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

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

  1. I know this is off-topic, but I just used the ABin5 dough in standard croissants and it worked beautifully! I recently followed a croissant recipe and noticed how similar the dough felt to the dough have been using from your cookbook. On a whim, I used a mix I had in the fridge (5.5 cups AP, 2 cups WW, 1 cup rye, plus some wheat germ) and I ended up with beautifully flaky mixed grain croissants. I did all of the standard rolling, folding, and chilling. So it did still take time. However, quite a bit less time since I had the dough already made. Thanks again for a wonderful and versitile dough!!

  2. Zoe,

    I used the master recipe from HB in 5 then followed the baking instructions listed in this post. I used a 2 lb ball of dough and even let it rise a little longer than recommended. I substituted dough enhancer for the VWG because that is what I had on hand but no other changes were made. It rose just fine, but did not have oven spring. In case this matters, I live in a coastal area. I have to set the dough in a slightly warmed oven or it doesn’t rise at all (especially in the initial rise).

    Thank you for your help.
    Nicole

    • Nicole: Well…

      Your problem is that dough conditioner can’t substitute for vital wheat gluten in whole grain recipes where you intend to store the dough. Especially in a big loaf-pan bread. You might have gotten away with a small free-form. Work through other tips in chapter 4 of the book.

      Can you find VWG where you live? On Amazon at http://amzn.to/asyXUb. Jeff

  3. Jeff,

    Thank you so much for getting back to me. The dough enhancer I used has VWG in it, which is why I tried it. I already had it on hand. Is it likely that I didn’t use enough? I reread where your book talks about VWG and general tips but still wasn’t sure.

    I will be getting VWG, but I was hoping to use up the dough enhancer first because I already had it.

  4. I tried to make the sandwich loaf with boule dough following your directions but my loaves end up being really pale. How do you get better browing? My loaves baked at the usual 450 brown just fine.

    • Hi Kathy,

      You can increase the heat at the end of baking to increase the browning, or just raise the loaf to a higher rack in the oven for the last 10 minutes or so. Be careful to watch it closely, if you try either of these methods.

      You can also brush the loaf with egg wash, which will promote browning.

      Thanks, Zoë

  5. Homemade bread is an absolute must for lunchtime sandwiches…so much more delicious and nutritious! I don’t have kids yet, but I make bread for myself…my favourite is avocado, chilli and rocket on wholewheat bread with sea salt.

  6. Wondering if anyone else has ever used whey instead of water in this recipe? I use leftover whey from homemade cheese making for all or part of the water – makes the loaves even more flavorful, and adds a little nutrition, too. Last night did an olive oil loaf with whey and rosemary, served with soup for dinner! Good for sliced bread or as an artisan loaf. Just wondering if anyone else has tried it?

    • Anna: I’ve done it– whey is great in these breads, doesn’t seem to affect the outcome much in terms of baking time, consistency, etc. But you get all that nutrition…

      • I just mixed up a batch of the artisan master recipe with whey. Does using whey affect the storage life of the dough in the fridge?

      • Ashley: Love whey in the breads. Technically, we tell people to store things with milk only five days because of food safety concerns, but use your own judgement. Jeff

  7. Hi Jeff and Zoe,
    I tried this loaf a few weeks ago. My husband and I loved it, the kids ate it but said they’d rather store bought bread for their sandwiches. Too bad for us.
    Also, I’d love to try Anadama. I made the healthy one about a year ago, but it didn’t go well. The dough was soooo sticky and it baked realy flat. How about a white Anadama recipe in the future? We live in Maine and I’ d love to make it myself.

  8. Hi Jeff and Zoe…
    I have been baking using the recipes in both of your cookbooks since they first came out. I recently discovered making homemade ricotta cheese. I used the leftover whey as the liquid in a batch of the master recipe. Made a boule and it had a nice tender crumb but still a great crispy crust. Next, I plan to grill a slice or two of that boule and spread some of the homemade ricotta….yum!! Can’t wait for the Pizza book….already preordered on Amazon….keep the great ideas coming!

    • Hi Barb,

      Thanks for letting us know! I recently made yogurt and wondered if I should use the whey for my next batch of bread.

