Saturday, April 28, 2012

American Sandwich Bread

Have you ever had homemade bread?  It's hard to go back to store bought, once you've had homemade.  Ever since I was a kid, I have been exposed to homemade bread.  Growing up with five brothers and sisters, money was tight in our house.  My dad used to make homemade bread- imagine making six school lunches everyday!  He used to make double or triple batches and freeze the extra loaves.  There is nothing like having a sandwich on fresh bread or a fresh piece of homemade toast!

I figured it would be appropriate to post this bread recipe today, on my dad's birthday.  I'd have to say my dad is my original inspiration to get in the kitchen and start making things homemade.  He and my mom made so many things from scratch when I was growing up (even home grown chicken)- I didn't appreciate it then, but I sure do now.  With all the chemicals and preservatives in food today, I know that homemade is a way for me to watch what my kids are taking in. For the most part, all my siblings and I are very healthy, and I attribute part of that to the lack of prepackaged food we ate growing up.

This is not my dad's recipe that he usually uses, but I figured I'd post it as a birthday present for him to try.  I don't know that I would have had the belief in myself to actually make a loaf of bread, had I never seen him doing it so often when I was growing up.  Recently, he told me he started making it again because he noticed how store bought bread took weeks to go moldy, whereas homemade takes about 4 days- which is good because you know it's not full of preservatives, etc.  I would like to thank him for inspiring me to cook for my family and for caring enough about us growing up to make us bread for our lunches, even if our sandwiches were 2 inches thick!

If you're worried about carbs and what your kids are putting in their mouths, at least if you make it from home, you know that it's better than what's in that plastic bag at the grocery store.  I encourage you to try to make a loaf today, it's easy, I promise!

Happy Birthday Dad!

American Sandwich Bread:

3 3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp salt (I used kosher)
1 cup cold buttermilk (you can make your own w/ 1 tsp vinegar to 1 cup milk)
1/3 cup boiling water
2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 packet)
3 TBSP honey
2 TBSP unsalted butter, melted

1) Put 3 1/2 cups flour and the salt in bowl of mixer, fitted with dough hook.

2) Melt butter, combine with yeast, honey, boiling water, and buttermilk in a large measuring cup- mix.

3) Slowly pour liquid mixture into flour mixture.  When all liquid has been added, increase speed to medium.   If the dough appears too sticky, slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup flour.  Continue kneading on medium for 8 minutes.  The dough should be soft and not sticking to the sides of the bowl.  It will be slightly sticking to the bottom of the bowl, that is ok.

4) Oil a medium bowl, put the dough into the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set in a warm area to rise until doubled in size, about 50-60 minutes.

5) Punch dough down, press into a rectangle about 9 inches wide.  Slowly roll into a tight cylinder and press the seam closed.  Grease a loaf pan and place the cylinder of dough into the pan, seam side down. Cover with plastic wrap again and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 20-30 minutes.

6) Preheat oven to 350'.  Place an empty cake pan on the bottom of the oven, pour 2 cups boiling water in the pan.  This will give moisture to the crust while the bread is baking.  Bake the bread 40-50 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the center gives a reading of 195'.

7) Remove from the oven, let cool for 10 minutes, remove from pan, set loaf on a wire rack and let cool completely.

Source:  Baking Illustrated
Slice it up
Gather your supplies:
Make a sandwich!
Note:  I do not solely make homemade bread, but if I have the time, I do.  When you have little ones like this, it's hard not to want to give them the good stuff!


  1. Your mom and dad really did instill the DIY attitude in all their kids! It one of my favorite things about this family :)

    PS beautiful pics of the girls!