Loaf Breads – The Best School Lunches start with Homemade Sandwich Bread!

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This is a reposting of one of our most popular topics!

It is now what I consider “sandwich season.” Some may call it “back to school,” “end of summer” or even “fall,” but to me it is the season when I have to come up with a million types of sandwiches and other lunches to keep my boys from growing up on PB&J alone! Although school lunches have come a long way since I was a kid, they still leave much to be desired and are mostly to be avoided.

To start I need the perfect loaf of bread. My boys want a loaf that looks and feels like what all the other kids are eating; square and soft. They love crusty bread, but not on their sandwiches, especially not PB&J. To achieve just the right sandwich loaf I have slightly altered what we do in the book.

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I start by weighing the dough on my Scale a 2-pound (a big cantaloupe-size) piece of dough. I used the Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread on page 78, but you can use any of the doughs in the book in a loaf pan. Let the dough rise in a well greased non-stick 8 1/2 x 4 1/2- inch Loaf Pan, covered loosely with plastic wrap for 1 hour and 40 minutes (or just 60 minutes if you are using fresh, unrefrigerated dough).

20 minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. I don’t use any steam, because I don’t want a crisp crust, but you are welcome to do so. You will also notice that this is slightly cooler than we say in the book. This is so that I get a nice soft crust and because I will be baking it longer.

(I filled it with 2-pounds as opposed to the 1 1/2-pounds that we call for in the book, so that I will get a larger loaf. I like how it comes up out of the pan a bit. The whole wheat doesn’t rise quite as much as the breads made with all-purpose flour. The whole wheat flour does not have as much gluten to allow for the stretch. The brioche dough is also a lovely sandwich loaf. In our new book Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day: 100 New Recipes Featuring Whole Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, and Gluten-Free Ingredients we’ve developed a Whole Wheat Brioche that is the absolute best of both worlds.)

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Bake the loaf for about 60 minutes. Flip the loaf out of the pan and allow to cool before cutting it and making your favorite sandwiches. (If the loaf sticks to the pan, just allow it to sit in the pan for several minutes. It will steam around the sides and release itself from the pan. If the sides feel soggy after this, return it to the oven for just a few minutes.)

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Charlie devours his favorite sandwich made with ham, cheese, lettuce and tomato (from our garden), sliced onions and honey mustard. What are your kids’ favorites?

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If you enjoyed this post, please consider sharing it with others using one of the social sharing buttons above. Thanks, Jeff and Zoë

316 thoughts on “Loaf Breads – The Best School Lunches start with Homemade Sandwich Bread!

  1. I’m a recent convert to this book (and this recipe, tried it today!), and I can’t seem to find this answer anywhere. I’ve noticed a yeasty aftertaste to each batch of bread I’ve made. Am I mixing something wrong or baking for too little time? The loaves look right from the description, but both my husband and I have noticed the strange aftertaste.

    Hope someone can help!

    Thanks,

    -Gretel

    • Hi Gretel,

      Some people find that if their bucket is sealed too tightly that the gases build up in the bucket and an alcohol smell and taste builds up. If you just leave the top open a touch, not too much, it will allow these gases to dissipate and that smell and taste will not be there.

      You can also try the recipe using a reduced amount of yeast as Jeff explains in this post: http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=85

      Let me know if this is helpful! Zoë

  2. Hi Zoe ,
    A customer at our store told me to check you out. Looks fantastic. I do have a question,tho. I grind all my wheat flour fresh. I grind hard white wheat which is milder in flavor. Fresh ground has a bit more moisture than bought flour. Will this make a difference? Can’t wait to get the book.
    Kristi

    • Kristi: I’m about to start some experiments with fresh-ground whole wheat. My guess is that it will absorb a bit more water and so I’d consider boosting the liquids by about a quarter cup in our recipes. I know that’s the opposite of what you’re guessing here (what you say suggests it might take LESS water, but that’s not what I’ve hears about these flours, mainly because they’re generally not ground as finely).

      Let me know what you find, and in the next couple of months I’ll be doing a post on this. Jeff

  3. thanks for getting back to me, zoe!

    maybe my dense dough wasn’t great for a loaf, but it turned out perfect for pizzas!

    i’ll have to try adding a little more water until i use up this brand of flour.

    also, i usually stock my pantry with different flours: whole wheat, white whole wheat, whole wheat pastry, and unbleached all-purpose flours. any good guidelines to follow if i want to substitute some of the recipes? i really don’t know how interchangeable they are (other than the whole wheat pastry flour is smoother and better for cakes and cookies, while the whole wheat is more textured) or is that too ambitious and should i just stick to your set recipes?

    by the way, thanks for all the great feedback to all of our comments!! its so helpful and i really respect you two for managing the site this way!

