Sandwich bread

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Bread is my personal culinary albatross. Other people seem to do it easily. But mine always end up chewy, doughy, or otherwise heavy. What I’m really looking for is a homemade version of white sandwich bread. And finally, I’ve found a recipe that gets me pretty close.

I can’t take credit for the recipe, which should be obvious as I’m a bread noob. I followed this delightful recipe, but I don’t want to make three loaves of bread at a time, so I had to adjust this recipe down to make one loaf.

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1. Wet it: put 2C flour, 1 packet rapid rise yeast, and 0.5T sugar into a bowl. Microwave 1.33C whole until it gets to over 120 degrees. Add it and 0.5T olive oil to the dry ingredients. It’s going t be wet and lumpy. That’s ok. Cover with plastic wrap for 20 minutes.

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2. Knead it: add 1C flour and mix with the wet dough, then, dump it out onto a board and knead.

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If the dough sticks to your fingers or to the board, it may need a little more flour. But you don’t want to add too much. As far as I’ve figured out, you want the dough to be a little on the wet side. It should be soft and less dense than pizza dough

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3. Rise it: after kneading the dough for a while, put it back in the bowl and cover again. Let it rise until it doubles. I waited 75 minutes, although that probably wasn’t long enough. Bread-making takes patience, which is probably why I’m so bad at it.

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4. Flatten it: gently pull the dough out of the bowl and onto a board. It’s going to be kinda sticky. Use your fire to gently stretch it out into the dimensions of a rectangle. You want to make it a little longer than your bread pan. The finger motions you would use remind me of Bugs Bunny in that barber of Seville spoof.

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5. Roll it: roll the dough up into a log. Apparently, this is called the jelly roll style. There is also an envelope style, but all explanations that I’ve read on the web are incomprehensible and seem unnecessarily burdensome.

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6. Rise it: pick up the log, and put it in a greased bread pan. You’ll have to tuck in the ends and make sure that the roll seam side down. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise again. I let it rise for another hour, but it probably needed longer.

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7. Bake it: after the second rise, bake in a 375 degree oven for 35 minutes.

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8. Cool it: set the loaf out onto a cooling rack. The original recipe says I wait 40 minutes before you eat this bread. But freshly baked bread is too friggin delicious. I always take a slice off the end and eat it with a little bit of butter. There’s nothing finer.

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This bread is wonderful: exactly what I’ve been looking for. The recipe is kinda difficult to commit to memory, and it takes a lot of steps. But it’s delicious. Light, cakey, and with just the right amount of chew.

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Later that evening, I used the bread to make my favorite sandwich, a patty melt. And it was a perfect fit.

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