Cookbook Countdown is a monthly cooking/baking event, which I'm co-hosting with Emily's Cooking (Makan2) Foray. Everyone is welcome to join us. How does it work? To summarize, you may select a cookbook from your own cookbook collection, to cook or bake from each month. That selected book shall be your cookbook of the month. You may cook any recipes and as many recipes as you want from your selected book of the month. This is a fabulous way of using your cookbooks at least once! For more information on how to join Cookbook Countdown, please click here.
I'm using one of my favourite baking books for Cookbook Countdown #6 this month, Home Baked Comfort by Kim Laidlaw. She has a few bread recipes in the book, and I wished that she had more! This is the third bread recipe I've tried and so far I like them all, especially the soft and fluffy Cranberry Bread which I've made before.
I like how she called this bread, "A Good, Honest Sandwich Bread". While I was making this bread, with the book opened on this recipe page, my son took a peek to see what bread I was making, and he had a good laugh at the name of the bread, as he thought it was funny calling a bread "honest"! But just as the author said, this is really "A Good, Honest Sandwich Bread"!
The recipe makes 2 loaves, but I've made only half a recipe for one loaf. I've replaced both the flours in the recipe with bread flour. This is an easy, straight forward bread to make, nothing fussy about it. The dough is easy to work with.
This bread, as the author describes, "is both moist and lightly dense and is superb for anything from turkey or grilled cheese sandwiches to cinnamon toast and eggy French toast". I agree, this is a very nice bread, with light dense crumbs, yet soft in texture. I ate a piece on its own as it is quite tasty! We had it for breakfast with some tuna spread, and a mug of hot coffee.
A Good, Honest Sandwich Bread
(adapted from "Williams-Sonoma : Home Baked Comfort", by Kim Laidlaw)
Makes 2 loaves
7 tbsp (3-1/2 oz/105gm) unsalted butter
1 cup (8fl oz/250ml) while milk
2-1/2 tsp kosher salt (for half a recipe, I used scant 1 tsp)
2-3/4 cups (11oz/340gm) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
2-1/2 cups (12-1/2 oz/390gm) white whole-wheat flour
1 package (2-1/4 tsp) instant yeast
1 tbsp sugar
In a small saucepan, melt 6 tablespoons (3oz/90gm) of the butter over low heat. Add the milk, 1 cup (8fl oz/250ml) water, and the salt, and stir until the mixture reaches 120F (49C). Remove from the heat.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flours, yeast, and sugar and mix together on low speed. Add the melted butter mixture and mix together on low speed. Raise the speed to medium and knead until the dough is smooth, about 10 minutes, adding a little more all-purpose flour if needed for the dough to pull away from the sides of the bowl. The dough should be a little sticky.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 1-2 minutes. Form the dough into a ball, place it in the mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm draft-free spot until doubled, about 1 hour.
Butter two 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-cm) loaf pans. Dump the dough onto the lightly floured work surface. Divide into 2 equal pieces. Flatten each piece into an 8-1/2-inch (21.5-cm) square. Roll up each piece of dough, pinch the seam to seal, and place the dough seam side down in a loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until puffy, about 45 minutes.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375F (190C). Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and gently brush the tops of each loaf with it. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped, about 30 minutes. Turn out onto racks and let cool completely before slicing.
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