    • Hi Jaclyn,

      We had so many people asking for the same thing, how to use more whole grain flours in our recipes, that is why we ended up writing our second book. Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (HBin5) has many recipes using whole wheat, white whole wheat, spelt and other whole grain flours. We do not use the whole wheat pastry flour because of what you said, it is too low in protein. You can check out our HBin5 master recipe here: http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=1087.

      Thanks, Zoë

  4. Thanks for all your great recipes. I have not made too many of the softer crust breads, but want to try so that we have sandwich bread for lunches. The problem is that I can’t seem to get my slices the right thickness for sandwiches. I typically wind up with one slice that is thicker and one that is thinner or even better – the uneven slice (one end thick and the other thin). Is there a gadget to help me achieve better slices or do I just need to practice?

  5. Thanks. I probably need a new bread knife. By the way, I tried the Broa bread recipe mixed into our traditional Thanksgiving stuffing a wonderful addition!

  6. I’ve made your whole wheat sandwich bread recipe twice and I cannot get it right! The first time it was dense and only about 3 inches tall. I thought I over-handled it, so I made sure to do so less the next time. However the next time it raised only a little bit more and the crumb was so soft that my husband refuses to use it to make sandwiches, he says it falls apart because it so tender. What am I doing wrong? Please help!

  7. Hi Jeff and Zoë,

    I wanted to share some great results and get your thoughts about tap water.

    I used this article’s sandwich bread technique (2 lb. of dough, 8.5″x4.5″ loaf pan, 375 deg. for 60 minutes) using HBin5’s 100% Whole Wheat Bread (pg. 79), my first time trying this particular recipe.

    On a tip from TheFreshLoaf.com http://www.thefreshloaf.com/lessons/tentips_10_use_good_ingredients I used distilled water rather than tap.

    The results: AMAZING!

    I’d been a bit leery to go 100% whole wheat, being concerned about it being too dense but it was far, far from it. Very soft, fluffy crumb, and an amazing crust that will work perfectly for my boys’ lunches. It’s wonderfully tasty all by itself, and with butter, it’s over the top. I can’t see any reason to go back now to the HBin5’s master recipe — which is itself completely delicious, don’t get me wrong — when I can skip an ingredient, simplify the steps, and eliminate refined white flour entirely from our diets.

    I have both of your books and am evangelizing them like crazy at work, on my facebook account, to family, etc. So, a big, big thanks to you both for all your amazing work in these books and on the site!

    Now about tap water: I have read on the EPA.gov site http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw000/lead/lead1.html that people should never cook or consume water from the hot-water tap (prior to reading this article, I was using warm tap water for my dough, and I assume others do as well) as they state hot water dissolves more lead more quickly than cold water, and generally sits in contact with pipes longer while in the hot water heater.

    Any comments about that? And, any particularly beneficial experience using distilled water in your own experiments?

    My family and I thank you for all your wonderful work!

    Marc

    • Marc: Once we added VWG to our high whole-grain breads, we were happy with the lightness and airiness we were getting. But I’d have never used the word fluffy to describe a 100% WW bread. So I really need to try distilled water and see if I can tell the difference.

      I’ve never used warm or hot water from the tap in food, for the reasons you describe. Thanks for your comments, Marc.

      Jeff

  8. Hello! I just got HBin5 in the mail from Amazon this evening and I’ve been pouring over the pages. I’m most interested in making a sandwich bread. I noted that you say to only use non-stick pans (and that the others, even greased, won’t work for such wet dough). I’m a bit in a quandary: I only own pyrex loaf pans. Should I try lining these with parchment paper? Could I just let it rest longer after being baked before popping it onto the cooling rack?

    Help… so close to bread, yet so far away. :)
    -Bethany

  9. Jeff and Zoe: My first batches of bread were a success (pyrex and all). My husband said it was the best bread he’d ever tasted. You could quote me as being one of the biggest skeptics of all this … and I am sold (and converting friends all the time). The texture was great, the density was perfect, and I rivaled the flavor of my local (and highly praised) bakery.

