Two words come to mind with this recipe: church, and mom. One day last year when I was pregnant she rushed into church and handed me a bag with a quarter loaf of homemade bread inside, still warm. It was gone before the service ended. In between chews I asked for the recipe, and low and behold a few weeks later she thrusts it into my hand, again mid-church service. Wait, there’s more.
I read over the recipe and saw so many recipe “errors” that I kept pestering her with questions (like, why does it read “3 packets yeast or 2 tbsp”, because 3 packets-worth of yeast is way more than two tablespoons). She finally had to shush me and I felt fifteen again. She said she got it from a friend and wanted to copy it exactly as written. Badly written recipes bother the heck out of me and since the bread was delicious, challenge accepted.
I swapped margarine for butter (who uses margarine?) and figured out the yeast issue. One of original questions was that the rise time was SO short… could I really put the bread into the oven just 1 hour after starting? Turns out, YES. Due to the higher amount of yeast it still rises wonderfully, but the dough lacks that chewy quality that heartier rolls or boules have – they enjoy a nice long, slow rise. For sandwich bread, though, it’s all that it needs to be (i.e. don’t make this bread to eat with soup – make instead to slice for school lunch sandwiches or French toast).
In my husband’s “bag o’ lunch” that I send with him on Mondays, I made his five pb and honey sammies using this bread. RAVES. By far the easiest yeast recipe I’ve ever made – a great starter for those of you who have yet to partake of the wonder that is yeast.
Homemade Sandwich Bread – FAST and EASY
Makes 2 9 in. loaves
2 1/2 c. warm water
1/4 c. honey
2 tbsp. active dry yeast*
2 c. whole wheat flour, divided
4 c. all purpose flour, divided
1 tbsp. kosher salt
4 tbsp. melted unsalted butter
*If using quick yeast, just add it with the flour into the food processor
1. Whisk water and honey until combined; add yeast and stir. Let sit about five minutes or until bubbly.
2. Meanwhile, combine 1 c. of the whole wheat flour and 2 c. of the all purpose flour along with the salt in the food processor. Pulse to combine.
3. Add butter and yeast/water mixture to processor and process until blended – about 30 seconds (this can also be done in a stand mixer).
4. Add remaining flour and stir to combine. Scrape mixture into an oiled bowl and cover. Let sit 30 minutes.
5. Punch down risen dough and scoop into two greased 9×5 inch loaf pans. Use a floured hand to smooth surface of bread and flatten evenly into edges of pan. Cover and let rise another 30 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bread should have risen almost to the top edge of loaf pan after 30 minutes. If it doesn’t, let rise another 15 minutes.
7. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let cool about five minutes and remove from pans. Let cool on wire rack at least 20 minutes before slicing.
Store bread, once completely cooled, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap in the fridge.