Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sandwich bread with no added sweetener

I make a lot of bread. I love the whole process from the smell of yeasty goodness, to the kneading of the dough, to slow gentle rising of the dough, to the final golden brown product that makes the whole house smell like a boulangerie in Paris. But have you tried finding a recipe for sandwich bread (or bread in general) that doesn't have sugar in it? Particularly a white bread? Good luck! Why is that? Why does the bread need the sugar? Many think the yeast needs the sugar to feed on. Wrong. Bread without sugar rises in just the same way. Many think the flavor with sugar is better. Wrong. You can eat this bread (below) and you'd never know the sugar is missing. There is absolutely no reason to add sugar to everyday sandwich bread. So, here's my recipe for sandwich bread with no added sweeteners. Try it! You'll love it. I also used this same recipe and swapped out half the AP flour with whole wheat pastry flour. The bread was just as good.

Sandwich bread with no added sweetener
3 cups unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup milk (mix milk and water together and heat to approx. 110 degrees)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 packet instant yeast

1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface, flour your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. Or mix and knead the dough using an electric mixer or food processor. I use the dough hook on my KitchenAid for roughly 4-5 minutes.

2. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise until puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.

3. Gently deflate the dough and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into an 8" log. (I love the instructions on The Kitchn site for how to shape a bread loaf into a log to get into your pan.)

4. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 60 minutes, until it's domed about 1" above the edge of the pan.

5. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes, until it's light golden brown.

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