22 March 2021: King Arthur Baking’s Favorite Sandwich Bread

I’ve been on the hunt for a less rustic loaf of bread recently and, of course, I’m finding lots of options on King Arthur Baking’s recipe site. This one looks like a winner for sandwich breads and is going into the bread-baking rotation.

We rarely have an abundance of milk in our fridge any more; most of what I buy is already designated for breakfast cereal so bread recipes calling for milk – lukewarm or otherwise – tend to be a supply chain challenge. However, as luck would have it, I keep a container of Baker’s Special Dry Milk on hand. Note that this dry milk product does not reconstitute like powdered milk some of us are familiar with from long ago. Baker’s Special Dry Milk is added to other dry ingredients (1/4 cup for every 3 cups of flour – or in this recipe’s case, 1 cup of milk that is called for). The liquid (1 cup) is replaced by lukewarm water. I added the butter, sugar and yeast to the water and all worked out well.

Hopefully this Fall, we’ll be able to make the trek to King Arthur’s Norwich, Vermont headquarters to make a comparison taste test.

King Arthur Baking “Our Favorite Sandwich Bread”

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (227g) milk (see introduction for adapting to using Baker’s Milk)
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) butter
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast or active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons (8g) salt
  • 3 cups (361g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Method

  1. Heat the milk to a simmer, and pour it over the butter in a large mixing bowl. Let the mixture cool to lukewarm, then add the yeast and sugar. (see introduction for how I adapted using Baker’s Special Milk as a replacement for milk)
  2. Once the yeast softens, add the remaining ingredients and stir until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl.
  3. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. (You may also knead this dough in an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine set to the dough or manual cycle). Add a bit of additional milk or flour if needed — the dough should be soft, but not sticky.
  4. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover, and allow it to rise until puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  5. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and shape it into an 8″ log. Place the log in a lightly greased 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan, cover loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 60 minutes, until it’s domed about 1″ above the edge of the pan. A finger pressed into the dough should leave a mark that rebounds slowly.
  6. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  7. Bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes, until it’s light golden brown. Test it by removing it from the pan and thumping it on the bottom (it should sound hollow), or by measuring its interior temperature with a digital thermometer (it should register 190°F at the center of the loaf).
  8. Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on rack before slicing.
  9. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

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