      Cheers, Zoë

  9. Hi,
    I want to make the recipe for the 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread from your book but I’m vegan and can’t use the milk or honey.
    I’m assuming soy milk will work fine here because I don’t think I’ve ever encountered anything that it couldn’t properly replace the milk in. But do you know of any thing that can be used to replace the honey as a tenderizer?
    (Something slightly less sweet would be fine too because the soy milk we get says it’s original but has a slightly sweet vanilla-y flavour anyway.)
    Thank you for your time and patience,
    Alex

  10. I was looking for a recipe for an easy bread and i found your videos! i’m from Italy and i moved here in Canada 9 years ago ,( i’m merried to a canadian).
    One thing i missed here was a good loaf of bread . i did bake my own but now with 2 kids and a busy life was so hard to find time to do so.
    You guys changed all that, after watching your videos i made a batch of your Hbi5m and i couldn’t believe it: a beautiful loaf with a crust that could sing!
    it took me right back to Italy !
    So thank you for that . after that i checked all those great recipes in your blog/site and i was so impressed that you are just sharing all your “tricks” and goodies like that….you guys are amazing!
    in the last month i made amazing breads, bread sticks,(grissini), o gosh i have missed those with prosciutto all around them, i made penat butter/jelly on a stick,(insted of pizza on a stick) and great pizza!!!!!! Today i made this sandwich bread and tomorrow my son is going to have a great lunch at school. it looks soo good ! O, by the way i did buy your book,
    Hbi5m , i had to have it, i just got it yesterday and i can only say that I LOVE IT , i’m going to try every recipe in that book and i know they are going to be delicius . You guys gave me the beauty of bread back, my house smells like a bakery and i’m making many people happy, so thank you .
    PS, forgive my english, i’m not very good at writing but i’m sure you understand this better then if i wrote in Italiano ;)
    ciao
    Iris

    • Iris: Thank you so much for all the kind words– your English is perfect! Though this bread discussion would much more beautiful if we could have it in Italian (but then I’d have to only pretend to understand. Come back anytime you have questions. Jeff

    • Hi Abby,

      Which dough were you using? It may be a dough that will produce a crisp crust. Let us know and we can recommend others that may hava a softer crust.

      Thanks, Zoë

  11. I’m a no fats vegan, what would eliminating the oil in this formula do to the bread?

    Is there a substitution for the oil?

    I would really like to make a softer sandwich style whole wheat bread than I’m currently buying at the store.

    • Dee: Problem is that fats make the bread softer. Could experiment with a little more water, a little canned pumpkin or applesauce etc. Or a mixture of those. Jeff

  12. I am currently baking a loaf of the Oatmeal Bread from the first book this way. My 12 yr old likes it so much that she took “bread and butter” sandwiches for lunch for almost 2 weeks straight.

    Two things. I cut this recipe–and most others from the book in half, and I have been finding lately that the doughs are wet to the point of being so sticky I’ve needed to knead in extra flour. I tried reducing the water tonight by about 1/8 cup and that seemed to help. Any further thoughts on this?

    Other question–any thoughts on time/temp for baking this in a large pain de mie pan? Blog at KA Flour had a recipe that was so similar to the Oatmeal Bread that I got a pan and tried it, but didn’t get all the variables right–bread was edible, but not the great loaf I expected.

    Thanks for any help and for the recipes–I haven’t bought any store bought bread except bagels all fall. And one day I will try out the bagels!

  13. Forgot–to get the soft crust Abby wants I bake the breads w/o steam. I brush w/melted butter before baking and after I take it from the pan. Works well with oatmeal bread, buttermilk bread and soft white sandwich bread.

    • Elizabeth: Can’t imagine that things are over-wet because of splitting, something else’s going on. Are you using bleached flour? Barring an explanation, just increase the flour as you’re doing, that’s fine.

      Our very wet doughs don’t work great in a huge loaf pan, all that moisture’s tough to dissipate from that center– so far from the crust. Try a smaller pan and see what you think. Jeff

  14. Hello,
    such a weird question but I want to make this recipe with medium eggs instead of the 5 large eggs, any idea how many I need? My last batch was more like quick bread not like sandwich bread at all.

  15. Nope, unbleached KA flour.
    Guess I’ll have to swap the big pan for a smaller. But since the bread’s so easy to do, not a big thing.

  16. The water seems to be the key. The oatmeal bread has the water,milk,maple syrup and oil–lot of liquid. I reduced the water to 6 oz(half recipe=7 oz) and again tonight the dough is much easier to handle. Won’t need extra flour at all. Probably going to fridge this batch till tomorrow and that should help even more.

