The best home bread recipe you can think of
January 24, 2010 11:53 AM   Subscribe

What's your favorite sandwich (in a 9x5 loaf pan) bread recipe?

I have a sourdough starter and a jar of yeast, so don't let leavening limit you. I have a Kitchen Aid mixer with a dough hook, so kneading isn't an issue. And I'm not going to use a bread machine.

I love the no-knead bread's boules, but I'd really prefer a plain loaf that's good for making sandwiches for a chance, since I'm back in commuter college, and I need to make a quick packable lunch sometimes. It may not be in vogue, but I'd really like a bread with a tender crumb and crust that's easy to slice.

What's your absolute favorite bread recipe? I'd prefer whole wheat or white with a good chew, but more exotic options (say, Anadama) are fine, too. I have dark rye, whole wheat, all purpose, and bread flour, so I'd like recipes to stick to those instead of going out for stuff like semolina or spelt flour.
posted by mccarty.tim to Food & Drink (15 answers total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I really like this rye bread recipe; it's very mild-tasting and eminently sliceable, and has been my go-to sandwich bread for a couple of years now.
posted by bewilderbeast at 12:12 PM on January 24, 2010

Response by poster: PS: Not a comment on Bewilderbeast's recipe, but I just wanted to say: I measure volumetrically. I'd use a scale if they weren't so expensive and took up so much counter space.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:20 PM on January 24, 2010

Best answer: Here's my own go-to country white bread recipe [self-link].

The entry describes rolls, but the recipe makes 2 handsome standard-sized loaves if you prefer. I like to brush the risen loaves with egg wash and scatter with sesame seeds, but brushing them with milk or corn-starch wash is nice, too. It's a good bread with a nice soft crumb but also has some heft and chew.

I like to make it with half white flour and half white whole wheat and with unsalted butter as the fat, but have also made it with all white flour and shortening to accommodate a friend's dietary needs. It's quite tasty either way! Be sure to read the note about salt, too; different brands of kosher salt can pack dramatically differently.

This recipe measures by volume; I finally acquired a kitchen scale this week, but it will be a while before I start creating recipes with weight rather than volume.
posted by Elsa at 12:24 PM on January 24, 2010

I've had my eye on this recipe for light wheat bread at Smitten Kitchen. The author says she was specifically looking for a soft yet sturdy, sliceable sandwich bread and this did the trick for her.
posted by mostlymartha at 12:49 PM on January 24, 2010

Best answer: King Arthur Flour Company's Our Favorite Sandwich Bread is one I like and have recommended to other people with good results. It seems to go off fairly quickly (3-4 days instead of 5-6, and smells funny enough that I don't even want to toast it.) so it's not perfect.

If you are happy to spread the making over two days, Rose Levy Berenbaum's Basic Soft White Sandwich Loaf is my go-to recipe. I usually modify it to use about a cup and a half of whole wheat flour in the sponge and replace the butter with a half cup of vegetable oil.

Back to King Arthur for a basic sourdough - I make this in two loaf pans. It's another overnight wait, but I haven't found a fast and good sourdough recipe yet.
posted by ansate at 1:09 PM on January 24, 2010

Best answer: Multi-grain struan loaf.
posted by Decimask at 1:20 PM on January 24, 2010

Julia Child's recipe, simple, easy and tastes just like the bread my grandmother baked.
posted by InkaLomax at 1:36 PM on January 24, 2010

This is a wonderful, slightly sweet whole wheat bread. It's especially good for a PBJ.
posted by something something at 2:44 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the answers! I have a lot of recipes to try!

I marked Bewilderbeast's as "best," because I made it earlier today and the loaves came out great.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:02 PM on January 24, 2010

I came in to recommend the recipe to which something something linked. It is totally bulletproof. The first set of comments have some particularly useful tips (esp. regarding the addition of vital wheat gluten.)
posted by JohnFredra at 8:04 PM on January 24, 2010

Best answer: I recently switched to this recipe: King Arthur Flour 100% Whole Wheat Bread. I wanted something with all wheat flour. It's fantastic. Not too dense, and with a great flavor. Before that I used the sandwich bread recipe from Cook's Illustrated's Baking Illustrated. That book has a lot of great recipes, including one for an Anadama bread that's fantastic.
posted by apricot at 8:05 PM on January 24, 2010

Seconding that struan loaf, the recipe is adapted from the multigrain bread recipe in The Bread Baker's Apprentice. I have made the one from the book, and it is delicious, by far my favorite sandwich loaf that I have made.
posted by sararah at 8:51 PM on January 24, 2010

Best answer: mccarty.tim: Soehnle makes a number of kitchen scales with a pretty low profile. The model I have has been discontinued, but it's similar to this one. It's reasonably priced, and slim enough to store in one of the kitchen drawers when I'm not using it. That scale is definitely one of my most essential kitchen tools -- most especially when it comes to baking, where measuring by weight is so much more important than in other culinary disciplines.
posted by shiu mai baby at 4:24 AM on January 25, 2010

I forgot to add that one of the things I love best about using a scale for baking is that you can place your mixing bowl on top of the scale, tare to zero, add your first ingredient, tare again, etc. Everything goes into the same place.
posted by shiu mai baby at 4:26 AM on January 25, 2010

Response by poster: Point taken, Shiu Mai. I might have to get one for myself as a end-of-semester gift a few months from now.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:00 AM on January 25, 2010

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