Bread

The Only Recipe for Sandwich Bread You Need

by Shawnda on February 27, 2014

in Bread,DIY

Classic American Sandwich Bread

It’s probably no surprise to anyone, but I handle the bulk of the grocery shopping around here. And by that, I mean that Jason knows where HEB, Costco, and Aldi are. And that they allegedly sell things other than cheese and wine and Blue Bell.

ALLEGEDLY.

So on the super rare occasion that he has to go grab a forgotten ingredient or two, I make sure my phone is right next to me. Because I know it will ring.

And it will ring more than once. (The over-under is at 3.) (Fair disclosure: Jason would probably rather cut off both his ears with a rusty spoon than send me back to Home Depot for lumber again.)

Classic American Sandwich Bread

Why is there artificial smoke flavor in this?
[Confused, because he went for bread and cheese] They… put it in so they don’t actually have to smoke the meat?
I’m reading the bag of bread.
Dude. Gross.
I’m not buying this. Show me how to make it when I get home.

Or… you could go play dinosaur lunchtime tea party upstairs with Landry and just let me do it because as huge a dino-geek as I am, I cannot play that game for one single second more some days.

Classic American Sandwich Bread

Enter the last recipe for sandwich bread that you’ll ever need.

It’s light, white, and fluffy. It’s soft, tender, but still holds up to a serrated knife. When I make Landry’s butterfly- or dino-shaped PB&Js for lunch, I don’t throw these scraps away – I eat them in the before-school chaos for my breakfast.

The recipe is even fairly quick and painless, as far as bread goes (assuming you’re not kneading by hand). I have been baking it twice a week, to stay ahead of the lunch curve: once on the weekend and then again on Wednesday nights. And only once has it ever done this:

Keepin' it real

Don’t skip that step to lower your oven rack. Otherwise, you’ll be sawing off the top of the loaf.

Slice it up, freeze what you don’t need in the next two days, and then tell me that it doesn’t make the very best “plain” turkey sandwich you’ve ever eaten for lunch.

American Sandwich Bread

Light, airy, soft. and tender - it's the only recipe for sandwich bread you'll ever need.

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 2 tsp (1 package) dry active yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk (I use low-fat)
  • 3 Tbsp sugar (or honey)
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted (I microwave it with the milk)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 cups flour, plus more if needed
  • Oil or cooking spray for greasing bowl and loaf pan

Instructions

  1. Sprinkle yeast over warm water and proof for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the milk, butter, sugar, flour, and salt to the bowl, mixing in low until combined.
  3. Increase speed to medium and knead for 10 minutes, until dough mostly cleans the side of the bowl and is smooth. (If the dough is still very sticky half way through kneading, add a few extra Tbsp flour.)
  4. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for ~45 minutes in a warm spot.
  5. Spray a loaf pan (original recipe recommends 9-inch, I use a 10-inch) with cooking spray.
  6. Press the dough into a rectangle 1-inch thick, approximately 9-inches long, and then begin rolling the long edge into a cylinder.
  7. Crimp the bottom edge of the dough and lightly press it into the loaf pan, spreading it to the corners.
  8. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes while the oven is preheating to 350 and you're rearranging your oven racks to back in the lower/middle of your oven (remember - top third will look like that sad loaf above!).
  9. Bring 2 cups of water to boil and place it in a small pan in the oven when you place the loaf pan in the oven.
  10. Bake for ~45 minutes, until golden brown.
  11. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
  12. I slice once cool (16 slices + ends) and freeze the bread in stacks of 4 in a large zipper bag. I let the bread thaw overnight in a zipper bag on the counter to make lunches in the morning.

Notes

Yields: 1 loaf, or 16 slices of bread

Source: Cook's Illustrated Cookbook via Smells Like Home

Estimated time: 2 hours 45 minutes

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Cheesy Crab & Artichoke Bread

One of the things I look forward to most every December is my friend (and realtor extraordinaire) Brandi’s cookie exchange. Two dozen women each bring six dozen cookies, dump them in the dining room on their way into the kitchen, and then proceed to drink two dozen bottles of Prosecco.

It’s a cookie exchange that isn’t totally about the cookies. And it is a good time.

Cheesy Crab & Artichoke Bread

This year, my favorite part of the party wasn’t the cookies (never is). Or the Naughty Punch (always is). Or even the straight Prosecco when it was too much work to get up and walk into the kitchen for more punch (because why do that when you can carry a bottle around the house with you).

My favorite part was the artichoke bread. Guys. A loaf of bread split in half and topped with a creamy mixture of artichokes, cheese, and garlic and then baked to bubbly, melty perfection.