    Thanks again for this bread!

  17. I made my first attempt at the sandwich bread and everything seemed to be going good. Had a good rise in the container, stored it in the fridge after it started to fall. Two days later tried the first loaf, let it set for the required time. Turned out like a brick instead of sandwich loaf, very dense. Not sure where it went wrong, the dough looked kind of like a bowl of mush, come out of the bucket in clumps. Not sure if I had mixed it enough or too much. Was hard to form into a loaf. All ingredients were fresh, nothing old. Do you have any photos of what the dough should look like before taking the 2 lb out for the loaf? Would so much like to have fresh bread for sandwiches.
    Thanks

      • I used fresh ground whole wheat and ap flour, mine didn’t look anything like that. It looked like a lot of bubbles and when you tried to take out some dough it came out in clumps instead of a cohesive dough like in the video. It was plenty wet though, very sticky. No idea what went wrong

      • Hi Russell,

        It is the fresh ground flour, it isn’t ground as finely as commercial flours and doesn’t produce the same gluten strength. You will need to add some vital wheat gluten or at least switch your AP flour to high gluten flour to compensate for the lack of gluten in your dough. Fresh flour is delicious, but it is a different beast and you have to make these changes to use it successfully.

        Thanks, Zoe

      • Is there a ratio I should be aware of for how much of the vital wheat gluten to use? Or is going to be a trial and error for this. I love using the fresh ground flour, such a awesome taste. I am using KA unbleached AP flour.

      • Hi Russell,

        Try adding a 1/4 cup to your recipe. Because the protein in VWG absorbs water, you may need to add a little more water. Try mixing the dough without it first, if it seems too dry, add the water a couple of tablespoons at a time.

        Thanks, Zoe

  18. I clicked on a link on your site to Amazon for a large “family size” loaf pan which was the 10.5″ pan. However I don’t see mention of using this large of a pan in HB in 5 or on the website. Can you advise as to how much and what recipe of dough to use for this size of pan? Thank You!

  19. Glad to see the sandwich bread recipe. My husband is home a lot more lately as he searches for a different job and we are going through sandwich bread for lunches fast which has prompted me to look into making our own. I went to culinary college and am a pastry chef….however all those recipes they taught us in school take a lot of time and effort and will really put some wear and tear on a little kitchen aid mixer. I was happy to stumble upon your book on buy.com, hopefully the copy I ordered today will get here fast! Meanwhile I am attempting the white bread and the wheat bread from your youtube demos. I pray they both go well and carry us through until the book arrives. I am looking forward to discovering this unconventional method of bread making.

      • I have to say I am blown away!!! My husband is Indian, Egyptian and Irish (I am southern) anyway we make a LOT of Indian food as we both love it and I have tried multiple times and multiple recipes for Naan, including talking our favorite local Indian restaurant into letting me come into their kitchen and learn naan from them (Of course their recipe requires an 800 degree tandoor!!) anyway no naan I ever made at home was up to par until today!! I found your post on this website about naan and I had a bucket of your master recipe that I added a little honey and a little olive oil to (knowing my husbands tastes!) and the Naan I made from it today with our curry was to die for!!! My husband was totally blown away. I still have to work on making traditional bread – I think my batch came out a hint wet (of course I messed with it adding some honey and EVOO), but makes outstanding NAAN!

  20. Hello! I have to tell you that I have been making your basic artisan bread recipe for a few weeks now, and it’s a hit! My husband absolutely loves bread, and in fact has been making his own for years, and he has now told me that I am the bread maker in the family.
    I decided to try making sandwich bread for my 6 year old son using the same recipe, but following the directions in this blog. It didn’t work out, for two reasons. 1. My crust completely split all the way across the top. How do I prevent that from happening? And 2. It has a hard crust all the way around it, like the regular artisan loaves. Should I not use this recipe for soft sandwich bread? I’ve ordered my book, but being in a remote Alaskan town, I have to be patient. In the meantime, I’ve been using your website. Thanks again for the wonderful recipes!

    • Hi Laura,

      If you are looking for a softer bread I would use the challah or brioche recipes. They are enriched with butter and eggs, so they are a softer crust.

      The top crust will want to split open, but you can slash it with a knife, which will create a cleaner top crust.

      Thanks and enjoy the breads! Zoë

  21. I’ve made this recipe several times I really love it. Recently, I’ve been considering getting a Pain de Mie (Pullman) pan.

