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Friday, August 02, 2013

Bread Blogathon contd - White Sandwich Bread

Every time I pick up a loaf of bread from the store, I have these guilt pangs of not knowing exactly what went into it. I still end up doing it a lot because of my bad planning(most of my bread recipes take a couple of days) that makes me unable to bake bread on a regular basis. But once in a while I get this energy streak, and there was this time I decided "Let me at least make a plain sandwich bread, even if made with maida I will know exactly what went into it!". So I went and looked at my brand new books (thanks to that Flipkart sale :)), to find a quick and easy recipe. Finally the one that was most approachable was from one of my older lot - "Beard on Bread".

1 package or 2 1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast ( I used Instant yeast, which means I used 25% less quantity)
1 1/2 to 2 cups warm water
2 tsp Granulated Sugar
3 3/4 to 4 cups All Purpose Flour or Maida
1 1/2 to 2 tbsp Softened butter for buttering bowl and pan (I used Cold-pressed oil)

This recipe will make 1 large loaf using the approx. 9 x 5 x 3 inch pan, or 2 smaller loaves using the approximate 8 x 4 x 2 pan. I tried calculating how I could make 1 smaller loaf and went with halving the quantities, but somehow ended up with a slightly smaller than usual loaf, that tasted AWESOME though!

If using active dry yeast, proof your yeast first to ensure it is still active. This means adding the yeast to the warm water with sugar in it. In my case I used Instant yeast so just added it directly with the dry ingredients. Mix the flour and yeast solution and knead well. This might take anything from 5-10 minutes. I used the KitchenAid which makes it a whole lot easier. Beard says "To test whether the dough has been kneaded enough, make an indentation in it with your fingers; it should spring back. Sometimes blisters will form on the surface of the dough and break, which is another sign that the kneading is sufficient."

Shape the dough into a ball and leave the dough to rest for a few minutes, and then put in a well-oiled bowl for the first rise. Allow it to double, which should take 1 to 2 hours. To know it's ready, the dough should not spring back when pressed.

For the second rising, deflate the dough and then shape into the desired shape of the pan. Cover and leave to double in size again. This might take 40 minutes to 1 1/4 hours. During the second rise, preheat the oven to 220 degrees C.

Make cuts on top of the loaf, brush with water if required, and set the timer for 35 minutes. Actual baking time may be upto 50 minutes, but start checking after 35. If the top seems to start blackening, cover with aluminium foil. Wait to cool before slicing.


  1. Wow that sure is impressive :) I can't wait to get into the new apt and bake!! Will refer back to your posts and the books you have mentioned then. Happy Baking!

    1. Thanks Simran :).. my hope is to find unbleached or organic maida to make it a slightly less guilty experience to bake with maida. Haven't found that yet though.