This tasty Classic Sandwich Bread is super fuss-free and quick to make. It goes well with anything, but in particular something savory like Highlands Corned Beef.
It’s been a while since I received a most lovely package from Highlands Gold Corned Beef. I wanted to make a recipe with it and since I already did Corned Beef Pasta with another brand before, that was no longer an option. So I figured, why not just eat this au naturel with another carb, say, in the form of a homemade Classic Sandwich Bread?
This one from King Arthur Flour was the easiest Classic Sandwich Bread recipe I’ve ever made, but it’s almost deceptive in its simplicity. It possesses a nicely rich flavor you can usually get from more complicated yeast breads that require starters.
That richness, coupled with its slight denseness and bite, makes this Classic Sandwich Bread perfect for a savory topping like Highlands Gold Corned Beef. I mean you could eat this with anything, but in particular, something savory with a bit of sauce on it is surprisingly really awesome with this bread.
And even when I used the wrong size of pan, I can’t deny how attractive this bread still came out to be!
I didn’t want to do a lot to the Highlands Corned Beef apart from add a bit of chopped onions to it. I just cooked the onions until transparent in a nonstick pan without any oil, then I dumped in the corned beef and let it sizzle.
The corned beef takes less than five minutes to prepare, but the bread takes way way longer. Not the process of making the bread mind you, but the inactive time– the rising time required in any yeast bread. The dough comes together pretty easily, but because you have to leave this to rise twice it’ll take more than two hours to get this in the oven.
This Classic Sandwich Bread is best made using the proper sized loaf pan. That’s the only way you can get that rounded head that is the trademark of any classic loaf of bread. I used a very big loaf pan because I couldn’t find my smaller one, and it still turned out quite pretty I think. The crumb is just so nice, and I didn’t mind that the bread was a bit dense.
In the future, I might brush a little bit of butter on the top of my bread before I put this in the oven. I would love to get a darker brown top without having to turn on my broiler.
Highlands Corned Beef is very flavorful, but to me it is a little salty if eaten on its own. Eating it with rice is always a good idea, but I recommend topping it on this particular bread as an open-faced sandwich. The bread soaks up the juices of the corned beef but it does not turn soggy at all.
The bread’s richness pairs so well with the flavor and saltiness of the corned beef, and its denseness gives the whole thing a satisfying bite. Yum!
This bread has actually become a favorite recipe of mine because it’s so simple but so good! I will get myself a new 8-inch pan so I can make this in the form I like. I’ll be sure to write about what mix-and-match fillings I come up with in the future. 😉
Quick Classic Sandwich Bread
Makes one 8 1/2-inch loaf
- 3 cups all-purpose flour*
- ½ cup milk, any sort will do
- ½ to ⅔ cup hot water, as needed to make a soft and smooth dough**
- ½ stick, ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ¼ teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or a large bowl if making by hand), mix together all ingredients using a spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Transfer dough to the electric mixer with a dough hook attached and knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and supple. (If making by hand, oil your hands before kneading the dough for about 8 minutes on a lightly greased surface. Knead until smooth.)
- 2. Form the kneaded dough into an even round and transfer to a lightly greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a towel or cling wrap, and allow the dough to rise in a warm and dry place until puffy and almost doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours. Rising time will depend on the warmth of your kitchen.
- 3. Transfer the dough to your lightly oiled work surface again, then shape it into an 8" log. Place in a lightly greased 8-1/2" x 4-1/2" loaf pan***, cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap or a towel. Let the bread rise for another 60 minutes, until domed about 1-inch above the edge of the pan. You can tell the dough is ready when a finger pressed into the dough leaves a mark that rebounds slowly. During the last 25 minutes of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- 4. Bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes, until it’s light golden brown. You can test it for doneness by removing it from the pan and seeing if it sounds hollow when you thump the bread on the bottom. (Be careful, it's hot!) You can also check if its interior temperature registers 190°F (88°C) at the center of the loaf on an instant-read thermometer. Let the bread cool on a wire rack before slicing. Store leftover bread in a plastic bag at room temperature.
**I needed only 1/2 cup water to achieve a good consistency with the dough. This amount of water will depend on weather conditions in your area.
***The size of the loaf pan will matter if you want your bread to rise and have that rounded head typica in sandwich breads. I used a loaf pan that was way too big (9-1/2" x 6") so it stretched horizontally as it rose rather than rise up over the loaf pan as it should. Adapted from King Arthur Flour
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