Fifteen full minutes. That is exactly the “work-time” it took to make this loaf of bread. I think I have stared at the massive selection of sliced and packaged bread in the grocery for longer than that. Ok, not longer, but pretty long! You see, what I am getting at is that I have time. I have time to make something worth while in just a quarter of an hour. NPR had a weekend edition segment that obviously sparked my attention being that the title was “white bread”. I listened intently in my car droning out relentless screams of “mama! mama! I want to get out NOW!” for a solid ten minutes. After listening I discovered that the only way for a lady on a budget to indulge in eating 8 grain breads or crusty wheats is to make them herself. Ahh… I gave myself a little pat on the back for this one. One point he makes is that the white bread companies hope and pray that the cheap prices will be enough to make consumers buy them. But you see, we can take a stab back! We don’t need your five dollar loaf of mediocre bread here! We can whip it up in less time than it takes to go through the check out line most days. Take that.
Light wheat bread (he uses powdered milk instead of regular milk… but this is what I had on hand)
Mix 2.5 cups bread flour, 1.5 cups whole wheat flour, 1.5 tbs. sugar, 1.5 tsp. salt, and 1.5 tsp. yeast.
Mix in 2 tbs. butter at room temperature, 1.25 cups water, 1 ounce of whole milk
Knead for about 15 minutes until you can stretch a chunk of it so thin it is see through (window pane test)
Let it rise in an oiled bowl about 90 minutes
Punch it down and shape it into a 8 x 10 rectangle
Roll it into a log while pinching each roll down. Fit it into an oiled bread pan. Let rise for 90 more minutes.
Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes until it registers 190 degrees.
Let it cool for at least an hour and there you have it. Some sandwich bread. Simple as can be.