For many sourdough bread lovers, the crunchy crust and open crumb are the pinnacle of perfection. However, if you just want a sandwich loaf with a soft crust and a close but tender interior, this loaf, found on the “Bake with Paws” blog, is perfect. The only requirement, as with making sourdough bagels, is a stand mixer to knead the dough until you’ve developed the gluten enough that it passes the ‘windowpane test’. You CAN hand knead, of course, but I didn’t really feel like a work out. I found the inclusion of about 22% whole wheat flour gave a nice taste and texture to the bread.
Interior or ‘Crumb’ of the Bread
Your loaf of bread may be proofed for 45 minutes to an hour inside the oven with just the light on. When doubled in volume, remove the pan of dough from the oven and preheat.
If you want a nice gloss to your finished loaf, you can brush it with softened or melted butter when you take it out of the oven. I didn’t bother.
For long term storage, slice, wrap and freeze your loaf once it’s cooled to room temperature. Take out a couple of slices for toasting or sandwich making shortly before you need it. It will thaw quickly on the counter or overnight in the fridge.