I’m heading to a conference this coming weekend (more on that later this week) and I’m starting to prepare my wife for my absence. Today’s project was to bake enough sandwich bread for her so she can make lunch (and probably dinner) when I’m gone.
I also had half a carton of buttermilk in the fridge that I wanted to finish. I went looking for whole wheat sandwich bread recipes that used buttermilk and came across one that was published in Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads. I was curious to try it since it used baking powder as well as yeast, and only required one rise, instead of two.
While the original recipe said the total elapsed rising time would be reduced to under one hour, I found it took longer for the bread to be ready to be baked – a little more than two hours.
I might not have saved any time, but the bread was delicious – by far one of the best sandwich breads I’ve made. The bread is delicate, with almost a creamy consistency thanks to the buttermilk. This bread will work just as well with either jam or lunchmeat. With two loaves, my wife should be well equipped with bread until I return.
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 1/4 cup buttermilk, brought to room temperature
- 1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) bread flour, plus up to 1/2 cup more
- 3 cups (15 ounce) white whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup shortening, brought to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
Step 1. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the water and buttermilk. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yeast, shortening, brown sugar, baking powder and salt, plus 1 cup of bread flour and 1 cup of white whole wheat flour. Pour the liquids into the dry ingredients, then mix to combine.
Step 3. Knead for about 8 minutes with an electric mixer. After I kneaded my bread for a few minutes I saw it was a little too sticky, so I added 1/4 cup more of bread flour.
Step 5. Press the dough balls into two greased 4 1/2 x 8 1/2 loaf pans. Let the dough rise until it has crested at least 1 inch above the pan rim. Before the loaves have finished rising, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.