    To meet our family’s bread need, I’m going to need to make about 3 soft sandwich loaves a week. I saw that the recipe could “easily be halved or doubled.” Stupid question here: how do I halve 5 eggs? 2 eggs? 3 eggs? Do my best to split a yoke? I’d love to just make it once on Monday and feast off it for the rest of the week.

    -Bethany

    • Hi Bethany,

      So glad you are enjoying the bread so much! I usually use 2 eggs and a yolk, but honestly 3 eggs would probably work as well.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  10. I just read your article in Mother Earth yesterday, made my first batch of dough last night and currently have bagels AND a loaf of sandwich bread headed into the oven / boiling pot. I’ve ordered your book (HBin5) and am excited to try more recipes.

    Two quick questions….

    1. I’m vegan, do you have any experience using egg substitutes in your bread? I’ll likely try flax but thought I’d see if you had any tips.

    2. Is there any reason that I can’t bake 2 loaves of sandwich bread at the same time? We have a family of 5 and I’m anticipating high demand:)

    Thank you so much!

    • Hi Ahisma,

      You can use egg replacer. I have not tried it myself, but we’ve had many readers recommend the product available from Bob’s Red Mill.

      You can bake as many loaves as will fit in your oven, without crowding, as possible.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  11. Hello! I have another question. :) I’ve been baking sandwich bread for 2 months now and it has been great! The recipe says it makes two 2-lb loaves. I’ve been very careful to measure my ingredients and my loaf pounds. But somehow I end up with an extra 1 lb of dough at the end of each recipe. For company, I doubled the dough recipe and got 5 loaves (instead of 4) because two full pounds were left. I don’t want to waste the dough …

    1. If I were to split the dough evenly and use 2.5-lb loaves, what would be my adjusted rise and cook time? What internal temp am I aiming for? When I first did this, I just split my dough in half to bake — and the center wasn’t quite done (from then on I measured by weight). I know more dough means longer cook time — I just need someone to tell me what to do ( I’m still new to baking bread.)

    2. Any creative ideas on what to do with the extra 1 lb of soft whole wheat sandwich dough?

    3. When you make up the recipe, do you have this similar issue? Or is it just me?

    Thanks, Zoe and Jeff! By the way, I’ve converted 4 people in the last week. :)

    • Hi Bethany,

      You could use the extra dough to make buns (page 96) or roll it up with a filling and make something like these pizza snackshttp://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=890. If you add 1/2 pound to each of your loaves then let the loaf rest an extra 15 minutes and bake the bread for about 60-65 minutes.

      Glad you are enjoying the bread! Thanks, Zoë

  12. Hi guys,
    I’m wondering if the bread pan has to be metal or can I use a glass one? I have a glass pan that looks identical to the metal ones in your pictures but I’m worried it won’t work as well.
    Thanks,
    Dana

    • Dana: Glass works, go for it. Grease it well though, the issue is non-stick, metal pans can be bought that way, but glass can’t. Jeff

  13. Just got your HBin5 book for Valentine’s Day. First loaf with the master recipe was good but not what I’m looking for. I read this post on the sandwich loaf and that is closer. I’ve finished reading the book and think I want a hybrid recipe. You should actually be quite honored that I followed your recipe exactly the first time; I’m a tinkerer. I think I want a combination of the master and olive oil recipe so the loaf wouldn’t be 100% whole wheat but would have the olive oil in it which is essentially what my normal pizza crust is now. Just looking at wet to dry ratios can I just substitute about 1/4 or 1/2 cup of water for the same amount of oil in the master recipe? That looks similar to what was done between the master and olive oil recipes but you of course also had to make adjustments to the water amount for the difference in flours. It may not be precise of course but I think that would be a good starting point. What do you think?

    • Hi Wendell,

      Tinker away and let us know how it goes. Substituting olive oil for the water will work well, you may end up with a slightly stickier dough. Perhaps adding another 1-2 tablespoons of the vital wheat gluten could be helpful to get a nice stretch.

      Thanks, Zoë

  14. I noticed in HBin5 that the baking instructions for a 2 lb loaf is to bake at 450 degrees for 40-45 min. Is the higher temp better for whole grain bread? or is 375 degrees for 1 hr okay as well?

