After several failed attempts, I’d pretty much given up on making sandwich bread. But after watching an episode of America’s Test Kitchen, I thought I’d give it another try.
Rapid Rise Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread Recipe:
1. Find a recipe: the bread they made on America’s Test Kitchen was a multigrain bread. I wasn’t all that interest in multigrain bread, but I did really like the techniques they used. Then, for a sandwich bread recipe, I found one on the King Arthur Flour website that I liked as a starting off point because it was quite similar to my pizza dough recipe and would be therefore easier to remember. But I modified some of the measurements to include whole wheat flour.
2. Mix it: the original recipe called for 3 C all purpose flour. I used 2C all purpose flour and about 3/4C whole wheat flour. To that, I added 1 packet rapid rise yeast and 2T of sugar.
For wet stuff, I added 1/2C milk to 1/2C hot water. Then I also melted 4T butter. Once this is together, mix the wet with the dry. The dough was a lot stickier and wetter than my pizza dough normally is.
3. Knead it: for about 5 minutes. Lately, my dog has been getting particularly peeved every time I knead dough. He just starts barking like crazy, and if I ignore him, he jumps at me. I can’t figure it out. But he doesn’t do it with soda breads or muffins, so I think it may be a yeast thing.
4. Rise it: After kneading, cover the dough for a while. Like an hour, maybe.
5. Flatten it: Dump the dough out onto a board and use your finger to flatten it out into a big rectangle. The shorter edge of it should be about the same width as your bread pan. And the dough should be about a half inch thick to 3/4 in thick or so.
6. Roll it: roll up the dough so that it will fit in the bread pan. According to America’s Test Kitchen, the roll is supposed to be relatively tight, so I did what they said to do.
7. Coat it: another thing from America’s Test Kitchen that I liked was that they coated the bread in oatmeal. I love breads like this, so I did the same thing. I sprayed the dough roll with non-stick spray, dumped out some oatmeal on to my board, and then rolled until it got covered.
8. Second rise it: put it into a non-stick sprayed loaf pan, cover, and let rise again. Another half hour to an hour, maybe. You’re looking for it to rise over the top of the pan.
9. Bake it: 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
10. Cool it: dump it out onto a wire rack and let cool for like a long time.
11. Eat it: This bread was spectacularly good. I mean, I’ve had better before, but considering that I made this in my dinky little kitchen, I was really pleased with myself. The last time I tried to make sandwich bread, it came out flat and looking like a weird sheet cake. But this, on the other hand, was good. Not exactly what I was hoping for, but pretty close. The oatmeal coating was nice, the bread was airy and not-dense, and the crust had just the right texture.
As toast, this was wonderful with some butter and strawberry jelly. When the butter melted in, it gave the bread that nice mixture between toasted crispy parts and tender chewy parts. The oatmeal and the sugar in the bread gave it a slight sweetness that makes me think that this would be great bread for a turkey and cranberry sauce sandwich. And when I tried it with turkey burgers and gouda cheese in a patty melt, it was like eating a high five. Oh yeah!