Is it just me or does the price of bread just keep going up? I walk into the grocery store looking for a plain loaf of white bread and the prices that greet me are $4.00 a loaf and up! It's craziness! I usually end up looking for whatever brand is on sale that week, and by on sale I mean for $2.50-$3.00 a loaf, and buy a loaf of that bread. It's usually not my favorite but I just can't pay $5.00 per loaf of bread.
So the alternative is for me to start baking my own bread. Back a few years my husband was baking bread about once a week and it was fantastic. There is nothing quite like fresh bread baking in the oven. The smell is wonderful and it just makes me feel warm and cozy.
I've tried many bread recipes over the years and some are better then others. Since I needed bread for my lunch, I wanted to find a sandwich bread recipe. I managed to find one and it sounded similar to other recipes but I gave it a shot. It smelled great as it was rising and I like the technique of having it rise in a warmed oven really sped up the process.
The bread has a nice crunch on the outside and was soft inside. It was the perfect sandwich bread and it stood up well to toppings piled on it for a sandwich.
Sandwich Bread (adapted from What's Cookin, Chicago?)
2 ½ c. all purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
2 t. salt
1 c. warm 2% milk
⅓ c. warm water
2 T. butter, melted
2 T. honey
2 ¼ t. (1 envelop) instant yeast
1. Turn the oven on to 200 degrees. All it to heat up and keep it at 200 degrees for 10 minutes before turning it off.
2. Meanwhile, mix both flours and salt together in a large bowl.
3. Mix the warm milk, warm water, butter, honey, and yeast in a medium bowl. Mix well.
4. Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and mix until a ball forms. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes.
5. Place the dough ball in a lightly greased bowl, rubbing the dough around the bowl to coat lightly. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the warmed (but off!) oven for 45 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
6. Press the dough into an 8 inch square that is about 1 inch thick. Roll the dough into a tight cylinder. Pinch the seam shut.
7. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray and place the dough in seam side down. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the bread for 40-50 minutes or until the top is browned and the bread is cooked through.
9. Cool to room temperature. Slice and serve.