One Hour Sandwich Bread
Adapted from ‘The Tightwad Gazette’.
- 6 cups all-purpose flour (1 pound, 9.5 ounces by weight)
- 2 Tablespoons instant yeast (also known as Bread Machine Yeast)
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt (if using table salt, reduce to 1 ½ teaspoons)
- 2 cups very warm water (about 120°F)
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Mixing the dough by Stand Mixer (my preferred method):
Combine flour, instant yeast, sugar, and salt in the bowl of the stand mixer that has been fitted with a dough hook. Mix on low speed for 30 seconds.
With mixer running, slowly pour in the water and olive oil at the same time. Continue mixing on low until the dough comes together and becomes smooth, about 4 minutes. Remove bowl from the stand mixer, scraping any dough that remains on the dough hook into the bowl. Pull dough from bowl with your hands and form a smooth dough ball. Replace in bowl, cover with a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.
Mixing the dough by Food Processor:
Combine flour, instant yeast, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor that has been fitted with a blade or dough blade. Pulse 10 times. With the food processer running, pour the water and olive oil into the feed chute. Continue processing until the dough forms a cohesive ball. Spin the dough ball 20 times and shut off the food processor. Remove the dough, form a smooth dough ball and place in a lightly oiled mixing bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.
Mixing the dough by Hand:
Combine flour, instant yeast, sugar and salt with a whisk or fork in a large mixing bowl. Pour the warm water and olive oil into the flour mixture and use a sturdy spoon to combine into a shaggy dough. Use your hands to knead for 8 minutes*. After kneading for 8 minutes, cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.
*If you find it difficult to knead in the bowl, you can turn the dough out onto a clean surface to knead it. After kneading, just return the dough to the bowl and allow it to rise as instructed above.
Turn dough out onto a clean surface and divide in half. Form each half into a ball and place 5-6 inches apart on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or a silpat, or has been lightly greased. Use a sharp knife to slash the top of the loaf about ¼ of an inch deep. This allows the steam to escape the baking loaf.
To bake the loaves:
Arrange the racks in your cold oven so that one rack is on the very bottom and one is positioned in the center of the oven. Place the baking sheet with the loaves on the center rack and a bread or cake pan that is full of very hot tap water on the bottom rack. Close the oven and turn your oven on to 400°F. It is imperative that you start this in a cold oven! Set your timer for 40 minutes. That 40 minutes is all that stands between you and fresh bread.
The crust should be a deep brown and quite firm when you remove the loaves from the oven. Transfer the loaves to a rack to cool completely if you wish to slice them, or you can do like I normally do and cool one loaf while tearing the second one into pieces and slathering with cold sweet cream butter.