Bake for about 25-28 minutes . Do the tap test – bread when tapped should sound hollow.
  11. Let it cool thoroughly before slicing.

 Substitution: Sub out 1 cup of  APF with one cup of white whole wheat flour. The remaining 2 cups would remain APF . It works very well.

Banana Blueberry Cinnamon Wheat Bread

Honestly, what do you do when you have a pair of over ripe bananas and  a pack of fresh blueberries? Mostly, I end up making a good old smoothie. Throw in a few more fruits , maybe a bit of avocado ( gasp) and it goes down pretty fast into the bellies of the young ones.

Gorgeous berries
Gorgeous berries

But with frigid weather, it called for something warm and inviting.. And banana bread it is ! Now this bread is made with white whole wheat flour and APF and the texture once baked would delight you. It yields nice thick slices and warmed up would be great to  be served with whipped sweet cream. I know, crazy as it sounds, it hold pretty well during slicing. Now normally when it comes to quick breads, I usually hesitate to use whole wheat, because the result is usually very dense slice of the bread. But using white whole wheat flour ( I love KA’s white whole wheat! Now in case you  are wondering, this is not refined flour but flour milled from soft white winter wheat . A combination of both the flours will reduce the denseness  and combined with banana puree, this is one heck of a loaf.. Keeps well frozen too !

Ripened bananas
Ripened bananas

 Here it goes .. You can substitute the blue berries for walnuts, chocolate chips and much more..

 Ingredients:

  • White whole wheat flour : 1 cup
  • All purpose flour : 1/2 cup
  • Baking soda : 1 tsp.
  • Salt : A pinch
  • Vanilla Extract : 1 Tsp.
  • Ground cinnamon : 2 Tsp.
  • Granulated brown/shite sugar : 1/2 cup ( can increase to 3/4 if you need a tad bit sweeter)
  • Over ripe Bananas : 2 – 3
  • Blueberries : 1/4 cup
  • Egg : 1(beaten)
  • Butter : 1/3 cup ( melted)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 deg F.
  2. Wash the blueberries, pat dry and toss it in about 1 tbsp. of the flour and keep aside. This ensures that the blueberries do not sink to the bottom of the bread.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk in both the flours and salt ,sugar and baking soda and ground cinnamon. The whisking aerates the flour and also ensures distribution of the cinnamon, sugar , soda and salt.
  4. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas or puree them. Add in the beaten egg, vanilla extract and melted butter and whisk it together.
  5. Add the liquid contents to the dry mix and stir it in well.
  6. The resulting mix is dense shaggy mass that needs to be distributed into a well greased 9 by 5 loaf pan.
  7. Bake in the center rack of your oven for about 50 min.( Do the skewer test – skewer inserted into the center of the loaf should come clean)
  8. Remove from the oven, cool it down very well before slicing it.
Right outta the oven
Right outta the oven
Cooling and inviting
Cooling and inviting
Pretty blueberries lending their burst of freshness
Pretty blueberries lending their burst of freshness

Serve warm, thick slices, straight out. Or Slice it , add a dash of whipped cream on the side and dig in! However you choose, this is really good to delve into!

 

 

Recipe adapted from Simple Recipes.

 

 

Quick Herb Sandwich Bread – One hour bread!

When the going get’s tough, the tough get going!

When we run out of bread at 6 Am, we bake to have a fresh loaf by 7.30 AM … So espoused the sleep deprived brain of mine!

 Now most people do not claim to be sane at 6 AM on a Saturday morning, but hey I never claimed that part of my brain – you know the part when the saner actions originate from, that part was particularly alive and kicking generally.  My four legged addition to the family, a particularly feisty puppy of 5 months old decided 5.40 AM WAS THE PERFECT TIME TO CATCH UP ON THE BARKING OF AN ENTIRE DAY! YIPPE, YIPPE , YAY YAY! Let’s wake up the entire neighborhood ! Now before sleeping tykes get rudely roused ( though I have told them to just put a pillow on their heads and get back to sleep, training the puppy at work and all ) I was up in any case at 5.30 ( blame the body clock!), so keeping me company when I embarked on this madcap adventure  of a bit of this and bit of that , yielding in a successful kitchen experiment was M, my furry companion!  I so totally envy her, after all the rabble rousing bark and her business attended to, she was happily curled up near the vent of the heater, just occasionally raising her head to see to what’s happening and most of the time though happily content to be! Just be.

