I never mess up recipes. Nooooo. I also don’t accidentally start one, forget what I’m making and end up accidentally combining two recipes. Nope, it’s never happened. *cough*
That is totally NOT how I discovered the best sliceable sandwich bread in the world.
Ok, yes it is. What started out as bagels ended up being two loaves of the best sandwich bread I’ve ever sliced. *Perfect* sandwich bread.
Accidentally Perfect Italian Sandwich Bread
1 2/3 C warm water
1 Tbsp yeast (or roughly 1 1/2 packets)
1 Tbsp white sugar
2 tsp salt
1 T butter, melted
4-5 C flour (I used All Purpose)
Optional – cornmeal for sprinkling
Optional – 1 egg, beaten for egg wash
In a small bowl mix the yeast and sugar into the warm water. Let it sit for about 10 minutes.
Put 2 cups of flour into a large bowl, add the salt & butter. Pour the yeast water in and mix well. Gradually pour in another 2 cups of flour and mix well. Add up to a cup more if needed.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes, until it’s pliable. This dough is a little dry so don’t fret if the dough doesn’t look pretty after kneading.
Put the dough into an oiled bowl, making sure oil coats all sides & the top of the dough, cover and allow it to rest in a warm place for about an hour.
Grease a pan or baking stone really well and sprinkle some cornmeal on it for extra non-stick protection.
Once the dough as risen divide it into two balls. Form each ball into a long loaf, sealing the edges and sides by pinching. Place each loaf onto the greased pan and allow to rise for about 30 minutes.
While the dough is rising preheat your oven to 425F.
Slash each loaf two or three times diagonally (very shallowly!) and bake for 20 minutes.
Pull the bread out for the egg wash, then return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes, until the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it.
Allow the bread to cool completely. I’ve found that for easiest slicing it’s best to chill or freeze the bread in foil. When you want bread just pull it out, microwave to thaw if necessary, and use a sharp, straight-edged knife.