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White Bread, Your Go To Recipe


fooey
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I was flipping through Julia Child's The Way to Cook this morning. The first bread recipe is just plain white bread, made in bread pans.

I can't say I've even made white bread, preferring the free-form artisan loaves; but, with that Tuna melt topic appearing this morning (and a brand new toaster), perhaps it's time for some of the plain ole' white stuff.

So what's your go to recipe for white bread, by weight and/or baker's percentage if you have it?

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DMS, or dried milk solids (i.e. powdered milk).

OK, that would be Variation 1, p. 266. I'll try that one; I think I have milk powder around here somewhere.

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Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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  • 3 weeks later...

That recipe makes rather wonderful loaves, HungryC. Thanks, and thanks to Peter Reinhart as well!

I made a double batch, which there should have been 4 loaves, but I made 3 larger ones. OK, not larger, gigantic! I couldn't help but laugh when I saw them at full bloom in the oven, the ballooned tops twice the size (or more) or the bread-pan bottoms. I call them Mushroom Cloud White Breads.

Buttering the loaves after shaping (and putting them into bread pans) followed by egg wash just before they hit the oven produced a gorgeous, rust-coloured crust, shiny and burnished. The crusts crackle on cooling, leaving a neat pattern, so they're just beautiful.

I had an bacon-egg-provolone on toasted mushroom could white just a second ago. Was yum!

This makes me wonder how many people have never had real white bread, buying "bread" in plastic bags made via the heinous Chorleywood Bread Process instead. Stearoyl-2-lactylate, anyone? Azodicarbonamide? Diacetyl tartaric acid? No? Now where's your sense of adventure!

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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That recipe makes rather wonderful loaves, HungryC. Thanks, and thanks to Peter Reinhart as well!

I made a double batch, which there should have been 4 loaves, but I made 3 larger ones. OK, not larger, gigantic! I couldn't help but laugh when I saw them at full bloom in the oven, the ballooned tops twice the size (or more) or the bread-pan bottoms. I call them Mushroom Cloud White Breads.

Buttering the loaves after shaping (and putting them into bread pans) followed by egg wash just before they hit the oven produced a gorgeous, rust-coloured crust, shiny and burnished. The crusts crackle on cooling, leaving a neat pattern, so they're just beautiful.

I had an bacon-egg-provolone on toasted mushroom could white just a second ago. Was yum!

This makes me wonder how many people have never had real white bread, buying "bread" in plastic bags made via the heinous Chorleywood Bread Process instead. Stearoyl-2-lactylate, anyone? Azodicarbonamide? Diacetyl tartaric acid? No? Now where's your sense of adventure!

Agreed, the white bread formula I currently use is a derivitave of that same Reinhart formula. Quick, tasty, straightforward.

Just a note about the Chorleywood link. Makes me want to run out and grab a bag of Wonder.....I have been baking (artisan) bread for almost 15 years and have never even run across most of those ingredients. And to think, I felt a bit of remorse when I had used soy lecithin in a few of my formulas.

-CW

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Glad you liked the DMS white bread. It keeps nicely. Flavorwise, the buttermilk variation of that same recipe is delicious; it's just that I never have buttermilk on hand. Whereas, dry milk keeps forever in an airtight container in the fridge. My favorite sandwich slicing loaf, nutrition/fat be damned, is the "poor man's brioche" from Bread Baker's Apprentice. It makes divine toast and even better grilled ham n cheese.

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I define "white bread" as a non-whole-wheat (obviously) yeasted sandwich loaf, baked in an oblong loaf pan, usually with a rounded top that crowns over the baking pan; perhaps less obviously, it is close-grained & sturdy enough to slice, with a relatively thin, soft crust, but a tender crumb. To have those qualities, it is an enriched loaf--some ingredient (eggs, DMS or milk, buttermilk, butter, olive oil, other fats, etc) serves to tenderize the loaf and extends the shelf life (retards staling). I'd put enriched, U.S. style, braided "italian bread" (the soft kind with sesame seeds on top) as a species of white bread, too; for me, the definition is about texture.

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I always use Cook's Illustrated White American Sandwich Loaf for the stand mixer. It's flexible with what type of flour you can use and includes butter, honey and milk.

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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I modified it some, so here's what I do.