So here it is, my version of a quick sandwich loaf with minimal ingredients and really yum results.

This is a super quick and equally delicious sandwich bread made in about 60 minutes flat! Yep, that’s right 60 minutes including the rising time and you have it ready to make a thick delicious grilled sandwich or an equally  yum grilled cheese one or just a plain fare of toast with a dab of creamy salted butter!

Please do note, the use of Instant dry yeast is what leads to the quick rising of bread and thereby eliminating the need for a second rise.

Quick bread : check  

Easy loaf : check  

No eggs : check  

Not too much oil or sugar : check  

One rise : check  

Perfect : check   

 

1,2,3
1,2,3
Sliced to perfection!
Sliced to perfection!

Ingredients:

  • Bread flour : 2.5 cups + 0.5 cup as needed
  • Water : very warm, 1 cup
  • Sugar : 1 Tbsp.
  • Olive Oil : 2 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp to grease the bowl
  • Salt : 1 tsp.
  • Red chili flakes : 1/2 Tbsp. ( optional)
  • Fresh and died herbs  of choice: 1/4 cup
  • Instant Active dry yeast : 1 packet  ( 1/4 ounce)

Notes : Do not have Bread flour? Have only All purpose flour? works fine too. Want to try whole wheat? Try mixing the flours half and half and give it a shot! Please do try and use unbromated, unbleached flour. If you end up using unbromated flour, then do knead a bit more.

Method:

  • In a wide mixing bowl or you stand kneader’s bowl add in 2.5 cups of flour, the herbs mix, the salt, sugar  and the instant dry yeast and using a paddle attachment or a whisk make sure they are thoroughly stirred and distributed.
  • Add in the 2 Tbsp. of Olive oil and stir it well too.
  • Replace the paddle to the dough hook and add in the very warm water and knead it well. Once the dough gathers, decide if you need to add a bit more . If so because the dough is too shaggy and sticky, add the extra half cup of flour in stages of 2 tsp. or so and bring it all together and knead very well for about 4- 5 minutes. The end result would be a very soft pliable dough, but definitely not tearing apart. A bit sticky is fine. Not adding too much flour and kneading it very well for about 4 minutes will definitely help the texture of the bread by yielding a light loaf.
  • Grease the bowl with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil and shape the dough in a ball and place it in it and cover with your kitchen towel and let it rest in a warm dark place for about 20 minutes or until the dough is doubled in volume so. Make sure you have nice warm dark place to let your bread rise. If you think you are unsure about where to put it ordinate have a free draft free zone, preheat your oven to about 100 F or so. And turn it off.  The  residual heat in the oven can serve as a nice environment to let your bread rise.
  • After about 20 minutes, gently punch the dough to deflate it and shape it into a free loaf or shape it in your 9 by 5 bread pan. I used the  bread pan and greased it before placing the dough in it and flat patted it. No log formation , nothing. Just a free ball rolled up and then deflated and patted gently to fit the base of the 9 by 5 pan evenly.
  • UPDATE: Slash the top layer of the dough , 1/4 of an inch – make about 2 -3 of these atleast. this will help the steam escape and prevent your bread from splitting on the top.

Baking:

  • In the lowermost rack of your baking oven, fill a baking tray with very very hot tap water and place it.
  • Place your bread pan in the middle rack of your oven.
  • Now set the oven temp to 400 deg F and cook time to 40 minutes and start. Yes, you start with a cold oven !
  • In about 40-42 minutes, you will have a beautiful golden brown loaf with perfect crust.
  • When you tap the sides of the bread and it sounds hollow – you are good  to take it out and cool it.

Remove , let it cool and slice it thick for perfect toast, sandwiches, grilled cheese and more!