After working in a commercial bread bakery, I learned quite a few techniques to make a perfect loaf of bread. I can knead bread like it's nobody's business, form roll shapes, etc. But for loaf bread, I just don't want to take the time to proof it on the counter, punch it down, knead it, etc. Too much work for a loaf of sandwich bread. I much prefer the "set it and forget it" way of baking a loaf of bread for sandwiches.
So Justin got a bread machine a few years ago for his birthday, and we've been experimenting for a while to find the perfect loaf of white bread. This one is the winner! It's soft on the inside, crusty on the outside, but not too crusty, slightly sweet, and just smells delicious. We make a loaf of this every week for sandwiches, and then we toast the ends to make bread crumbs. Yum!
We usually make white bread, but I posted the whole wheat variation too. Both are good, we just prefer the white to whole wheat. Though if we do make a whole wheat loaf, I always add some cornmeal, cracked wheat and bulgar to add flavor and texture.
- 1 1/3 cups warm water, about 110 degrees
- 2 Tablespoons and 2 teaspoons white sugar
- 3 teaspoons yeast
- 1/3 cup Olive Oil (it's not nearly as good with vegetable oil)
- 4 cups flour (or 1.5 cups whole wheat flour and 2.5 cups bread flour)
- 2 teaspoons salt
1. In a bread machine, place water, oil and salt.
2. Add flour on top of liquids. Pour sugar into one corner of the bread machine basket. Then make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the yeast. Set your bread machine for "basic" loaf, and let it do the work for you!