Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread is the ideal everyday bread, perfect for sandwiches, toast, and French toast or grilled cheese sandwiches.
Happy homemade bread day! I love the fact that there’s an official day for practically everything these days. I accept that it can be rather annoying at times… like on world lima bean day, but when it comes to a full day of honoring home baked, fresh out of the oven bread, I’m ALL for it! Slicing a thick piece of warm bread, lightly toasting it, and then slathering it with the topping of your choice… ahh, pure bliss!
I also feel like right now we are all trying to make sure we can make our own homemade bread to be a bit more economical and help let that dollar go further. Making your own bread is definitely one of the ways to help and do that.
Here is all you need to make delicious homemade wheat bread.
It took me a long time to get the nerve to bake my own bread. I don’t why, but I had a pretty intense fear of working with yeast.
I felt like it would be easy to screw up, and I’m far too much of an anal retentive baker to permit that to happen.
The good news is, my preconceived notion about yeast couldn’t have been further from the truth. As long as you can gather the patience to allow the yeast to do its job, baking bread is as easy as, well, making toast!
Or baked french toast? 😉
How do I know if the yeast has proofed?
Yeah I know you are first probably wondering what proofed is. Proofing is the all patient step in preparing the yeast for the bread. Once you dissolve your yeast in with sugar and warm liquid it should begin to foam. That foam is proof that the yeast is active.
Then you just have to add the rest of the ingredients and then be patient and allow the dough to rest and rise.
What happens is the yeast is fermenting in the dough and produces a gas that rises the dough itself.
(see below on the foamy proof for the yeast)
What if my dough didn’t rise?
There are two main things that can be the result of yeast dough not rising.
- You yeast is dead. This is either because it is old yeast OR you ‘killed it off’ because your liquid was too hot.
- The dough is too cold. Once you get it all together and you set it to rise. Having your dough somewhere really cold can certainly slow down the fermentation process and therefore it won’t rise. Be sure to keep it covered and in a warm spot.
Yeast I find is the most intimidating process to bread but really it’s about patience and making sure you don’t kill off your yeast by using too hot of liquid at the first step. After that it is smooth sailing.
Let go make some delicious whole wheat sandwich bread.
Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
- 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast ( or instant yeast)
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water*
- 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 5 Tablespoons butter , melted
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
- 3/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
- 3 3/4 cups Traditional Whole Wheat Flour or White Whole Wheat Flour
- *Use 2 tablespoons less water in summer (or in a humid environment) 2 tablespoons more in winter (or in a dry climate).
- Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water with a pinch of sugar. Allow it to rest for 15 minutes, till it becomes puffy. If you're using instant yeast, you can skip this step.
- Combine the yeast/water with the remaining ingredients, and mix and knead—by hand, mixer, or bread machine—until you've made cohesive dough. If you're using a stand mixer, knead at low speed for about 7 minutes. Note that 100% whole wheat dough will never become smooth and supple like dough made with all-purpose flour; it'll feel more like clay under your hands, and may appear a bit rough.
- Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow it to rise till it's expanded and looks somewhat puffy, about 60 to 90 minutes.
- Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan. Gently shape the dough into a smooth log, and settle it into the pan, smooth side up.Tent the pan with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the loaf to rise till it's crowned over the rim of the pan by about 3/4", about 75 minutes. Don't let it rise too high; it'll continue to rise as it bakes. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Bake the bread for 10 minutes. Lightly tent it with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 30 to 35 minutes, or until the center registers 190°F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove it from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a rack.
- Run a stick of butter over the top of the hot loaf, if desired, for a softer crust. Allow the bread to cool completely before slicing.
- Don't bother heating the orange juice to lukewarm; you can use it straight out of the fridge. The orange juice won't add its own flavor to the bread, but will mellow any potential bitterness in the whole wheat.
- If you are kneading bread by hand, it's tempting to keep adding flour till the dough is no longer sticky. Resist the temptation! The more flour you add while you are kneading, the heavier and drier your final loaf will be.
- The amount of liquid you use to make the "perfect" dough will vary with the seasons. Flour is like a sponge; it absorbs water during the humid days of summer, and dries out during the winter. Your goal should be making the dough as it's described (e.g., cohesive, soft but not sticky), rather than sticking religiously to the amount of liquid.
- When making yeast bread, let the dough rise to the point the recipe says it should, e.g., "Let the dough rise till it's doubled in bulk." Rising times are only a guide; there are so many variables in yeast baking (how you kneaded the dough; what kind of yeast you used) that it's impossible to say that bread dough will ALWAYS double in bulk in a specific amount of time.