There’s something undeniably special about the aroma of freshly baked bread wafting through the kitchen. It’s a comforting scent that can instantly transport you to moments of warmth and togetherness. Today, we’re excited to share a piece of our own family’s daily life – our beloved homemade sandwich bread recipe.
As we’ve mentioned in our Dutch heritage blog post, bread holds a cherished place in Dutch culture. In our home, it’s a staple that graces our table daily, with a fresh batch baked at least once a week. There’s truly nothing quite like the taste of home-baked bread, and we’re thrilled to invite you into our kitchen to share this experience.
Bread is more than sustenance; it’s an art form. While we can’t claim mastery, we take immense pleasure in exploring its nuances. We’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way, like the importance of using bread flour, which boasts a higher protein ratio than all-purpose flour, giving our bread that delightful fluffiness. The organic whole white flour that we use comes from Speerville Mill.
Our recipe revolves around six simple ingredients, no more, no less. It’s a testament to the beauty of simplicity in cooking. Baking bread sometimes feels like a rhythmic dance, one day effortless, and another, a tad challenging due to homeschooling demands. But that’s part of the joy, the unpredictability and the delight of a perfectly baked loaf.
Our sandwich bread recipe starts with lukewarm water, yeast, sugar, and flour in a stand mixer. After a brief mix just to pull it all together, we let it hydrate, then add salt and cold, cubed butter. A knead in the mixer follows, and then it’s time for the dough to rest and rise. The dough is then divided into loaves, shaped, and left to rise again until it rises well above the pan’s rim.
We’ve perfected our baking ritual as well. We preheat the oven with a cookie sheet filled with boiling water, creating a steamy environment that yields a crisp crust. After baking to golden perfection, we let the loaves steam in their pans for a few minutes before transferring them to cool on racks.
We believe in the flexibility of this recipe. You can double or triple it, adapting to your needs (make sure that the loaf pans all fit in your oven, our oven only fits four loaves while Bert’s mom ensures that hers fits six). For a fluffier loaf, stick to white bread flour; for denser, heartier bread, substitute some of the white for whole wheat flour. Either way, your dough should be slightly sticky, or else it will not be able to rise properly.
Fresh out of the oven, our homemade bread pairs perfectly with your favorite toppings. For us, it’s often sliced turkey and cheddar cheese when it’s still warm.
We hope you enjoy baking and savoring this Dutch staple as much as we do. Click HERE to download a recipe card. Happy baking!