Sandwiched

There are few things more comforting than a slice of homemade bread, fresh out of the oven.  I love homemade bread.  However, I do not love that I’ve never had great success with sandwich breads.  I can make a fantastic French bread and a melt-in-your-mouth Brioche loaf.  But a basic slicing bread to support my son’s peanut butter and jelly habit has been somewhat ellusive.

However, this recipe has enough liquid in it to bind together the grains without making it heavy.  I use my stand mixer to do the kneading and it has proved invaluable.  If you also choose to use the mixer, make sure you set the lock on it, as the dough comes together rather solidly.  Once baked, allow to cool briefly before turning the bread out onto a cooling rack.  The crumb is very moist and tender and best of all, when sliced, this bread retains it’s structural integrity.   This means that no matter how much of my homemade strawberry jam Liam insists on piling on his sandwich, it’s not going to crumble in those chubby toddler hands before he gets to really enjoy it.

Whole Grain Sandwich Bread

  • 5 tsp. active yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup local honey
  • 2 Tbsp. flax seed
  • 2 Tbsp. wheat germ
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (plus an additional half cup or so as needed to keep the dough from sticking to the mixing bowl during kneading)
  In the bowl of your mixer, put the warm water and the yeast.  Let it set from 5-10 minutes; the yeast will get frothy and smell, well… like yeast.   Add all the ingredients through the all purpose flour and mix using a dough hook.   When the dough begins to come together, start adding the whole wheat flour.  Once all the ingredients are in the bowl, knead using the dough hook and run for about 10 minutes.  Then, roll the dough into a ball and cover for 35-45 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.  (I try to make my bread in the morning on a sunny day.  This way, I can set the bowl of dough on the dining room table for the sun that comes in through the large window to keep it warm.  I know it’s about done when I can smell the yeast in the dough.)
Divide the dough into 2 portions and briefly knead each one.  Shape the dough into a loaf and place in a well greased bread pan.  I use my mother’s glass pans from the 80s so my loafs are a bit shorter than those made in more recent years.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30-35 minutes.
This recipe is adapted from The Organic Family Cookbook.  It makes 2 loaves so I freeze one and keep the other out.  If stored wrapped well, the loaf will keep nicely on a shelf for almost 2 weeks.  Of course, it almost never lasts that long here!

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