    • Janice: Our lean breads always do well at 450, which does a nicer job on the crust and is quicker, whether WW or white. Your temp-time combination ought to work as well; may need a bit longer to prevent gumminess at center, and remember not to slice big loaves when warm (or small ones, but especially the big ones). Jeff

  15. Thanks Jeff. Slicing the bread while it’s warm is a mistake that I only made once. :) Actually both the hotter/shorter and not-as-hot/longer temp-time combinations are yours, not mine. Thanks for the response, I’ll see what works best for the dough I’m making.

  16. I have problems with splitting crust of sandwich bread as had another previous commenter has. It seems like the recipes for sandwich bread in the 1st book does not have instructions for splitting. Is the longer resting time for the bread to proof enough so that it will not split in the oven?

    • Hi Tomoko,

      Yes, the longer resting time should help with the spitting top. If you want to have a more controlled slit you can slash the top of the loaf just before baking!

      Thanks, Zoë

  17. Zoe and Jeff,

    I’ve been a fan of your artisan bread book for over a year now – since the first article in Mother Earth News won me over with the master boule recipe! After lots of experimenting, two cracked pizza stones (thinner than your recommendation), and lots of delicious bread, I thought I had it sort of figured out! I have a williams-sonoma stone that I use for shaped breads and pizzas, and I’ve had good luck with making sandwich loaves in my non-stick loaf pans. That is, until this past week. I made my bread as usual, but forgot to grease the pans. The bread stuck so badly that it actually took the non-stick coating off the pans! I’m thinking that the positive effects of baking all my own bread are somewhat negated by the toxins in the non-stick coating! I’m wondering if I just had lousy pans (which is possible), or if you’ve ever tried using stoneware pans? I’m even willing to give up the crispy crust (which my family loves) so as not to crack the stoneware!

    Thanks so much for your suggestions and for your terrific recipes!

    Lorrie

    • Lorrie: We’ve found that our wet dough sticks to loaf pans if they’re not non-stick AND greased, that’s just the way it is with very wet stuff. Odd that the pans behaved that way–sounds like they were ready for the trash anyway.

      I’ve used glazed stonewear pans with good result– again, must grease them. For unglazed (like a cloche), must use lots of cornmeal on the bottom, or parchment. Jeff

  18. Jeff,

    Thank you, thank you! I’m off to Amazon to order something new! We didn’t really like the non-stick anyway, so now I have my excuse to get something different!

    I really love that I haven’t had to buy store bread for over 6 months now. Even when I’m busy, I have time for this. Thanks so much for your collaboration with Zoe and your great ideas! Can’t wait to check out the Healthy Breads book… still lots to explore in the first one, so I can’t really justify that purchase quite yet :)

    Keep up the great work (and thanks for the super-quick response!).

    Lorrie

  19. Wow – I’ve been struggling with getting just the right mix for sandwich bread and found this post. I used the recipe for brioche with the 5 eggs from the HB in 5 book this time. The dough came out like a really thick cake batter in the bowl. A lot wetter than I expected. I was afraid this was going to be another bad batch (I’ve had several of those so far), but I stuck with it. After sitting on the Counter for an hour and overnight in the fridge it was still very wet. When I tried to shape it it was just flopping everywhere because it was so wet. I almost poured it into the pans and sort of smoothed it over and hoped it would turn out.

    I figured that this super wet dough wasn’t quite right but wanted to give it a shot without changing anything.

    After rising an hour an a half it was still very wet to the touch and felt almost like a jello than dough. I baked it at low temp 350 for about 45 minutes and it turned out great.

    Very sweet compared to the stock recipe I use for free form loaves – but the kids loved it!

    I’m wondering if this really really wet dough is normal for the brioche recipe or if I messed up my measuring and just got lucky that it turned out.

    anyhow, I hope I can duplicate the results again. If so, we’re done buying grocery store bread for good.

    Scott

    • Hi Scott,

      I’m so glad that your bread came out well in the end, but it does sound like the dough was too wet to begin with. I wonder if you are measuring your flour with the scoop and sweep method. Often when people spoon the flour into the measuring cup instead they end up with a dough that is too wet.

      The other issue could be the type/brand of flour you are using. What kind is it?

      Thanks, Zoë

  20. I do spoon the flour into the 1 Cup measure and then scrape it off with a knife. Does that mean I end up with too little flour?

    Thanks for your input. I really appreciate you helping out and love the book. I’ve been talking to everyone I know about home baked fresh bread from HB in 5!

    • Hi Scott,

      Yes, that is the issue! If you spoon the flour into the cup you are aerating the flour and end up with too little flour. That should make a big difference in your next batch of dough.

