Sunday, August 8, 2010

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Honey Wheat Sandwich Loaves

The aroma of bread baking in my oven is intoxicating. And there is nothing better than a slice of warm honey wheat bread with a slather of butter, your favorite fruit spread or even a piece of your favorite cheese. The benefits of homemade bread is that there are no additives or preservatives. I've been wanting to make these sandwich loaves for some time now. And they turned out moist with the perfect crust. 

Bread making is an art form. Properly kneading the dough and allowing the dough to rise is key. And technique is as equally as important.  I found this informative website dedicated to bread making, The Fresh Loaf. This site provides great information on artisan bread making for novice bakers like me and for those who are true bread enthusiast. 

Before I became a full time mommy. I worked as the head Paralegal of Immigration and Director of Client Relations for my husbands law practice. My specialty is O-1B visas. Although I processed other types of visas, this particular type of visa is for the most elite. Reserved for those who have reached the pinnacle in their field of endeavor. I basically studied potential O-1B candidates experience in their field, wrote briefs and provided all the necessary documentation and evidence that the United States Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) requires to approve a petition. It was highly stressful as our clients career depended on this visa to enter and lawfully work in the US. 

So being a full time mommy, well, its pretty awesome! Although I do miss the adult interaction and those free moments when I can just relax and not have a 2.5 year old toddler constantly asking me, what's this mommy, lets go mommy, come here mommy, I need to go potty mommy. But I wouldn't trade it for the world. Its the most rewarding job I've ever had. 

Ingredients
4 Cups Bread Flour plus extra as needed
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2-1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
2 Cups Whole or Low Fat Milk, Boiled and Cooled at Room Temperature
1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil plus extra for greasing
1/3 Cup Honey
2 tsp Salt
Cooking Spray for greasing
Egg Wash (1 large egg whisked with 2 tbsp cold milk or water) or milk for brushing

Directions
1. Combine the flours and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the milk, oil, honey and salt and mix on low speed until the dough forms a shaggy but even moistened dough, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium and knead until the dough feels satiny and elastic, about 5 minutes. 

2. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turn to coat, cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size, about 1 hour. 


3. Fold the dough over on itself, pressing gently to release the gas. Turn it out onto a floured work surface and cut into 2 equal pieces. Round each piece into a smooth ball, pulling the outer layer taut and pinching together the excess dough at the base of the ball. Place the dough seam sides down on a lightly floured work surface. Cover the dough and let rest until relaxed, about 20 minutes.

Please view this video Sandwich Loaf Making Techniques. It's very helpful. The cute part of this video is that the man demonstrating is a dad and his little girl is watching his every move. So cute!


4. Coat two 9 inch loaf pans lightly with cooking spray. Stretch each dough ball into an 8x12 inch rectangle. Fold each short end of the rectangle toward the center of the dough to keep the sides straight and the corners square. Fold a long edge into the corner and use the heel of your hand to seal the edge to the dough. Fold the dough in half length wise and use your fingertips to seal the 2 edges together; keep the seam straight.  The dough should be about 10 inches long. Roll the dough into an even cylinder 12 inches long. Push the ends of the cylinder toward the center until it is 10 inches long and place seam side down into the loaf pans. Brush with egg or milk wash. I used a milk wash. Use an egg wash for a shiny crust.

I did a little experiment. I used one glass loaf pan.


And I used one metal loaf pan.


5. Let the dough to rise in a warm place, uncovered, until the pans are three quarters full and the dough springs back slowly to the touch, 1 hour. I placed my pans outside. Meanwhile preheat you oven to 400º degrees. 

6. Bake until the loaves have a rich golden brown crust and the sides of the bread retain their structure when pressed, 40-50 minutes. Remove the bread from the pans immediately and let cool completely on wire racks before slicing and serving. 


The results of the different loaf pans were fairly similar. However, the glass loaf pan yielded a better looking bread. The color was more even. In the photo above, the bread thats been cut is the loaf that I baked in the glass pan. A lightly sweet, honey wheat bread is a nice staple to have around the house. Happy baking my friends!

