Since earlier this year (2015), I’ve been a proud member of Cook’s Illustrated , an online recipe portal where you can find tested and perfected recipes by America’s Test Kitchen professional chefs and video guides. And no, I’m not paid/sponsored by them to feature this post. Maybe they should.
Anyhow, I’ve always been very very reluctant to jump into the bandwagon of bread-making. 1) I do not owe a bread-making machine. 2) Waiting 3 hours for the dough to rise is something I do not look forward to. 3) What if after spending all that time and effort, the end result is not what I’ve expected? If you realize, there is a very lacking category space for bread in my blog. Until now.
When I came across this Easy Sandwich Bread recipe on America’s Test Kitchen, I was super intrigued to try it out. They got me at the no-knead part. All the mixing was done in a stand mixer using a paddle whisk instead of a dough hook. Hmm, really? Yes. The dough only needed 2 short rising time – 20 mins each before headed into the oven. After 40 mins, your loaf of crusty, homemade bread is ready. Bonus part: you’ll get to enjoy the lovely smell of freshly baked bread in your kitchen.
If you follow the steps to a T, you should be able to enjoy the same success as me. This is a really simple recipe and there are just a few of things to remember:
1) Remember to grease your spatula when scraping down the dough as this is a sticky dough
2) During the second rising, do not allow the dough to touch the surface of the cling wrap. Remember to remove the cling wrap 5 – 10 mins before to let it finish rising properly. This is to prevent the loaf from deflating as it rises.
3) Preferred loaf pan measures 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches; if using a 9 by 5-inch pan, check for doneness 5 minutes early.
Oh lastly, the wholemeal flour indicated in the recipe has a fine texture. The one I used in the video was on the coarser side as that was the only one available at the grocery store at that time. After making this video, I managed to get my hands on the finer texture version. I’m happy to report both types work well.
2 cups (280 g) bread flour
6 tbsp (90 g) wholemeal flour
2 ¼ tsp instant / rapid rise yeast (1 x 4 oz. sachet)
1 ¼ cup (300 ml) warm water (50°C/120°F)
2 tbsp (30 g) unsalted butter – melted
1 tbsp (15 g) honey
¾ tsp salt
Egg wash glaze:
1 egg – beaten with 1 tsp water and pinch of salt
Makes 1 x 8 inch loaf pan
Recipe source: America’s Test Kitchen
Add both flours and instant yeast in a large mixing bowl and use a whisk to mix everything together.
Pour in melted butter, honey and warm water.
Using a stand mixer with a paddle whisk, whisk the ingredients together for 1 min (low speed). Turn up to medium speed and whisk for another 2 mins.
Using a greased spatula, scrap down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix for another 2 mins.
When the dough is done, scrap down the sides again and cover the bowl with cling wrap.
Let the dough rest and rise for 20 mins at the warmest spot in the house. The texture of the dough is very wet and sticky and that is very okay.
Mix the salt with 2 tbsp warm water until dissolved. When the dough has doubled its size, add the salt-water mixture into the dough.
Use the paddle whisk and whisk the dough on low speed for 40 secs, turn up to medium speed and continue to beat for another 1 min.
Scrap down the sides of the bowl and transfer the dough to a lightly greased 8 ½ x 4 ½ inches loaf pan and use the greased spatula to spread it out gently.
Preheat your oven to 190°C/375°F.
Cover again with cling wrap and let it rise for 10 – 15 mins, until it is ½ inch below the edge of the pan but not touching the cling wrap.
Remove cling wrap and let it rise further for another 10 mins. By removing the cling wrap, it will not hinder the rising process and deflate the dough.
Brush the egg wash glaze on top of the dough. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 mins, until the internal temperature registers 98°C/210°F.
Carefully take out the loaf pan and remove the bread from the pan. Brush 1 tbsp melted butter on top and all the sides of the bread. This will soften this crust and makes it easier to cut.
Allow the bread to cool completely before cutting. Resist the temptation to cut it while it is still warm.
Note: This loaf is best eaten the day it is made, but leftovers may be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored for up to two days at room temperature or frozen for up to one month.