Who need chips or crackers when you bake your dip directly on the bread?

Cheesy Crab & Artichoke Bread

Bubbly, melty, cheesy perfection only gets better with that container of crab that has to be eaten, like, yesterday later. But, you know wasn’t. Because Prosecco.

Serve it with dinner. Or as dinner. And then lunch and dinner again.

Cheesy Crab & Artichoke Bread

Cheese, artichokes, and crab are baked on top of ciabatta for the ultimate party food.

Ingredients

  • 1 large loaf ciabatta (my loaf was ~15in x 6in)
  • 2 cans quartered artichokes, drained well
  • 8 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (sour cream or mayo would also work)
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 4 green onions, sliced and dark green parts reserved for garnish
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Small handful of parsley, chopped
  • Worcestershire
  • 1 tsp old bay seasoning
  • 8 oz shredded cheese (I used half cheddar, half Monterrey jack)
  • 8 oz lump crab

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Cut the loaf of ciabatta in half horizontally and place on a foil-lined baking sheet.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, a couple of dashes of Worcestershire, white and light green parts of the green onions, garlic, parsley, and Old bay seasoning.
  4. Stir in the cheese, artichokes, and crab until everything is nicely coated.
  5. Generously top the two halves of the ciabatta with the artichoke mixture, spreading it all the way to the edges of the bread.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes and then turn the broiler on for an additional 2-3 minutes to brown the cheese (keep an eye on it while broiling).
  7. Slice into strips and serve warm/hot.
  8. I had ~3/4 cup of the topping leftover that I put into a ramekin and baked along side the bread.
  9. Leftovers will keep tightly wrapped in the fridge - reheat in the oven for ~10 minutes.

Notes

Yields: A lot. Servings vary.

Source: Confections of a Foodie Bride

Estimated time: 35 minutes

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Goat Cheese & Black Pepper Biscuits

We all deal with stress, disappointment, and defeat in different ways. At least I assume we do. Unless you tell me that you, too, head straight for your kitchen to fry up all the bacon and chop all the onions in the house. While knocking back a couple goat cheese biscuits.

To each her own, I guess.

After 5 months of marathon training, I’m down “only” 2.5 pounds (after losing the 13 I gained over the first 2.5 months), down a full pants-size, ran a personal record 15 miles at a personal record pace… and then here I am, heavy one ugly gray boot. For a minimum of 4 weeks.

The Mech Warrior Boot

“But what about my crazy expensive marathon?! It’s 60 days away!” The sad, blank stare I got back verified one thing: An orthopedic surgeon’s office would be the best place ever for a tequila shot dispenser.

So I limped to the kitchen in my unlimited edition Soul-Crushing Grey boot. And I ate goat cheese biscuits for lunch. Goat cheese and carbs alone won’t numb the disappointment so I did the only thing I knew how to do.

I dumped the last of the bacon into a pan and grabbed another biscuit.

And then I started hacking away at the onions while thinking about all the other things that we could have done with the money I spent on airfare and onsite lodging and Body Glide and park tickets. And race fees and shoes and Gu.

Goat Cheese & Black Pepper Biscuits

And seriously. THOSE &^%$#@! PARK TICKETS.

But I can run far. And run pretty fast. Even though right now, I feel like a Mechwarrior when I walk.

Mechwarrior

And I can totally dominate a pan of biscuits.

Tender drop biscuits infused with tangy goat cheese and lots and lots of black pepper. They’re not a cure-all. But they sure won’t make a bad situation worse.

Goat Cheese & Black Pepper Biscuits

A soft, peppery biscuit made with tangy goat cheese and yogurt.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 heaping tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 oz goat cheese
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or if desperate like me, scavenge your fridge for 3/4 cup fat-free greek yogurt + 1/4 cup 2% milk)
  • 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 and place a 10-in cast iron skillet in the oven to heat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper.
  3. Take a fork and crumble the goat cheese into the dry ingredients.
  4. Cut 4 Tbsp of the butter into small cubes and add to the bowl.
  5. Cut the butter and goat cheese into the dry ingredients until there are no big pieces left (this takes 90 seconds by hand).
  6. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the "buttermilk" and then stir until all powdery traces are gone.
  7. Remove the skillet from the oven and add 1 Tbsp butter, swirling to coat the bottom.
  8. Drop biscuits by heaping large spoonful (I got 10 biscuits) into the skillet.
  9. Melt the last Tbsp of butter and brush over top.
  10. Bake ~15 minutes, just until biscuits brown on top.
  11. Devour immediately. Or the next day. There are no wrong answers here.