      Thanks! Zoë

  21. I’ve been successfully making rye bread in the nonstick pans for a couple weeks now. I’m so happy to have found your tips here and to get my husband off the rye bread from the grocery store with all its icky ingredients like high fructose corn syrup.

  22. i’ve made a few of the breads so far and i’ve been thrilled with the results. makes it hard to go back to other breads! going to try my hand at this sandwich bread since my kids are sandwich lovers!

    is it possible to freeze the bread once it’s made? i’m afraid to do the parbaking thing because i don’t trust my baking skills well enough to get that right!

    • Hi Elana,

      Sure, just let it cool all the way and then wrap it several times to keep it from absorbing all the flavors in your freezer.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  23. I have truly enjoyed your two books. I have tried several of your recipes and I only had one failure which I think is pretty good. Recently I made the Oatmeal Bread in the first book but I added 1/4 cup of the wheat gluten. I liked the result but should I have adjusted anything else?

    • Hi Sharon,

      The vital wheat gluten absorbs lots of water so you may have to add more to the dough. Did your dough/bread come out drier than usual?

      Thanks, Zoe

  24. I’ve made the soft whole wheat sandwich bread in the HBI5 book a few times and it always tastes good, but it is super crumbly. I can’t really cut it, or spread anything on it. I’ve been using King Arthurs whole wheat and all purpose flour. I also have been using a cast iron loaf pan. Could that be the problem?

    • Hi Laura,

      You may want to add a bit more water to the dough, it may just be too dry. If you are using a cast iron baking pan it may get hotter than normal and require less baking time, which would dry out the bread.

      Thanks, Zoe

  25. Jeff & Zoe-
    I love your book – bought it for my mom and she bakes bread every week!! My problem is making a healthy bread that my son and husband will eat. So far NONE of the whole wheat doughs have passed the test for them- my local Costco started carrying an All purpuse flour (unbleached) with a blend of “Ultragrain” flours it has 4 grams protein per 1/4 cup – how would you suggest I use it in your ARBI5 recipes???

    • Hi ODina,

      The whole grain doughs tend to be denser than the kind of sandwich loaf you will find at the store. My kids like the whole wheat brioche dough as their sandwich loaf.

      The ultragrain flour is a combination of AP and whole wheat, so it will absorb the water differently. You will have to do a bit of experimenting to find just the right amount of water to add to the dough. Start with less water, you can always add more.

      Enjoy! Zoë

  26. I just tried this and using half of my batch, the dough weighed less than 2 pounds and the loaf came out short. Can you come up with a version of the recipe that makes 4 pounds of dough so I can get 2 full loaves from each batch?

    • Erica: It’s hard to make it weigh exactly 4 pounds, since that would require very odd quantities in the recipe Zoe cites from our book here. If you double it, you’re going to have more than 2 loaves, but the idea here was to store this dough anyway, and bake it off over the next 5 days. That’s what I’d do– just double all ingredients and mix in a 2x-sized container. Also can freeze the dough for up to 2 weeks if you have excess and it’s reaching its 5-day limit in the fridge.

      If you want less, I think scaling it up by 33% would do the trick– so start with 4 cups of water and use ratios to scale up everything else on the ingredients list– It will take a calculator though, and yes, you’re going to get some odd amounts! Jeff

  27. My on-line version of this book is missing the amount of oil/butter to put in the Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf recipe. Can you tell me how much? it reads: “? cup…” thank you

    • Hi Melinda,

      I am sorry about the missing amount in your eBook. The publisher is working to fix all of the issues.

      2/3 cup neutral-flavored oil, or unsalted butter, melted or zero trans fat, zero hydrogenated oil margarine, melted

      Thank you, Zoë

  28. i’m making this bread for the first time and i’m just wondering about storage. will it keep on the counter for a few days? fridge? we definitely can’t (and shouldn’t!) eat a whole loaf of sandwich slices in a day!

  29. I just made this sandwich loaf (i’ve been so hooked on the crusty boules that I’m just now moving on to enriched loaves. This loaf is by far the best sandwich bread! I’ve been baking bread since I was a child and have never had such a light and easy to cut sandwich loaf!! A nite about my process…I follow the recipes, but since I don’t weigh my ingredients, I always judge the amount of water by the texture of the dough. With this dough, I ended up adding too much flour (it seemed too wet when I mixed it and I went overboard adding more flour). When I went to shape the loaves, it just broke into chunks. So I added more water (by hand) and let it sit to rise before baking an extra hour. It turned out beautifully! I love how forgiving the dough is. If it is too wet or dry, you can adjust it before baking as long as you give it a longer resting/rising period before baking.