WHITE BREAD (makes 3 large loaves)

This bread closely follows Peter Reinhart's White Bread, Variation 1, from The Bread Baker's Apprentice, p. 266. Deviations are: 1. by metric weight (not volume), 2. unbleached all-purpose flour (not bread flour), 3. mixer instructions only (no hand kneading), 4. butter only (not other fats recommended), 5. loaves only (not rolls, buns, etc.), 6. portions doubled (you can halve and make two smaller loaves, if you prefer), 7. added some of my technique, removed some of Peter's.

DOUGH

1220 g unbleached all-purpose flour

15 g salt

75 g powdered milk (DMS)

85 g granulated sugar

13 g instant yeast (or 17 g active dry)

115 g eggs (2 large eggs), room temperature, slightly beaten

93 g butter, unsalted, melted or room temperature

750 g water

EGG WASH

58 g egg (1 large egg)

5 g water

INSTRUCTIONS

Remove bowl from mixer.

Add [flour, salt, milk powder, sugar, yeast] to mixer bowl.

To evenly distribute dry ingredients, mix thoroughly with a hand whisk.

Add [beaten egg, butter, water].

Mix all ingredients with a large spoon to form a rough dough ball.

Return bowl to mixer.

Mix on medium for 1 minute; then, if necessary, adjust flour and/or water to make a soft, supple dough that's tacky, but not sticky.

How to tell the difference between “sticky” and “tacky”: Press your hand onto the dough and then lift it up. If dough pulls up with your hand and then releases (so your hand comes away clean), the dough is tacky. If you end up with dough stuck to your hand, it’s sticky.

Mix for 8-10 minutes more, until dough clears the side of the mixer bowl, but sticks ever so slightly to the bottom of the mixer bowl.

Dough is properly mixed when it reaches (26C/80F) and passes the windowpane test.

Lightly coat very large bowl (6L/7qt) with oil.

Transfer dough to oiled bowl, rolling dough around to coat with it oil.

Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap.

Ferment at room temperature until doubled in size (1.5-2 hours).

Remove dough from bowl and portion into three equal-sized loaves, about 800g each.

Rest doughs for 20 minutes.

Butter three (22cmx12cm / 8.5"x4.5") bread loaf pans.

Shape each loaf for loaf pans. This

is close enough.

Brush tops of loaves with butter.

Place pans in large plastic bag (I use a large garbage bag) for proofing.

Proof until loaves double in size (60-90 minutes).

40 minutes into proofing, adjust oven rack to medium height and preheat oven to (220C/425F).

Prepare egg wash by whisking egg and water in small bowl.

When loaves are ready for the oven, brush tops with egg wash.

Put loaves into oven, medium rack, spacing them as far from each other as possible. The tops (crowns) of the loaves will bulge outwards (about 1.5 times the width of the bread loaf pan), so they should not be too close to each other or too close to the oven wall, or they could stick.

Immediately turn oven down to (180C/350F).

Bake for 20 minutes.

Rotate pans 180 degrees.

Bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the tops (crowns) are dark, golden brown. Internal temperature should be about (88C/190F).

Remove pans from oven and immediately remove bread from pans, allowing them to cool on a wire rack for 1 hour before serving.

They freeze well, so if not eating same day, wrap in aluminum foil immediately after removing from pans and freeze (yes, wrap and freeze while still hot).

Defrost at room temperature; do not reheat.

Enjoy.

Edited by fooey (log)

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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Preferment----

600 g high gluten flour

600g H2O..

1tsp active dry yeast.

Combine and let sit at room temp or lower , for 12 to 24 hours…

Dough,

Preferment

150 g H20

500 g medium gluten flour (AP is OK)

To preferment add, 150 g h20. and mix until smooth , add 15 g salt, mix a few seconds more.

Add 500 g medium gluten flour and roughly mix together.by hand.

Let sit for 20 minutes.

Mix with mixer and dough hook for 8 minutes… if necessary, add h20 or flour so dough is proper consistency…cover bowl and let sit for first rise until doubled…

Form 2 loaves,and let sit on parchment , on pizza peel for final rise until ready to bake…

Pre heat oven to 415º

Place cast iron fry pan on rack below rack you are going to bake on,that has a baking stone.

When loaves have risen suitably, slash, and spray with water until very wet.

Slide loaves onto stone and add one cup of hot water to cast iron pan.

Bake until suitably brown . let cool and either freeze in large plastic bags or use…

Bud

.

