I’ve been on a quest. A quest to find the perfect sandwich loaf recipe for my breadmaker. A quest to find a recipe that results in a loaf as close to the delicious white sandwich the bakery around the corner kindly sells me on days I forget to bake. I think I’ve finally done it.
This is just a basic white loaf, ideal for sandwiches to be wrapped up and packed for lunch. It toasts nicely without drying out and you can slice it thinly without it crumbling apart. I am fussy. These things are important. It has the seal of approval from my husband and children, but let’s face it, I’m the hard one to please here. But I am happy…and full!
This is a white loaf. I haven’t tried it with other flours, although I plan to experiment with that later. I’ll update you when I do…or you can update me! I’d love to hear if you try this and tinker with it to find your perfect loaf.
310ml tepid water
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp raw castor sugar
1 tbsp sunflower oil
3 cups unbleached strong baker’s flour
1/2 tsp bread improver (optional)
2 tsp active dry yeast
- Place ingredients in your breadmaker in the same order they appear on the list. Start with the water, end with the yeast. This is important because you don’t want the yeast to touch the salt or you will kill it. I find smoothing my flour over helps to get an even loaf, rather than just bunging it in and hoping for the best.
- Set your breadmaker to cook. Each breadmaker is a little different but you want to use the longest basic loaf setting you have. Using the ‘quick’ function will result in an inferior loaf.
- DON’T use the delayed start function. It makes for a less than even and crunchy top crust.
- Once the bread is ready, take it out immediately and leave it to rest on a breadboard, lightly covered with a cotton or linen cloth.
- Store in a cotton or linen bag, or wrapped in a cotton teatowel to preserve freshness. Only slice when required. It will keep longer in one piece than in slices.
This bread isn’t sweet so you can smoother it in homemade jam or make a salad sandwich. Either way, DELICIOUS!
But shouldn’t a real homesteader knead bread by hand and bake it in the oven?
Well honestly, I would love to. I enjoy making bread that way. But it is time consuming. It means being stuck at home waiting for bread to rise or bake. Quite frankly, juggling my time can be tricky enough without adding in making bread the old-fashioned way. If you want to and you have the time, go for it! This is your homesteading life. Do it your way mama.
Remember though, homesteading doesn’t have to mean swearing off technology. The idea is that we are taking more control over our lives. It’s entirely up to you how you want to do that. Baking bread at home means I can control the ingredients that are used. I can choose to use organic ingredients where they are available and affordable. I can buy in bulk to reduce packaging and save money. Putting a loaf in to bake rather than going to the shops means I am also saving on petrol and all off those incidental items that somehow make it into the shopping trolley. My kids are growing up knowing where food comes from and how to make it.
Using a breadmachine means I can measure out the ingredients, turn the machine on and head out to the garden for the morning. Or get stuck into lessons with my children without having to stop once we are on a roll. I can leave the house to go hiking with our nature studies group. My 8yo can bake a loaf entirely on his own! What’s not to love?
Don’t be afraid to take shortcuts when you can. You don’t need to live up to anyone else’s idea of homesteading except your own.