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13 Reactions to this post

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  1. Pacheco Patty said... August 9, 2010 at 11:44 AM

    I love homemade bread, this looks beautiful and I bet your house smelled great while it was baking!

  2. Laura (Recetas Trucos Tips) said... August 9, 2010 at 12:37 PM

    That bead must be delicious :)

    I have joined as your follower

    saludos desde España

  3. Joy said... August 9, 2010 at 2:56 PM

    Great bread. I have yet to be successful with sandwich breads.

  4. Juliana said... August 9, 2010 at 3:28 PM

    Lisa, this homemade bread look so tasty, light and fluffy...love the smell of bread baking in the oven :-)

  5. Lauren Zabaneh said... August 9, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    wow, the crust is a gorgeous brown! looks so soft and yummy.

    I didn't have that stressful of a job, I've kinda bounced around, whether it be a hairdresser, store manager of a insanely cool print/stationary shop, to now being full time mommy...well, this beats all! I love it too. I do miss, like you said, the people interaction. I'm a major people person, so I just end up talking to people in the grocery store, Hobby Lobby or Chick-fil-a. Seems to be my hang outs now.

    You're doing such a great job, Mommy! I know our children will always cherish the time we've spent with them and investing creatively into them. It's worth it all!

  6. Federica said... August 9, 2010 at 4:23 PM

    Ciao Lisa!!ottimo questo pane! allora domani vengo a colazione da te!! porto la nutella!!!:-))))

    baci!!

  7. Tanantha @ I Just Love My Apron said... August 9, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    Beautiful bread! I too wanted to make my own bread for some time now but yeast always yikes me! Sigh I need to get over this fear. Your bread looks beautiful and the crust is just perfect.

    Mommy is actually a full-time job! Althought I dont have kids yet but I get a sense that it's a hard job with delightful! Oh, I only knew about H-1B haha. In fact, I no nothing about O-1B

  8. ~Lisa~ said... August 9, 2010 at 8:04 PM

    Thanks Patty!

    @ Laura thanks for the follow. I just stopped by your site and love your stuff! Following back (=

    @ Joy, it really wasn't that bad, the video made it easier for me.

    @ Julianna, thank you! I just checked out your blog (=

    @ Lauren, girl if we were in the same state we'd have some fun! I wish you were here in MD.

    @ Federica, grazie tanto!

    @ Tanantha, its not too bad. The yeast does its own thing, all you need to do is let it rise (= And yes H1B I did those too. Were you a H1B visa holder? Oh and yes, being a mommy is a job that never ends (= but very rewarding.

  9. Chef Dennis said... August 9, 2010 at 8:09 PM

    honey wheat bread sounds so good!! I love the smell of bread baking! I have only made the 5 minute no knead breads, but never the old fashioned way! Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!

  10. Evan @swEEts said... August 10, 2010 at 2:17 PM

    There is no better aroma then that of freshly baking/baked bread. I love coming home to Mountain Man when he's made a new batch.. speaking of which, he should have one in the oven when I return tonight! Beautiful bread!!

  11. Magic of Spice said... August 10, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    You are such a wonderful Mommy, and it is definitely a full time job (more like time and a half). Beautiful bread...

  12. Mama Hen said... August 10, 2010 at 4:39 PM

    Lisa this looks amazing! I can smell the yummy smell baking now! I have not done much with bread. I have to try it out! Have a great day!

    Mama Hen

  13. ~Lisa~ said... August 11, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    @ Chef Dennis. I know I make things harder on myself. But boy was it a feeling to make my first sandwich loaf.

    @ Evan, Mountain Man? the hubby? or a local baker? either way can't say no to fresh bread.

    @ Alisha, Thank you so much (=

    @ Mama Hen, Thank you and can't wait for friday! Thanks again for including me in your Nestwork!