    Have you ever made this in a pullman pan? Would I need to change the time/weight for that?

    • Hi Craig,

      No, believe it or not we have never used one, but I have always meant to. It will certainly work, but I can’t give you the exact amount to use to get just the right height on the bread. It may also depend on the type of dough you are planning to use. I would try filling the pan about 2/3 full and see how that goes.

      Thanks and please let us know how it goes! Zoë

    • Paula: Which of the books do you have? There are loaf breads in either of the first two– you can use many doughs for loaf breads…

  22. I now have all three of your books and am thrilled with each of them. I have read them from start to finish but must be honest, that when I saw the comment about using an oven thermometer, I ignored it. We had just gotten a new oven last March and thought this wouldn’t be a problem. Well, was I ever wrong. After baking several loaves that were good but the crumb was a bit wet. So I bought an oven thermometer and when the buzzer went off saying the pre-heating was done, it registered 70 degrees lower than the oven one. And it took 45 minutes to reach the correct temperature. After consulting the manual, my husband was able to callibrate the oven and the pre-heat was correct. But I am keeping the store bought one in there to double check.
    Sorry this is so long, but I thought it was a good lesson learned to be passed on.

    • Hi Marlene,

      Thank you so much for this, it is a great lesson for others. It really will make a big difference in your breads and pizzas.

      Cheers, Zoë

  23. Using Healthy Bread in 5 and wondering if the same variation you suggest for the 100% Whole Wheat Bread on page 80 could be used for the Hearty Whole Wheat Sandwich Loaf on page 62. If so, would it be better to bake at the 350 specified in the book or the 375 specified in this post?

    • Stuart: Yes, but you need to turn down the heat as you note. The question of 350 vs 375 to some extent depends on your oven; may take some experimentation. Sometimes 375 over-browns the top before the core is fully baked. To be safe, start with 350 and see how it comes out— as in the book. Jeff

  24. Bought the smaller size pullman/pan de mie loaf pan and made a 1/2 recipe of the Oatmeal Bread from the first book. Let it rise until the pan was about 3/4 full and baked it for about 50 minutes at 350.
    The top wasn’t as smooth as I’d have liked it–I didn’t slash the top before baking and probably should have. But the loaf is lovely–nice dense crumb and sliced beautifully. This is my daughter’s favorite lunch bread—she likes to take it just as “bread and butter”!

  25. Happy New Year and thank you for providing me and my family with a way to build delicious homemade bread into our busy lives. I have been enjoying using your method for several months now and my husband and boys are delighted!
    I used the instructions in this post to bake 2 loaves of the master HB in 5 recipe. I added a few tablespoons of melted butter to the wet ingredients before mixing the dough and also used about 2 T extra VWG. Both changes were an effort to soften and lighten the crumb.
    I baked the first loaf as directed after a 1 hour 50 minute rest at room temp in the loaf pan and slashed the center top of the dough before baking. The second loaf rose slowly overnight in its pan in the refrigerator, rested at room temp while the oven preheated and baked as directed.
    Both methods produced a very moist crumb. The first loaf rose less both on the counter and in the oven and the crust was also a bit firmer even though I brushed the tops of both doughs with butter before baking. The first loaf was also dense with a tight crumb.
    The overnight loaf rose so much in the pan that I was afraid to slash it for fear of collapse. It baked up about 1/2 inch higher and almost an inch wider once cooled. The crust was softer and the crumb was lighter, fluffier and more open than the first. It also sort of spilled slightly over the sides of the loaf pan and was definitely more misshapen than the first but closer to the loaf I was shooting for in terms of texture and crust. I also should mention that the first dough was made 2 days or

    prior to baking and the second was made the day of because I miscalculated the amount I would need when I decided on this experiment.
    My question now becomes this: do you think the second loaf was fluffier because of the slow cold rise or because the dough was fresher? Also would it have deflated if I had slashed it or would that have resulted in a better shaped loaf? I wonder if using less yeast next time combined with the slow cold rise could be the ticked to achieving a nicely shaped loaf with the same texture as the second one.
    Long, cold winter days have been made warmer, more interesting and certainly tastier thanks to your books and recipes, at least for our family. We are very grateful.
    sorry for the long post, and any suggestions will be much appreciated. This is the closest I have come by far in producing a loaf with whole grain that my kids will eat.

