I’ve been baking bread for over 25 years. During that time I’ve experimented with different flour, yeast, oils and butters. I’ve baked bread with whole milk, skim milk, powdered milk, and water.
I’ve kneaded dough by hand, in a Kitchenaid stand mixer, and even with a breadmaker. I started by following “the rules” of breadmaking. Now I just do my own thing. And guess what? By combining a few different tricks and old recipes I managed to come up with my own favorite bread recipe. So here it is – Sarita’s frugal homemade sandwich bread recipe.
- 2½ cups of hot tap water
- 4½ teaspoons traditional yeast
- 2½ tablespoons of honey
- ¼ cup room-temperature butter
- 5½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 rounded teaspoon salt
- Pour water into large bowl (or bowl of Kitchenaid Stand Mixer)
- Add yeast
- Add honey
- Mix yeast and honey gently with water
- Let yeast-honey-water mixture sit for 10 minutes
- Add butter
- Add 2 cups of white flour
- Add salt
- Use a large wooden spoon OR set mixer on low and gradually mix in flour
- Gradually add one to two cups of flour until the dough is too hard to mix with the spoon OR starts forming a ball in the bowl of your stand mixer
- Turn dough out onto a floured surface
- Using your hands, gradually work in additional flour until the dough isn't sticky
- Knead the dough by hand until smooth - approximately four to five minutes
- Form into one large dough ball
- Place large dough ball into a large, greased bowl (I use butter to grease it) and turn the ball so it's coated on all sides
- Cover bowl with a clean tea towel and set in a cold oven to rise for one hour or until the dough has almost doubled in size
- Turn dough out onto floured surface and punch down gently to remove all the air. Shape the dough into two loaves and place into two greased loaf pans
- Cover loaf pans with tea towel and return to cold oven to rise for about 40 minutes
- Remove the loaf pans to counter
- Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit, then place loaf pans in oven
- Immediately reduce heat to 350
- Bake for 30 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when you tap them
- Cool in loaf pans on rack for 5 minutes
- Remove from loaf pans and cool on wire rack
Tips for Sarita’s Frugal Homemade Sandwich Bread Recipe
I like using a combination of whole-wheat and white all-purpose flour in this recipe for a couple of reasons. One, my family likes the flavour the whole wheat flour brings. Two, because whole wheat flour is a little heavier than the white all-purpose flour, the bread doesn’t rise quite as high as a totally white flour loaf would. So it’s easier for slicing for sandwiches, making the loaf a little more dense and better for keeping cold cuts and veggies in place.
When it comes to sweeteners and fats in bread, this homemade frugal sandwich bread recipe is pretty forgiving regarding substitutions. I’ve made this bread with 3 tablespoons of white sugar, and also with 3 tablespoons of brown sugar instead of honey. If you like the dark, rich flavour of molasses I think you could probably substitute 2 1/2 tablespoons instead of the honey with good results.
If you don’t want to use butter, try a lightly flavoured vegetable oil like canola oil. For a flakier crust and a more Italian-style flavor, use olive oil.
Finally, to make this recipe your own, experiment with adding dried herbs to the dough – especially if you plan on serving this homemade bread with soup or stew. Try rosemary, oregano, parsley or basil.