Basic Soft White Sandwich Loaf - Makes one loaf
Supplies: One 8.5"x4.5" loaf pan, sprayed with cooking oil
Ingredients: For the sponge
- All-purpose flour - 1 1/4 cups flour
- Water, room temp - scant 1 cup
- Honey - 1 tablespoon and 3/4 teaspoon
- Instant Yeast - 1/2 teaspoon
For the flour mixture and dough
- All-purpose flour - 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
- Dry milk - 1/8 cup
- Instant Yeast - 1/2 teaspoon
- Unsalted butter, softened - 4.5 tablespoons
- Salt - 1 teaspoon
- Make the sponge - In a mixer bowl, combine the four sponge ingredients and whisk until smooth like pancake batter. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
- Combine the flour, dry milk, and instant yeast with a whisk. Dust evenly over the liquid sponge. Cover with plastic wrap for 1-4 hours on the counter. (For more flavor, you can refrigerate after 1 hour up to 24 hours in the fridge.)
- Mix the dough - Add the butter and mix on low speed with the dough hook attachment until all the flour is moistened and rough dough forms. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for about 20 mins. After sprinkle on the salt and knead the dough with the dough hook attachment on medium speed for 7 mins or until the dough is shiny and smooth. You can add flour if the dough is not stiff enough or water if the dough is not sticky.
- Dough Rise - Scrape the dough into an oiled bowl or rising container and let rise covered until doubled about 1-1 1/2 hours. After rising, scrape the dough onto a floured counter and form a rectangle. Give it two business letter turns and out it back into the bowl. Oil the surface, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled about 1-1 1/2 hours.
- Scrape the dough onto a flour dusted counter. Gently press the dough into a rectangle not worrying about size. The long side should be facing toward you. Fold the right side a little past the center and then take the left side and overlap with the right side. Press down to seal the dough. Turn a ninety degree angle, at the top of the dough roll toward you three or four times and seal each turn with your thumbs. The outer skin of the dough should be tight and the dough log should be as long as the pan. If not, gently press both hands on the log and roll back and forth working from the center to the ends. Make sure not to tear the outer skin, but it should remain tight. Slip the dough log into the prepared loaf pan and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Let rise for 1-1 1/2 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Oven shelf should be at the bottom level with baking stone and pan on the floor of the oven.
- Quickly and gently set the pan on the baking stone and throw 1/2 cup ice cubes into the pan on the floor. Instantly shut the door. Bake for around 20-25 mins and medium brown and skewer inserted comes out clean. (If you have a fancy instant read thermometer the center should read 210 F. Turn the pan around halfway through baking to allow for more even cooking.
- Remove the bread from the oven, unmold and let cool on a wire rack for one hour. (You can brush the top with melted butter as a nice glaze.