White Sandwich Bread Loaf
This is a great bread recipe that gives a lovely bake, colour, and close texture every time. The dough is great to work with, as it is not too sticky. The recipe is simple to construct, with most of the time spent in the proving and cooking. The addition of golden syrup to the recipe gives the bread a hint of sweetness.
In the above photo, you can see that placing two equal sized pieces of dough into the tin ensures the bread bakes in distinct halves. This is so the loaf can be pulled apart down the middle. Shaping a loaf, like this into two, is from the days when a loaf of bread could be bought from a store as a full-loaf, or pulled apart down the join in the middle and sold as a half-loaf. I got the full story about this from Mum (along with several other childhood memories about bread). Grandma would send Mum to the local store to buy fresh bread (a loaf of bread cost 7p and a half-loaf cost 4 ½ d.) and on the walk home Mum would break the loaf of bread in half, down the join where the two halves of bread touch, and eat the soft bread contained within. This join was known as the ‘kiss crust’, and was apparently, the best bit of the bread, as it was soft and fresh. So, the loaf of bread to feed the family was delivered to my Grandma with a hollow picked out of the centre! I have no idea what Grandma would have said to Mum, but I must thank Mum for this little story because I remember many a time that Mum has told me off for picking away at freshly baked bread!!!!! Hmmmmm…, although who can resist?
RECIPE: WHITE SANDWICH BREAD LOAF
Bread tin measurements: 11cm wide x 24cm long x 7cm high.
20g / 1oz golden syrup
25g / 1oz melted butter
350ml / 12 fl oz warm milk
10g / ½ oz fresh yeast [or 1 tablespoon of dried yeast]
500g of High Grade flour
10g / ½ oz sea salt [about 1 level dessertspoon]
- Stir the golden syrup and melted butter into the warm milk until well combined.
For fresh yeast – Crumble the yeast into a large bowl, then pour over the warm milk and stir until the yeast has dissolved.
For dried active yeast – sprinkle on top of the warm milk, butter and golden syrup, and leave it unstirred for 10 minutes to activate.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix until a smooth dough forms. Cover the bowl with cling film (or a clean tea-towel) and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface (you can place the empty bowl in a warm place like the hot-water cupboard to keep it warm), then knead the dough for 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic.
- Lightly grease the bowl with a spray of cooking oil (or butter) before placing the dough in, this helps the dough to slide out of the bowl cleanly. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with cling film (or a clean tea-towel) and place into a warm place for 1 hour, or until the dough has nearly doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, grease and flour a bread tin.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface again and knock back a few times. Divide equally into two pieces and shape into balls. Place the dough balls side by side in the prepared bread tin, cover with cling film (or a clean tea-towel) and set aside to rise again, until doubled in size (about 20 minutes).
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius / Gas 7.
- Using a sharp knife, slash the dough a few times across the top and place into the oven immediately.
- After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 180 degrees Celsius / Gas 4 and bake for a further 30 minutes, or until the bread is golden-brown. (You may need to place baking paper over the bread after the first 10 minutes to stop it from browning on top too much.) To check if the bread is done, remove from the tin and tap the bottom with your knuckles – it should sound hollow. If the bread doesn’t sound hollow, return it to the bread tin and place in the oven until done.
- Leave the bread loaf to cool on a wire rack.
- The bread dough can also be shaped into little individual buns.
- Also, the recipe works well with a mix of brown, rye, or wholemeal flour, but the end result will be a little heavier.