Notes

Yields: 10 servings

Slightly adapted from Cook Like a Champion

Estimated time: 45 minutes

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Bacon Jam & Brie-Filled Pretzel Rolls

I spent this past weekend pregaming for Part I of The Shawnda Super Bowl (not yet trademarked). Because nothing makes watching football more fun than a last-second-thriller between your two favorite teams and stuffing your face with bacon- and cheese-stuffed carbs.

The closer the game and the bigger the special teams implosion? The more you eat.

True story.

Bacon Jam & Brie-Filled Pretzel Rolls

The idea behind those beautifully delicious and incredibly addictive pretzel rolls came from my friend Tara. She’s the gal behind one of my all-time favorite blogs, Smells Like Home. In addition to enabling my Stuff-Yo’-Face-Sunday habit, she’s also the creator of one of our favorite dinners in rotation right now: Creamy Chicken Sausage and Spinach Pasta.

That 1/2 cup of white wine needed for the pasta recipe is the perfect excuse to crack open a bottle on a Monday night. You know, if your fantasy – or real – quarterback didn’t break his collarbone and you need an excuse.

And then the justification to go ahead and polish it off because WTH is “leftover wine” and why, Aaron Rodgers, WHY?!!

Bacon Jam & Brie-Filled Pretzel Rolls

I made just a few minor changes to the original recipe:
– I made smaller rolls, which actually worked out to a perfect 2-dozen because:
– I was forced to scale down the recipe after knocking the flour container off the countertop. And as a result:
– I used way more f-words than Tara had to (I don’t actually have any proof of this) but was thankful that:
– I didn’t get a letter from The Little’s teacher in her take-home folder yesterday, which means she didn’t repeat any “Mommy Words” at school.
– I filled the rolls with scrape-the-jar-and-lick-the-spoon bacon jam and brie. Which probably explains why:
– I’ve had to lay on the bed to zip up my jeans this week.

Hopefully those things zip a little easier by the time Part II of The Shawnda Super Bowl rolls around next month.

Bacon Jam & Brie-Filled Pretzel Rolls

If you’re not up for making your own, HEB currently has BOGO jars of “Better Than Good” Bacon Jam. It’s a bit more savory (hello, Worcestershire!) than the popular Martha Stewart recipe than was everywhere on the internet last year and, well, some days you just can’t beat the convenience of open-jar-insert-spoon.

Bacon Jam & Brie-Filled Pretzel Rolls

Bacon Jam & Brie-Filled Pretzel Rolls

The ultimate fancy tailgating food: soft pretzel rolls filled with bacon jam and brie.

Ingredients

  • 1 package dry active yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 1/3 cups warm milk
  • 2 tsp oil (I used olive)
  • 1 1/3 tsp salt
  • 5 - 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 8 oz wheel of brie, cut into ~1/2-inch x 1-inch blocks (you need 24)
  • 9 oz jar (or a generous 1 cup) of bacon jam
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 Tbsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Coarse salt

Instructions

  1. Place the water in a large bowl or the bowl of your mixer and sprinkle the yeast over top. Let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the warm milk, oil, salt, and 4 cups of the flour and mix on low until incorporated.
  3. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time at first, until the dough is still tacky but firm enough to climb the dough hook (you may not use all the flour - the dough should be soft and will not completely come off the sides of the bowl).
  4. Let the dough rise covered in a lightly-oiled boil for 2 hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 425 and lightly grease or line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  6. Bring the water, sugar, and baking soda to a simmer in a large sauce pan.
  7. Divide the dough into ~24 pieces. A scale makes this easy - my dough balls weighed in at ~2 oz each.
  8. Flatten each dough ball out, top with a chunk of brie and a small spoon of bacon jam, and then bring the edges of the dough up and and crimp/pinch to seal. Set aside on the prepared baking pans while you finish the rest.
  9. Boil the pretzel rolls in batch of 3-4 for 45 seconds on each side, drain (a slotted spatula and a stack of paper towels or napkins are your best friends), and then transfer to the baking sheets.
  10. Use a sharp knife to score 2-3 slits into the top of each roll, taking care not to cut too deeply and creating a fabulously oozy, cheesy mess.
  11. Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through, until dark golden brown.
  12. Eat hot straight from the oven or warmed for a halftime snack.
  13. Or eat straight-from-the-fridge cold for breakfast.
  14. I don't judge.

Notes

Yields: 24 rolls

Adapted from Smells Like Home and Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Estimated time: 3 hours

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