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I'll be following this thread closely- I'm very interested in using a white bread dough for making Japanese-style bread (you know, cute shapes, fillings, etc.). Unfortunately, I don't have a stand mixer.

I'll dig up a small cookbook I got from Hong Kong to check if the recipe comes close.

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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Thanks Bud, but that's not exactly what I had in mind.

It should be an enriched bread using egg, fat, milk, etc. for its flavour and baked at a low temp (350 F) to produce a thin crust and very tender crumb; see HungryC's description.

I apologize for not being clear; I could have at least posted a photo. I suppose if I'd said "the bread used to make toast!", that might have been more clear. It's basically brioche with substantially less egg and butter. It so light and tender, no bread knife is required to slice it.

Your recipe is more if an artisan white (68% overall hydration) made with a poolish preferment.

I use a recipe similar to yours–Bernard Clayton's Pain Beaucaire–for dense sandwich batards, but it results in a crumb that's significantly more dense and has a thicker crust than what I'm interested in.

You're steaming the oven too, so the crust will be thick and hard, not light and thin.

It's good bread, I'm sure, and it has the added benefit of a preferment (which pulls flavour out of the flour (as opposed to enrichment, which adds flavour)), but it's not the sort of bread I had in mind when I opened the thread, but thanks!

Edited by fooey (log)

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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Unfortunately, I don't have a stand mixer.

Have you tried the stretch and fold method? I have made this bread before, but can't remember specifically if I used the stretch and fold method. I would assume that technique would work just fine with this recipe. Most of my bread is made with this method and no mixer required. A good explanation of the technique can be found at:

http://sourdoughhome.com/stretchandfold.html

I usually combine all ingredients except the salt, mix briefly to incorporate into a shaggy mass. Then I let it rest, covered, about 20-30 minutes. This is called the autolyse. The theory goes this develops the gluten without the interference from salt. Then I add the salt during a stretch and fold. I do about 2-4 folds, or until the dough is too tight to work with. Let rest another 20-30 minutes and repeat the stretch and fold process again folding about 2-4 times. At this point, the dough might be ready to bulk ferment or finish bulk ferment, or I might let rest again and do one more stretch and fold process. It takes time, but works quite well and avoids having to kneed.

Don't let the absence of a mixer stop you from making great bread!

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Don't let the absence of a mixer stop you from making great bread!

I couldn't agree more.

After I broke my umpteenth Kitchenaid stand mixer, I swore I'd never buy another mixer again–and didn't for years.

I grew a lot as a baker in the absence of one: I had to touch the dough, learn how it felt during different stages of development.

The autolyse works very well and, especially for high hydration doughs like ciabatta, the "stretch and fold" method can build up the strength of a dough as much as a stand mixer can. It takes some practice and it's not as reliable or consistent as a machine, but it works.

Buy Dan Lepard's The Art of Handmade Bread. He uses autolyse throughout. As the title suggests, no mixer is required.

Edited by fooey (log)

Fooey's Flickr Food Fotography

Brünnhilde, so help me, if you don't get out of the oven and empty the dishwasher, you won't be allowed anywhere near the table when we're flambeéing the Cherries Jubilee.

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Thanks for the support, guys- actually I've baked a few rustic breads already (including Dan Lepard's Garlic Bread- I have his "Exceptional Breads" book), kneading by hand or using the autolyse technique. The one I was happiest with was also my most recent, Carol Field's Raisin Bread (from the Italian Baker). But what I'm still looking for is what fooey is describing.

I was able to take a peek at Gisslen's Professional Baking and here are his percentages for one recipe:

White Pan Bread

Water 60%

Fresh yeast 3.75%

Bread flour 100%

Salt 2.5%

Sugar 3.75%

Nonfat milk solids 5%

Shortening 3.75%

Mark

The Gastronomer's Bookshelf - Collaborative book reviews about food and food culture. Submit a review today! :)

No Special Effects - my reader-friendly blog about food and life.

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I use the "Basic Soft Sandwich Loaf" recipe from Rose Levy Berenbaum's "The Bread Bible." It makes the most flavorful white bread loaf/dinner rolls I've ever had the pleasure of eating. Great texture, great flavor. It's about a 2-day process of making a sponge, retarding it, mixing the dough and retarding again before finally shaping & baking the loaf, so it takes some planning.

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