    Really, your recipes are amazing!!!

  30. Hi – Two things: what does covering the formed loaf with plastic wrap do? You mention it in the 2nd book, but not the 1st.
    In HBin5, in the recipe for the Stuffed “Sandwich” Loaf on pgs 182-3, step 7 says to put the dough into a loaf pan, but step 10 says to slide it directly onto the hot stone. I’m guessing this is an editing miss?

    • Robin: Most traditional recipes call for covering, to maintain a humid environment which encourages looseness of the outer shell and in theory, more rising. For the 1st book, which called for only a 40 min rest for most loaves, we found this wasn’t an issue. In the 2nd bk we found that we needed a 90-min rest for most whole grain loaves– and it does benefit from covering. If you like a more open crumb in the 1st book, and like a longer rest, try covering those too.

      Correct on the 2nd point…

      Jeff

  31. I’ve tried to make bread several times now – a few times in college, and once or twice since graduating. In general, I’ve ended up with bricks (but in college, suffered through the loaf so I wouldn’t waste). I am now determined to make sandwich bread so I don’t have to buy a $4 loaf at the grocery store.

    • Jess: Which of our books are you taking the recipe from, and which page number? Can’t really suggest till we know what we’re working with. Have you checked the FAQs pages (above). Jeff

  32. I’ve been attempting the various whole wheat breads and they come out heavier and less-risen than I would expect based on your descriptions. I thought initially that the problem was rising too much, too fast in the first rise, but after reading a lot on your site am beginning to think that the issue is that I have substituted KA’s White Whole Wheat for AP flour (since the hype about the white whole wheat is that you can swap it for AP). Have you experimented with it at all? What compensatory steps should I take if it is the source of the problem?

    • Hi Jen,

      You can substitute white whole wheat for regular whole wheat flour, but not AP. It is just whole wheat flour that is made from a white wheat berry, so it has all the same properties as regular whole wheat, but is lighter in color, and some say, flavor.

      You have to completely change the amount of water in the dough if you are going to be using white whole wheat, best to stick to the recipes written for whole wheat flour.

      Thanks, Zoë

  33. Help!! I bought a Vitamix a couple of months ago in hopes of grinding wheat berries to make flour. I used your recipe for healthy bread, baked it in a bread pan, and it came out as hard as a rock!! What did I do wrong? I used the vital gluten and the white flour. It sure didn’t look like the picture above! When I went to cut a piece off, it didn’t have the stretch in your video.

    • Anna: Home ground flour is very temperamental, because it doesn’t have consistent levels of moisture or fineness of grind. See my post on this at http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/?p=1165 Try the recipe with commercial flour first and then see what you think– adjustments will need to be made so it looks like it does in our videos (see tab above).

      So we can help you better, which book are you using (which recipe and page number)? Jeff

  34. Hi Jeff, I’m waiting for my copy of “Healthy Bread in Five” but I saw your video on YouTube and I could’t wait! So I used that recipe and followed the directions at http://www.artisanbreadinfive.com/2009/09/09/the-best-school-lunches-start-with-homemade-bread

    I had just finished grinding the wheat berries…the flour was still warm. Could that have been the problem?
    My husband and I just LOVE the artisan bread….best book I ever bought! Thanks.

    • Anna: No, that couldn’t be it, can’t imagine. In a worst-case, it would kill the yeast, but you’d know that and it wouldn’t be a hard-crust problem– it would be a no-rise problem. Try with commercial flour, see the consistency, then adjust water level with your fresh-ground version. See all the tips in the book when it comes, too. Jeff

  35. I have a request: improve the index for Healthy bread in 5.

    I was trying to find the recipe for sandwich bread. I looked in the index. Nothing under “S.” Instead, I find it under “H” for “Hearty” and also under “W.” There are at least two recipes with flax in them, yet only one is listed in the index under “Flax:” because it happens to be the first word in the title. That’s not the way a recipe index is supposed to work.

    I love your books, and wish the index were as well thought out as the recipes. Perhaps you could get your publisher to improve it in future printings?

