Good recipe for everyday sandwich bread?
Hey all, new to the forum - moderately experienced home cook but a definite novice in the baking arena.
My first goal is to produce a tasty general sandwich bread, just your basic unbleached white type deal. Unfortunately all my early attempts have met with very mediocre results, so thought to see what you folks have to say.
I've been working from the basic sandwich bread in James Peterson's "Baking" book (after enjoying his similar introductory book "Cooking"). The results are inevitably a fairly dense loaf with small uniformly-shaped crumb - 'insipid' might be too harsh a word, but it comes pretty close to that. Have tried changing the wetness of the dough, used both dry activated and fresh block yeast, used both a loaf pan and rustic shaping (though the latter ended up spreading more than rising), etc, exact same results.
Could it be the recipe or is there some essential technique I'm missing? My girlfriend is starting to laugh at me from loaf after loaf of dense sponge brick! I'm not looking for beautiful artisan sourdoughs yet, just a sandwich bread that's airy, has some varied 'holes', and just a tiny bit of character... any suggestions - recipe or technique - would be much appreciated.