February 28, 2021
This beautiful loaf of bread didn’t hang around my kitchen long enough to even make a sandwich with it! This bread was cut and eaten. It was gobbled up. I will admit to having my share with some salted butter smeared on it. But my husband Randy just ate it as is. Of course he did cut off both ends because he loves the crust. You are allowed to do that when your wife serves you only bread for lunch. Eli gave me a huge compliment and told me it tasted like real restaurant bread. And Mia just quietly sliced herself another piece. I call that a success.
So this bread is gorgeous and easy to make. Hardly any kneading involved. Literally a total of 30 seconds of kneading. I kid you not. You knead the bread 3 times for 10 seconds at 10 minute intervals. The rest of the time the bread is either rising or baking.
This is a perfect Sunday morning project. I started the loaf around 8 am and it was out of the oven by noon. As I said, that is not hands on time, just the time it takes to rise and bake. And yes, if you make it and your family doesn’t descend upon it and consume it like vultures, you can even make a sandwich with it. I mean, it is called sandwich bread.
Old Fashioned Sandwich Bread
Adapted from Nigella Lawson COOK EAT REPEAT
4 cups (500 grams) bread flour, plus more for dusting
2 1/2 teaspoons (7 grams) fast action yeast
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 cup sour cream, cold
2/3 cup cold water
7 tablespoons hot water from a just boiled kettle
vegetable or canola oil for kneading
In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast, sugar and salt.
Put the sour cream in a large measuring cup and add the cold water. This should take you to the 1 1/2 cup (275 ml) mark. Add the hot water.
Pour the measuring cup of wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. You can mix with a spoon but it is best to use your hands. (Feel free to wear disposable gloves.) Mix until all the flour, except for what’s clinging to the sides of the bowl, is incorporated. It shouldn’t take more than a minute or two. Form the dough into a rough ball and cover the bowl with a dish towel or plastic wrap. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
Pour a little bit of oil onto the kitchen counter and spread it with your hand to an are big enough to knead on. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it on the counter for 10 seconds- I counted to 20 just to be sure. (Everybody kneads dough differently. I push the dough away from me with a level hand and bring it back with my fingers.) Form the dough back into a ball and return it to its bowl. Cover again and leave it for 10 more minutes. Repeat this process twice more, and after the third 10 second knead, form the dough back into a ball. Put it back into the bowl and let it rise for 1 hour.
Line the bottom of a loaf pan with parchment paper and grease the sides with butter. (I cut the end off a stick of butter and use the stick to grease the pan.)
Take the dough out of the bowl and put it back on the oiled surface. Pat it down so you have a 1 inch (2 cm) thick blanket of dough in front on you. One edge should be about 1 1/2 inches (4cm) shorter than the length of your pan. (See photo)
Starting with this edge, and using both hands, roll the dough into a scroll and place it seam side down into the pan. You may have to push the ends in to fit because as you roll the dough, your scroll can get longer. Cover it and leave it to rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. When it's ready the dough should be peeking out above the top of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 400ºF when the dough is nearly ready.
Dust the top of the dough with a little flour and bake for 45 minutes. The bread should be have a rounded, deep biscuity-golden top. Wearing oven mitts, immediately take the bread out of the pan and let it cool on a wire rack before slicing. Store in a tin or wrap in a kitchen towel to keep it fresh.