We had a messy snowstorm overnight, and the sound of the city plow leaving a huge bank at the foot of my driveway, combined with the noise of tree branches breaking, woke me up Way Too Early. Like it wasn’t even 5 am yet. I got up and cranked the heat in case we lost our power and then — for some reason — decided to stay up and get some writing work done.
I also decided to bake some bread. Baking Illustrated had a recipe for a loaf of sandwich bread that can be made quickly. The America’s Test Kitchen folks recommend using the super-fast yeast and then warming the oven to 200 degrees for 10 minutes then turning it off while preparing the dough. Then you use the oven as a “proofing box.” It worked – 40 minutes after I put the dough in, it had doubled!
I felt like I was looking for trouble as I was preparing this dough. I’ve done so much baking the past few days, that I actually ran out of flour! (Or at least the All Purpose Flour called for in the recipe.) So I used 2.5 cups of All Purpose Flour and 1 cup of Whole Wheat Flour. But the bread turned out wonderfully – at least for something that comes out of my newbie oven.
I did break the “cool to room temperature before slicing” rule. It was still warm when we sliced it, but that was perfect because we put butter on it, the butter melted, well, you know.
So, should you find yourself knocking around at 5 in the morning, make a loaf of bread. You’ll be so happy later.
Technically, this is sandwich bread, which means it could go in the girl’s lunchbox tomorrow. I’m not sure the loaf will survive that long.