I think I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I want to dominate bread, so I’m just going to keep making it until I feel like it’s great. I suppose technically, I should keep making the same bread over and over again, but that would be boring. Everyone needs variety! Although, after making this bread, I think I could easily whip up a few loaves over the weekend and store them in my new chest freezer!
Today would have been a wonderful day to stay home from work and cook or bake all day, but alas, I do have a day job, and had to make the trek in. It’s been snowing since late night on Sunday, with a brief interlude yesterday afternoon. I’m not sure exactly how much we’ve got so far, but they were saying to expect about 14 inches. Just when we think we’re on the way out of winter…I’ve once again underestimated the snowiest month of the year, and what a bitch she really can be.
But back to the bread. I didn’t stay home and bake this today, but I did bake it on Sunday. We flew through the sourdough bread I made last weekend, so I thought this weekend I’d give white bread a try. Soft white bread. Is there anything better than freshly baked soft white bread? Not to mention the entire house smells like heaven, or at least what I think heaven should smell like.
This turned out so great! I had three slices that night! I’ve yet to make a sandwich with it. I’ve just been eating it with a little spread of butter or sometimes some good ol’ fashioned Skippy! I was a little worried at first as the outside felt really hard, so I thought it might be more of a crusty bread. Once it cooled though, it was nice and soft to the touch and melts away in your mouth. This was simple and took very little effort since I used my dough hook on my Kitchenaid mixer, so I can easily see myself making this more often. The original recipe made two loaves, but I only have one loaf pan, so I cut it in half. After making and eating this, I feel as though I should invest in another loaf pan 😉
Julia Child’s White Sandwich Bread
Source: Adapted from Dinner with Julie
Servings: 1 loaf
1 1/4 cup warm water
1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
1/2 tbsp sugar
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, softened
1. Pour 1/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Stir in yeast and sugar. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the rest of the water and 1 3/4 cups flour. Stir until well blended. Add the rest of the flour (1 3/4 cups), salt and butter. Turn mixer on and mix until well blended. Use a spoon to scrape the flour from the sides if necessary. I let the mixer run for about 8 minutes. remove from bowl and knead a few times by hand to be sure the dough is evenly smooth.
3. Shape dough into a ball and return to bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until dough doubles in size.
4. Punch dough down, remove from bowl, and form into a rectangle, about the size of a sheet of paper. Fold the dough, lengthwise, in thirds, and place, seam side down, in a greased loaf pan. Cover and let rise for another hour, until dough puffs up right over the top of the pan.
5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake loaf on middle rack for 30-35 minutes, until the top begins to turn honey brown. Remove from oven and immediately transfer loaf to wire rack to cool.