Soft Wheat Sandwich Bread

There are some things in cooking that aren’t glamorous or wonderful at first glance. They aren’t expensive and the ingredients are things you can buy in any grocery store. But these are the things that can seriously change your life. In my mind these small things are what I’m really learning to love about baking and cooking. I’m talking about homemade sandwich bread!

I’ve been making no knead bread for awhile now and Betsy and I have become used to using it for our weekly sandwich bread. Every once in awhile though I want the kind of bread that you see in a store, but I don’t want store bought bread. This bread fits the bill except it tastes nothing like the pre-sliced stuff you buy at the Safeway.

Wheat Sandwich Bread

Just a moment please...

Yield
1 large loaf
Prep Time
Total Time

Homemade wheat sandwich bread that’s perfect for your weekday sandwiches or breakfast toast!

Ingredients

11.25 ounces (2.5 Cups) bread flour
6.75 ounces (1.5 Cups) whole wheat flour
.75 ounces (1.5 Tablespoons) sugar
.38 ounces (1.5 Teaspoons) salt
1 ounce (3 Tablespoons) powdered milk
.17 ounces (1 1/2 Teaspoons) instant yeast
1 ounce (2 Tablespoons) unsalted butter
10 ounces (1 1/4 Cups) water, at room temp
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Helpful Equipment

Loaf Pan

Directions

1) Mix dry ingredients well in a mixing bowl.

2) Add water to the dry ingredients until the dough forms a soft ball. Make sure to add enough water to make it soft and pliable. A soft ball is better than than a hard ball.

3) If you have a stand mixer, you can mix the dough together at medium speed with the dough hook for 10 minutes or you can knead it by hand for about 15 minutes until it passes the windowpane test.

4) Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, rotate it once to cover it in oil, cover it, and let it rise for 2 hours at room temp. It should double in size.

5) Pull dough out and de-gas it, flattening it. Then shape it into a rough rectangle. Using about three folds, roll the rectangle into a loaf form and then roll it out evenly. The loaf should fit perfectly into a 8.5 inch loaf pan. If it doesn’t then, well, make it fit.

6) Cover this again and let it rise for another 90 minutes or until the dough rises over the edge of the pan.

7) Bake the loaf in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, then rotate the loaf 180 degrees and bake it for another 20-30 minutes.

The book recommends testing the internal temp of the loaf with a thermometer. It should register 190 degrees in the center. I just waited until it looked nice and golden brown around the edges.

8) Remove this immediately from the loaf pan and then cool it on a rack. If you thump the loaf, it should sound hollow.

9) Let the loaf cool at least an hour before slicing into it.

When baking I always weigh my ingredients (at least my flour), but if you don’t have a scale, by all means give it a shot with the volume measurements.

Also, you may notice a few odd ingredients (powdered milk). It works out though. It gives the bread a really soft texture that makes good sandwich bread and also really good toast.

This is not an ad for King Arthur Flour.

This is not an ad for King Arthur Flour.

First thing first, mix up all those dry ingredients. Stir them together really well.

Some interesting dry ingredients.

Some interesting dry ingredients.

Add your water to these dry ingredients until the dough forms a soft ball. As Reinhart says in the book, it is better to have the ball be a bit too soft then too hard. In other words. dry bread sucks.

If you have a fancy mixer, by all means, you can mix the dough in that for 10 minutes with the dough hook on medium speed. Or you can knead the dough for about fifteen minutes on your counter.

To test when your dough is ready, tear off a piece and slowly stretch it. Eventually you will be able to see light through it. Otherwise known as the windowpane test.

Below isn’t the best photo. Ideally it would be stretched out a bit more, but I needed one hand to shoot the darn photo.

After 15 minutes of work.

Hand porn!

Kneading is one of those things that I enjoy. Apparently, I’m not the only one.

Kneading dough is very interesting to a cat.

Yea. That is flour on her whiskers.

Anyway, when your dough is done, put it in a lightly oiled bowl, turn it once to cover all sides with a light coat of oil, cover and let rise for 2 hours at room temperature. It will easily double in size.

Doubling in size.

Doubling in size.

Now pull the dough out and flatten it into a rectangle. Using about three folds, roll the rectangle into a loaf form and then roll it out evenly.

Don't get so nervous about this part.

Don’t get so nervous about this part.

The loaf should fit perfectly into a 8.5 inch loaf pan. If it doesn’t then, well, make it fit.

Make sure it is even.

Make sure the dough is pretty even.

Cover this again and let it rise for another 90 minutes or until the dough rises over the edge of the pan. Looks about like this:

Patience is a delicious thing.

Patience is a delicious thing.

Bake this for 30 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree oven. Then rotate the loaf 180 degrees so it cooks evenly and let it cook for another 15 to 30 minutes.

The book recommends testing the internal temp of the loaf with a thermometer. It should register 190 degrees in the center. I just waited until it looked nice and golden brown around the edges.

Nice loaf.

Nice lookin’ loaf.

Remove this immediately from the loaf pan and then cool it on a rack. If you thump the loaf, it should sound hollow. It will be tough, but this needs to cool for at least one hour (ideally two hours) before you slice into it. Don’t worry. It will still be plenty warm.

I really liked this bread. Betsy said that she still prefers the no knead bread, but I go back and forth. Both are good for different things and depending on how much time you have you should try this. Be careful though. Once you eat this, you won’t want to pay $5 for store bought bread ever again.

19 comments on “Soft Wheat Sandwich Bread

  1. I too make this same recipe, only difference mine does not have the powdered milk. Next time I'm going to add and see what the difference is! Your loaf came out so perfect, looks great!

  2. Tipsy loves to sit on the counter an watch me cook. I used to try to fight her away, but she won that battle. Now I just try to keep her from actively eating my food.

    Almost every time I cook, I take a photo of her just to test the lighting or whatever. I usually choose not to post them because, frankly, I don't want to become crazy cat man.

  3. I love this post, because you used whole wheat flour, and you made such beautiful bread. I have used King Arthur flour in my baking a lot, and they have a White Whole Wheat flour, that is wonderful for many things, including making gravy that does not taste "wheaty", but just tastes yummy.

  4. Wow, you pay 5 dollars for bread? You must shop at Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck) haha.

    Anyway, I have been looking for a good whole wheat sandwich bread recipe. I will definitely try this one out! Thanks!

  5. @Sam. The butter is melted and poured into the dough right before you add the water. Sorry… yea… that wasn't the clearest.

    Thanks!

  6. So, I finally made this bread. Awesome. I'm never buying store bread again. I didn't melt the butter, but it was at room temp and soft enough to be distributed well. I also substituted honey for the sugar. It only took 45 minutes to proof the second time in the bread pan, but maybe that's because the house was warm? It also only took about 20 minutes after the rotation and even that was too long. It came out a little on the dry side, but the taste is fantastic, the texture and the crust are just beautiful! We are really going to enjoy this as soon as I get it tweaked just right. I'm not an accomplished cook – I have been known to burn EasyMac for goodness sakes – so I am pretty darn proud that I have produced something that is seemingly complicated, but still tastes good. (Sorry for the long post – just wanted to give feedback.)

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