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Honey-Wheat Sandwich Bread

Proofing times for yeasted doughs can vary widely depending on the temperature of your house.  The times provided in this recipe are guidelines; for best results, rely on the visual cues described here. The recipe calls for using a Cuisinart steam oven. To bake in a conventional oven, after you’ve shaped the dough and placed it in the loaf pan, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until it almost fills the pan, 30 to 45 minutes. Then remove the plastic wrap and transfer the pan to a preheated 350°F. Bake until the loaf is golden on top and the internal temperature reaches 200°F, about 45 minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup milk (105° to 110°F)
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs. water (105° to 110°F)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 3 cups rustic wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

Directions:

In a bowl, combine the milk and water and sprinkle with the yeast. Let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes, then stir to combine.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, beat together the flour and salt on low speed for 30 seconds. Slowly add the yeast mixture and then the honey and butter. Increase the speed to medium-low and knead for 8 to 10 minutes. The dough should be smooth and elastic and should not be sticky.

Spray a large bowl with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Lightly spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Punch down the dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface and lightly pat into a disk about 1 1/2 inches thick. Fold the bottom portion of the dough to the center, then fold the top portion to the center so the top and bottom edges are touching. Then fold each side to the center to form a tight cylinder. Pinch the seam closed with your thumb and gently roll the dough to form a cylinder about 8 1/2 inches long and 4 inches wide. Transfer to the prepared pan.

Position a rack in the lower rung of a Cuisinart steam oven. Transfer the pan to the oven. Turn the oven to the steam setting at 100°F according to the manufacturer’s instructions and let the dough steam for 25 minutes. At the end of the steaming cycle, turn the oven to the bread setting at 350°F. Bake until the loaf is golden on top and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 200°F, about 35 minutes. Immediately remove the loaf from the pan, transfer to a wire rack and let cool. Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen