Bon Appetit’s Simple Sandwich Loaf

BA's simple sandwich loaf

Much of bread baking involves science but not everything. There is still a little room for art. And for mistakes. I was rather dubious about this bread recipe. I used a scale. I followed the recipe. It wasn’t exactly matching up with any of the accompanying pictures. It had few bubbles. It appeared dry. It felt off. I kept going. What other choice did I have? I hate wasting food, even sketchy dough. What happened?

It turned out great. Tight crumb, good flavor. I made two loaves with the poolish and it might be my new favorite toasting bread.

Be forewarned, like many home baking bread recipes, this one actually starts the day before with a simple poolish.

 

What’s a poolish?

A fancy French word (it’s pronounced pool-EESH, not POOL-ish) that sometimes goes by other names but basically means a pre-ferment of flour, water, yeast that sits out overnight and is added to the final dough recipe in the morning. The purpose to enhance flavor and help the bread develop a stronger structure.

Note, the sandwich loaf calls for using 100 g of the poolish. You will have leftovers. I stuck the leftovers in the fridge with some saran wrap and made a second loaf the following day. I did take the leftover poolish out for about an hour to warm up before I mixed it into the final dough.

 

A Master Recipe

The sandwich loaf builds off the master bread recipe. I’ve been baking so many no-knead hearth loaves that I’m out of practice with using the stand mixer for kneading. The master recipe gives general timing guidelines but I went a few minutes short. Overmixing makes me nervous. I figure better to go under than over.

On the plus side, the dough being a bit dry made it very easy to handle after the bulk fermentation all day in the refrigerator. My first loaf was a little loose, but I had the rolling and tucking (think almost like a cinnamon roll dough) down for the second loaf,  but honestly didn’t notice a difference in the end result. I think the key is to get it gently in the loaf pan without deflating it too much.

 

 

The end result

It might not be the prettiest loaf but it tasted really good and held up wonderfully for sandwiches. I sliced and froze the second loaf.

 

 

MIKE'S WINDOW

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