  36. Thanks! I know you’re responsible for the recipes, and the publisher for the index, so there’s not a lot you can do.

    FYI, I mixed up a batch of the sandwich bread tonight, and can’t wait to bake it in the morning. I added 2 TB of dried milk, so we’ll see how it comes out.

  37. Hi.. love the books, i have both.
    My question is about making sandwich/ burger buns.i have made both the w/w brioche and reg. brioche. Both come out w/ a texture that was too soft and crumbly and fall apart. what am i doing wrong? i mixed the w/w sandwich dough in my KA mixer and it tightened the loaf. Would that work for the brioche doughs as well? I have been asked to supply the bread for a luncheon for 80 and they requested brioche buns. i love the taste but want the crumb to hold together. any suggestions? i also live at a high altitude; but most all the other recipes i’ve tried are perfection.(and i’ve tried 20-25 of them)your techniques are brilliant. Thank you. bread baking was so intimidating before.

    • RJ: After mixing the dough, knead it for a few minutes (don’t knead again after it rises and stores). That should tighten it up– just that initial kneading. Jeff

  38. Hi there,

    I was thinking about making the 100% whole wheat sandwich bread in ABin5. I was wondering if whole milk is needed in this recipe or if I could use 1%.

    Thanks!

    Lindsay

  39. Hello
    I made the sandwich wheat bread in healthy bread in 5 a day… but with all whole wheat flour, I would prefer not to use any white flour. The bread is delicious but a little dense. I am assuming because it is all whole wheat. Any suggestions on how to make it a little softer or less dense?
    Thanks!
    Steph

    • 100% WW is always going to be denser, and particularly when you make it as a big sandwich loaf. Try the other 100% whole grain recipes in the book, see which you find the lightest, and go with that. But my guess is that you’re going to be happier if you do them as smaller (1-pound) free-form loaves.

  40. Does anyone have any advice, suggestions for cutting the perfect looking piece of bread for a sandwich? My slices are always uneven! Thanks.

  41. That looks so yummy. My hubby and Dd are both needing lunches. I’ve made beer bread the last two days and they’ve completely enjoyed sandwiches with it. I’ll be making some sandwich bread with your doughs. I really like the recipe you put in Family Fun Magazine a while back. It makes a wonderful bread.

  42. I tried this a couple weeks back. My loaf had no oven spring. It came out of the oven completely flat! We ate it anyway, but the spring would have made for much better texture. I’m sure you’ve answered before, but what do I need to differently for the next effort?

    Thank you.

  43. Glad to see I’ve been doing it “correctly” for the last couple of years :-) I’ve also found that you can spray the top of the loaf with non-stick spray right before putting it in the oven, to help make the top as soft as the sides. I’m currently playing with the rye recipe in HBin5, to see how much I can increase the rye flour & ww and decrease the all-purpose/white. So far, I’m down to just 1/4 cup of all-purpose…

  44. I would like to make a loaf of Pumpkin Pie Brioche, but I am a little confused with the directions. I want to prepare the dough and bake it the same day … at what point to I refrigerate the dough for 2 hours? Thanks… I have tried many, many recipes from your 1st two books and am never disappointed! I’m a huge fan <3

    • Hi Tara,

      You will need to let the dough sit for 2 hours at room temperature, then refrigerate for 3 hours longer. The brioche doughs tend to be very wet and sticky when fresh, which makes it difficult to handle without refrigerating it first.

      Thanks, Zoë

  45. I baked the 100% Whole Wheat and Flax Bread on Pg. 86. The initial dough rose beautifully. Got more rise during the resting period but then zero during baking. What went wrong?

    • Hi Estelle,

      We will need more details about your dough and the conditions. What brand of flours are you using? Have you tried other recipes and had success, or is this your first effort? Have you watched any of our videos on handling wet doughs?

      Let us know and we can get this worked out with you.

      Zoë

  46. I have been baking bread using your method for a year or more. Normally I mix up the dough let it rise for two hours in the container. Sometimes I bake it fresh and sometimes after refrigerating it. If I bake it fresh and after putting in loaf pan should I let it sit for 60 more minutes? Just wondering! I love your method and the recipes. I only wish I had a child who loved sandwiches…she never has, but does love the bread anyway. Thanks!

    • Hi Halley,

      The time it takes to rest before baking will depend on the type of dough, which recipe are you making? The time for resting is always less if you are using fresh, unrefrigerated dough.

      Thanks, Zoë

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