    • Lisa: Long storage of our dough results in a little decrease in rising power, but the difference of two days isn’t likely to be the explanation here– those are pretty close. Many people find the long-slow refrigerator rise to be quite nice, and that could be what you’re noticing. See our FAQs tab above and click on “Dense crumb…” where we address this. Loaf-pan breads don’t absolutely have to be slashed like free-forms– the pan contains weirdness of expansion and fracture. We generally don’t find that slashing deflates though. Jeff

  26. I recently made the rye breads from HB in 5 and both turned out great. Lots of compliments. My question is this: I made my own caramel color as described in your book, but there wasn’t a big contrast in color. I was wondering if you have a video showing how dark it should be. I was afraid of burning it. I really want to show off by trying the braided loaf.

    • Hi Georgia,

      That is a great idea for a video. You need to let the caramel go until it is just smoking to get a really dark color.

      Thanks for the idea, Zoë

  27. I’m a late comer to this revolution! Searching the Internet for recipes lead me to your books and I’m (dough) hooked! I’ve been baking up a storm! Thank you so much for giving me a wonderful way to show my family how much I love them!

    I’ve searched for this question and apologize if it’s already been addressed. Can I successfully use expeller pressed coconut oil for the soft whole wheat sandwich bread on p. 92 in HB5 and still produce a child pleasing loaf? Which oil (butter?) would give the lightest texture? Also, I notice this has a greater whole wheat content than the recipe you’ve referenced in this post AB5 p. 78. Will the higher whole wheat content make this more dense even with gluten? I’m still new to all this! Thanks!

    • Hi Rita,

      The whole wheat content will make for a denser loaf, but adding the vital wheat gluten is added to help the loaf rise better.

      We have not found that the different types of fat make a difference in the denseness of the loaf, but it will certainly change the flavor. I think you can use the coconut oil in place of the other fats with success.

      Thanks and enjoy the breads! Zoë

  28. Thank you, Zoe! I don’t even remember why I bought that jar of coconut oil! Now I can put it to use!
    As an aside, Charlie’s little scrunched up nose looks so cute in your sandwich eating photo! Enjoy your day!

  29. I just made this bread yesterday (after making the dough and fogetting about it in the fridge for a couple days!), and it turned out wonderfully! I’ve had problems with making sandwich bread since I moved to Calgary, Alberta, Canada from Portland, Oregon and dealing the the altitude change(slight by an issue). I will make this dough again and “forget” about it in the fridge! Thank you!

  30. Hi again! I made the recipe featured above with the coconut oil and it was delicious. The interior was a bit dry so I reduced the baking time for the second loaf. This helped slightly, but I noticed the bread crumbled if I spread peanut butter on it. My daughter also said it fell apart while eating her turkey sandwich at school. Do you think I should increase the liquid for my next dough? Also, I know you said the kind of fat affects flavor, but do you think the dairy aspect of butter makes a difference?

    I have a batch of the white brioche dough ready. I’ve never baked brioche and I’m looking forward to your sticky pecan rolls tomorrow morning! I’m planning to prepare them tonight and let them rest out of the fridge for a couple of hours tomorrow before baking. Will this work?
    Thanks for your guidance. Enjoy your weekend!

  31. Rita: Can try increasing the liquid, but go easy or it will be gummy. Can also do a longer shaping to give the bread some more structure, but don’t overdo that either. 2 hours is OK out of fridge, though it prob doesn’t need that long. Don’t go longer– USDA says 2 hrs out of the fridge is max for eggs.

  32. Help! My sandwich bread has come out twice with the same hard crust as the boule even though I tried your adjustments. It doesn’t make for very good sandwich bread. I’m using the master recipe. Also, the crust is coming up with a big crack down the middle, not the beautifully rounded crust on yours. Could it be an oven temp thing? The crust is crunchy and in the inside still has the moist crumb.

    • Lizzy: The Master makes a great loaf bread, but not a soft-crusted one. Try one of the enriched breads (Judy’s Buttermilk etc., the Soft American-Style White bread, or even the Challah– all in the first book http://bit.ly/cNtfJI, which I assume is the Master Recipe you’re talking about– from that book. We haven’t posted any of those recipes on the web.

      • Thanks for the reply, Jeff. I realized after more research that one thing different than what I did in the U.S. (now living in Asia) was use unbleached flour. I am now on a quest to find it in my local market. Another a factor working against the bread is altitude. I’ll give the enriched breads from the first book a try. The taste is always great so even if the crust is not ideal for sandwiches the bread is wonderful!

  33. jeff and zoe,
    i LOVE you!! have had ABI5 for over 2 years and finally made my first loaves of the master recipe. the second and third came out okay, so now i’d like to make a sandwich loaf from it. i notice that you use a nonstick pan. does this mean glass (pyrex) won’t do? and i really want to make a cinnamon raisin loaf using the master recipe–is this possible? a million thanks!

    • Deepee: It will tend to stick more, but there are ways around it:
      1. Grease well
      2. If it sticks, let it sit in the pan for 10 min after out of oven. It will “steam” itself loose.

      You can roll in raisins, or use our recipe from that book… Judy’s Board of Director etc… Loaf

      • thank you jeff! i’m going to 1. buy the nonstick pan and 2. make the Judy’s loaf (duh, the recipe was there all the time! DUH). hugs to you for your dedication and passion! deepee

  34. I have tried the basic recipe from the Healthy Breads book and my doughs are coming out very loose, and after a few days, wet, making them difficult to shape. I’ve been real careful about the proportions of flour to liquid and am using King Arthur flours. I’m also using King Arthur’s new Whole Grain Bread Improver instead of straight vital wheat gluten. what am I doing wrong?

    • Hi Karen,

      Our doughs are based on using vital wheat gluten in the mix or they will be much too wet. The King Arthur product is a combination of VWG and other ingredients that don’t absorb water in the same way, so the dough is coming out wet. Try using VWG instead of the dough improver and that should dry up your dough. You can still use the dough improver, but in addition to the required VWG.

      Thanks, Zoë

  35. hi – I asked on Twitter about sandwich bread ideas, and when I came to your blog, I found this entry and the one on Pullman loaves! After I try a few freeform loaves, I think i will dive into sandwich loaves.

    My kids like Brownberry 100% WW or Oatnut. Any recommendations?

  36. Cindy: The HealthyIn5 book is going to have a few that are close to the Brownberry, but they’ll all be firmer, crustier. Try the Master first, but the variations too maybe?

    Cracked Wheat, p.109
    Whole Grain Rye, 113
    Bavarian-Style WG Pumpernickel, 115
    Other pages; 145, 147 (with oats)

    • I made a note of your suggested recipes, thanks!! So far we are very happy with the taste and texture of the HB Master recipe with one modification: I use 4 C. white whole wheat flour and 3 1/2 C. bread flour. Works well for rolls and pizza crust as well as bread.

  37. I have 9×5 loaf pans and would like to use the recipe from HBin5 on page 92. I am sure I would have to alter the amount of dough and resting time, but by how much? I have tried the master recipe and it turned out light, airy, and chewy. I would like to produce the same results with the sandwich bread. Can I let the dough come to room temperature before shaping? Trying to avoid the dreaded brick, lol.

    • Hi Hadassah,

      You will want to fill the pan about 3/4 full, and increase the rising time by about 30 minutes. You will also need to increase the baking time by about 15 minutes. No need to let the dough come to room temperature before shaping, that is the point of the resting time in the pan.

      Thanks, Zoë

  38. Your book has changed my baking life;) I want desperately to make my own sandwich breads, however, your recipes yield a bitter taste IMO. It may be that I am so accustomed to the store bought sweetness. I have tried American white, light whole wheat, and 100% whole wheat. They all are a little to bitter to me. I have looked at the brioche recipe and think that it may be worth a try for a sandwich loaf bread. Suggestions?

    • R: absolutely. Or challah, a little less rich. Also consider a tablespoon or two of sugar in any of our batches. And see our FAQs page, click on “Low-yeast version…” You may prefer it.

  39. Jeff and Zoe,

    I am trying the soft American style white on pg. 204, ABin5. The dough rose beautifully and the I refrigerated. When I pulled it out tonight to form a loaf the dough is not elastic at all. When I pulled up on it a huge chunk came up. Is this normal? I formed 2 loaves in 10x5x3 loaf pans. They are resting right now. Just curious about the appropriate texture to look for and what I may be doing wrong. I’m using King Arthur unable ached ap flour with scoop and sweep method.

    Thank you,

    Amanda

    • Hmm. Sounds like dough may be a bit dry, which can be an issue with KAF; may prefer it with a little more water next time, see FAQ above and click on Flour varieties: Do I need to adjust the liquids when I use different kinds of white flour?

      Maybe rest it a little longer; 60 or even 90 minutes to let the dough relax and loosen.

      • Thanks Jeff!

        They just came out the oven and they rose nicely. I’m not going to cut into them until morning. I will try more water next time per the FAQ page. May try the gold medal flour once the KA runs out. Thank you!

  40. I have now made the bread again, increasing the water by slightly more than 1/4 cup. Much better this time. It is lighter and more holes. Still using KA unbleached AP flour. I was reading about hydration for this flour. It says 81% . If the all American sand. Bread calls for 7 cups flour would this mean I would need a total of 5 2/3 cups water? That is 2 2/3 more than the recipe calls for. I still think my dough is a little dry even with the 1/4 cup water increase. When I take it out of the fridge to cut a piece off to use it is still not very elastic. Should I increase the water more?

    Amanda

    • Amanda: You must mean 2/3 cup more, yes? That sounds a little much, but re-check your calculations– 1 cup of this flour weighs 5 ounces, and water is about 1 ounce US weight = 1 fluid ounce (well, it’s close to that).

  41. I have finally received your book HB5 and made the Soft Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread on pg 92. I used KA White Whole Wheat and AP flours. I put the dough into my 12×3.5×3.5 pullman loaf pan. I LOVE the taste and texture. But the center of the bread, about 1/4 of the way in had a hole and was gummy. I cooked it on 350 for 50 minutes. It was golden and firm. I weighed all my ingredients so I feel confident that wasn’t my issue. I note you say the oven temp is the other big issue… but could the flour type be my problem?

    • Hi Antoinette,

      The KA all-purpose flour is higher in protein than the gold medal flour we tested the recipes with, so it is often the case that dough made with the KA flour tends to be drier. It may be the case that your dough is a touch too dry, which will cause both of the issues you stated. You can add a few tablespoons of water to the rest of the dough if you think this is the culprit.

      The oven temperature is also often a factor, using an oven thermometer is a good idea.

      Lastly, make sure the bread is cool before cutting into it, or it will seem gummy. But this would not account for the hole?!

      Thanks, Zoë

      • Thanks. There is not much left, as I used about 3.5 pounds of dough for the last one. So, more likely I will make a boule with the last one. I will try to work the temp angle and see what happens first.

        Thanks.

      • Hi Antoinette,

        How long did you let the loaf rest before you baked it? 3.5 pounds is a very large loaf, so it will require a longer resting time and 50 minutes may not be long enough baking time for a loaf this large.

        Thanks, Zoë

  42. Love these recipes – but ran into some trouble with the WW sandwich bread inspired by CK from the first book…I used Gold Medal unbleached AP flour, KAF WhiteWW Flour, Bobs Red Mill wheat germ and ArrowHead Mills organic rye flour. I baked a loaf immediately after making the dough – with the additional 40 minutes rise time and it came out with a darker, harder crust than I would have liked, although I realized after that my oven was accidentally at 425 instead of 400, so I thought that might be the reason. But overall we enjoyed the bread. But, 2 days later, when I went to make my second loaf, the dough in the refrigerator seemed dense and very deflated. I used half of what was left (I weighed the first loaf so it was very close to 1.5 pounds so I didn’t weigh the second because I figured just using half would make sense) but it made a very small loaf – I let it rise for 2 1/2 hours and it still only got about 1/2 way up the pan and because it seemed to small I only baked it for 35 minutes. It actually has a more tender crust but is a very small loaf and a bit more dense inside. Any idea on what went wrong? thanks so much for your help.

    • Well, it is a relatively dense loaf. 2.5 hours is too long though, may have “over-proofed,” where it rises and then falls at baking time. Have you been through our “Dense Crumb…” FAQ (click above).

      Most people prefer this loaf with closer to 2 pounds of dough– so they get a nice high loaf, but esp after storage, it’s denser than our non-whole grain breads. In our second book (Healthy Bread…) we countered that by using vital wheat gluten, and it’s very effective. That book’s at http://bit.ly/3wYSSN

      • ok – so maybe the recipe really should only make 2 loaves at 2 lbs each…not 3. It just really seemed to deflate in the refrigerator which was unexpected – I don’t think it over rose – it was just so much smaller to begin with than when I baked a loaf pre-refrigeration. The second loaf was small, but still ended up delicious. I will take a peek at recipe with vital wheat gluten.
        thanks!

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