Like many people, I’m concerned about the amount of preservatives in packaged food. I try to eat and cook with mainly whole foods, but it’s not always easy. In order to avoid preservatives I often choose to make the food rather than buy it. The main things I choose to make instead of buy are bread products. Have you looked at the ingredients for a loaf of sandwich bread lately? I shudder at the thought of all those preservatives going into my body. Luckily, bread is easy to make (thanks to my stand mixer!), and is usually cheaper than buying it pre-made at the store. The bread I make most often is this sandwich bread. It took me a while to find the right recipe, but this has been the favorite of my family so far.
Wheat Sandwich Bread – Adapted from The Frugal Girl
Makes 2 8×4 loaves
2½ – 3 cups whole wheat flour
2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 package (2¼ teaspoons) yeast (I use rapid rise)
2¼ cups milk
1 tablespoon butter or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons salt
In a large mixing bowl, combine 1½ cups of wheat flour, 1 cup white flour, and yeast. Heat milk, butter (or vegetable oil), sugar and salt in a microwave-safe bowl or large measuring cup until it reaches 115-120°. Add warm liquids to flours and yeast and beat on low speed until combined. Beat a high speed for three minutes.
Add enough of the remaining flours (more white flour may be needed, depending on the weather that day) to make a soft, kneadable dough. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Put dough back in bowl, cover with a damp tea towel, and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.
Punch dough down and divide into two pieces. Roll each piece out to a 6″x18″ rectangle. Roll up, jelly roll-style, starting from the short end, and place, seam side down, in a greased 8×4 loaf pan. Repeat with other dough piece. Cover with damp tea towel and allow to rise 45 minutes to 1 hour or until doubled.
Bake 25-30 minutes in a pre-heated 350° oven. Allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing.