Prep: 20 min Rise: 1 hour Cook: 1 hour Total: 2 hours 20 min Yields 2 loaves
2 pounds 12 ounces bread flour (about 7 cups)
1 ounce table salt (about 4 teaspoons)
Using a kitchen scale, measure flour and salt into a large bowl. Mix together using a dough whisk.
2 cup milk
Warm milk by microwaving until around 110°F, about 1 minute and 15 seconds on high.
Pour milk into a separate medium sized bowl.
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Melt butter in microwave, about 30-45 seconds on high. Add to milk.
⅔ cup warm water
⅓ cup honey
4 ½ teaspoons instant yeast
Add water, honey, and instant yeast to bowl with milk. Stir well to combine.
Pour in about ⅓ of the wet mixture into the flour. Mix well with a dough whisk until incorporated. Pour in another ⅓ of the liquid, stir, and repeat until incorporated.
Knead By Hand
Stir well with a dough whisk until a rough ball of dough starts to forms. Turn out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand until dough is smooth and satiny, about 8 to 10 minutes.
or Knead with Stand Mixer
If you prefer, you can use a mixer to knead the dough. Separate dough into two pieces. Place half of the dough in the bowl of a stand mixture and mix until dough is smooth and satiny, stopping machine two or three times to scrape dough from hook if necessary, about 10 minutes.
Remove dough from mixer and place onto a lightly floured work surface. knead remaining half of dough.
By hand, form dough into a ball by flattening dough and folding the four corners into the middle of the dough. Flip over and shape into a disc.
Lightly spray the sides of a large bowl with cooking oil. Place dough ball into bowl and turn several times to lightly coat dough.
Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Once dough has doubled in size, punch down and separate into two pieces using a pastry blade or a knife.
On a clean work surface, gently stretch and press one piece of dough into a rectangle about 13 to 15 inches long and 7 to 9 inches wide.
Starting from one of the smaller edges, roll the dough tightly onto itself to form a spiral, cylinder shape. Turn dough seam side up and pinch it closed.
Place dough in greased 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan and press gently so dough touches all four sides of pan.
Cover with plastic wrap; set aside in warm spot until dough almost doubles in size, 20 to 30 minutes.
3 ½ cups water
Pour water into an empty loaf pan or spare baking pan and place on lowest oven rack. Position second oven rack to be above water-filled pan in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F.
Remove plastic wrap from loaf pan. Place loaf pans in oven, immediately pouring heated water into empty loaf pan or oven pan and close oven door. Bake until instant-read thermometer inserted at angle from short end just above pan rim into center of loaf reads 195°F, about 50 to 55 minutes.
Remove bread from pan immediately and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely to room temperature, about 4 to 6 hours. Slice and serve.
From MakeBetterFood.com. Jan 9, 2012. (http://makebetterfood.com/recipes/american-sandwich-bread/). Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated. May 1996. (http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/detail.asp?docid=6009).