This is the second part of my step-by-step photo tutorial to making sandwich bread. If you missed Part 1, you can find it here. The recipe I’m following is for my wheat sandwich bread.
When we left off yesterday, we had just left our bread to rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.
After the hour-long rise, your bread should have risen significantly. In my 4.5 quart stand mixer bowl, it fills it about 3/4 of the way. (Note: I took this picture before I realized the bread hadn’t risen enough. I did allow it to rise another 10 minutes and then forgot to take another picture.)
To test to see if it’s risen enough, lightly press two fingers into the top. If the indentation remains, your bread is done rising (for now).
Punch your dough down. I actually use my fist and sort of punch it; some people press on it. The point is to release some of the air. Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on a lightly floured surface. I find my cutting board to be a good place for this. Divide your dough in half.
Set aside one half and lightly flatten the other. Using a rolling pin lightly dusted with flour, roll out your dough into a long rectangle, about 18 inches long and 6 inches wide.
Starting from one of the short ends, roll up dough as shown.
Place it, seam-side down, in a greased 8×4 loaf pan. You can use a 9×5 pan, but just know that it isn’t going to fill up the whole pan and your finished product may be a little misshapen. Repeat the rolling out and rolling up with the other dough half and put it (seam-side down) in a greased loaf pan.
Cover both pans with your damp tea towel and return it to your draft-free rising place. Allow the bread to rise for 30-40 minutes.
You know your dough is ready to bake when the indentation from where you pressed your finger(s) remains.
Can you see my indentation towards the left side of the top?
Bake your bread in a preheated 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Your bread is done when it sounds hollow on the bottom. Yes, you should actually take it out of the pan and lightly tap it. Sticking a toothpick in it will not tell you anything. You can also measure by temperature, but I don’t like the hole the thermometer leaves in the bread.
Allow your loaves to cool in the pan for a few minutes and then turn out to a wire rack to cool completely.
Celebrate because you have successfully baked a loaf of sandwich bread!
If you bake some bread, tell me about it! I want to hear about your triumph! If you still have questions, leave a comment or email me at lifelovelibrarianship (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll do my best to answer them!
This post is linked to Real Food Deals at Premeditated Leftovers.