The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Ta Da

bjwilson's picture

Ta Da

I'm sorta new to making bread... sorta.  I've had a bread machine for years, and I pull it out now and then to bake a fresh loaf, and I'm usually very dissapointed, so I end up storing it away again until next time I get the whim.  About a month ago, my foreign exchange students informed me that American bread really is the worse bread in the world.  Well, that got the ole bread machine out, and I became determined to find the secret of making really good bread.  Searched the entire web, tried one recipe after another, and tweaked the one I liked the most until I found the secret to light, fluffy sandwich bread with a crisp crust... and it had to taste good too.

Here's what I found works for me, and I didn't find it anywhere on the web... it came to me after throwing out about 3 doz loaves, and over 100 hours in the kitchen the last month.

The White Sandwich Bread Recipe I like:

1 1/3 cups whole milk

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons honey

combine in small bowl, heat in microwave to get it to 100-110 degrees (F)

pour this mixture in the bread machine pan

then Add

4 cups unbleached all purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons active yeast

2 teaspoons bread enhancer

(I made my own bread enhancer, I'll post the recipe for that later)

2 teaspoons salt

Close the lid, set machine to dough setting, start.

Stop after 40 minutes.  reset.  Start the dough setting again, and allow to knead again until it finishes.  DO NOT LET THE MACHINE RISE THE DOUGH.

Remove the dough, place in a large oiled bowl covering all sides of dough, cover with plastic wrap.

Allow to rise a full 1-1 1/2 hours in warm place.

Roll it out of bowl onto a floured surface, and mash (don't punch) fold in thirds (top to middle, bottom to top), then bring sides to the middle to meet... pinch together to close ends.

Place seam side down in a buttered 9x5 loaf pan.  Allow to rise fully (1 - 1 1/2 hours)

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.


My European kids are raving about it, and won't take any other bread in their lunches now.


Today, I made a loaf of multigrain bread using the same recipe except:

I replaced 1 cup of the All Purpose Flour with 1/3 cup Rye, and 2/3 cups Wheat.

I added 1/2 cup sunflower seads at the beginning of the second kneading.

It proofed like a dream, and smells like a peice of heaven... tastes too good to be true.

Now the European kids are trying to decide which one they want in their lunch tomorrow.


bjwilson's picture

2 cups Vital Wheat Gluten

1 cup instant potato flakes

1 package Sur-Jell

2 tablespoons ginger powder

1 cup powdered milk

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

Put all that in a blender, and blend until it becomes a fine powder.

Store in 2 quart glass jar with tight lid.

I found a recipe for this on the web, but could not find all the ingredients they listed in my local grocery stores... so, I just omitted the ones I couldnt find.  These ingredients work just fine, and help to make a very light and fluffy loaf.  My bread is lasting in a zip lock bag for 3-4 days if it's not eaten.

The missing ingredients are:

1 cup lecithin granules

3 tablespoons powdered ascorbic acid

1/2 cup diastatic malt powder

If you have access to those ingredients, let me know how that works for you.

mrfrost's picture

I've been using that enhancer recipe also and it seems to work very well.

Be aware that vitamin C tablets are ascorbic acid. I had two bottles in my cabinet, so I ground up a few pills to add.

Lecithin is a natural ingredient in soy flour, so I also included some with the enhancer. I also often use eggs in my bread dough. Eggs are also high in lecithin.

The next time I go to the natural foods store, I will buy some wheat berries, sprout them, dry and grind them into flour for the diastatic malt powder.

inlovewbread's picture

Hi- I saw your comment about getting wheat berries, sprouting and drying and grinding them for diastatic malt powder. I was just reading in Dan Lepard's book about it and he says you would have to sprout, dry and toast barley berries to make malt powder (malted barley flour).

Let me know if I'm off here because I just sprouted hard red/white wheat berries, dried them and ground them for Reinhart's 100% sprouted whole wheat bread. 

SourdoLady's picture

You don't want to toast the sprouted grain for diastatic malt. Here is a link to instructions someone posted for me when I had questions on how to make diastatic malt.

inlovewbread's picture

Found the original thread, seems there's three currently about malt powder!

I just posted this same thing on another thread.

Thanks for your response SourdoLady, but I still have some questions:

I posted about this on another thread but can't find that one...

I just went through the above process for sprouting, drying and grinding my own hard red wheat berries for flour. I will be using this flour in Reinhart's 100% Sprouted Whole Wheat Bread. 

Dan Lepard's book says that diastatic malt powder is home-made by sprouting, drying, toasting and grinding Barley. The main differences being that it should be barley and also toasted (isn't the toasting what gives it the darker color?)

It is a bit confusing because it seems odd that I would be making a whole loaf of bread out of Diastatic Malt Powder.

bjwilson's picture

I'll have to get some Vit C tablets... it's that time of year anyway.

I have heard since I made that enhancer that the health food store here might have the diastatic malt powder... but I haven't been there yet.

When I go to make my next batch, I'll try to have all the ingredients on hand.


Mustang 51's picture
Mustang 51

Good luck finding the diastatic malt. I finally gave up on finding it locally. Mine should be delivered on Friday. I am anxious to try it.