Guys! I did it! Successful sandwich bread!
Maybe I was a little too ambitious the first time, with trying whole wheat and things. Maybe it was like I thought, and I didn't knead the bread enough the first time. Maybe I didn't measure out the flour appropriately because I didn't read the fine print about how to measure flour (this was very likely). But whatever the reason, this bread is different - it actually worked on sandwiches!
Guys, this is huge. I don't think people realize how much of a sandwich gal I am. Well, confession, as much as I love baking, I just can't get myself to cook real meals. Ask me what I'm having for lunch, and it's likely just a simple turkey sandwich on rye with spinach. Probably with some barbecue sauce or hummus to give it a little zing. And the usual accompanying apples, carrots, and crackers or pretzels. I know, such a middle school lunch. A lot of it is for convenience and cost, but honestly I just love sandwiches.
So this sandwich bread? It's currently making my life right now because I can use it to make sandwiches and save myself a few bucks at the store. It's just a simple white sandwich bread that slices beautifully and was fairly no-hassle to make. I might soon be making a transition into baking myself bread instead of buying it at the store. It's that good.
White sandwich bread
1 cup + 2 tablespoons to 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water*
1 heaping tablespoon honey
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons soft butter
4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk or 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk granules (I used the milk granules)
Mix all of the ingredients in the order listed, and mix and knead — by hand, or using a stand mixer — to make a smooth dough. It won't be particularly soft nor stiff; it should be smooth and feel bouncy and elastic under your hands.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or other container. Cover it, and let it rise at room temperature until it's very puffy, 1 to 2 hours.
Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into a fat 9" log. Place it in a lightly greased 9" x 5" loaf pan.
Cover the pan, and let the dough rise for 60 to 90 minutes, till it's crowned 1" to 1 1/2" over the rim of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Tent it lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, till it's golden brown.
Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out onto a rack to cool. When completely cool, wrap in plastic, and store at room temperature.