The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

My first fresh loaf in many months!

Skibum's picture

My first fresh loaf in many months!

Since I moved to my new home 31/2 months ago, I have eaten little bread. Now that the cold weather is setting in, I have had cravings for grilled cheese sandwiches. I actually bought a store loaf of sliced white bread and it made a pretty good grilled cheese. I figured I could do better.

I did a sweet levain version of Peter Reinhart's soft sandwich bread and rolls from Artisan Breads Every Day. I used his recipe, but used 150 grams sweet levain, adjusting the milk and flour to compensate. I also added 1/2 Tbs active dry yeast. It was nice to be working with an active dough once again. this is also the first loaf I have done in a loaf pan for some time. Very please with the results! Nice crust and crumb and great flavour! A nice slicing bread for the ultimate grilled cheese sandwich.


And here is the sandwich, made better by adding bacon!

Happy cooking, baking and eating folks! Ski


Floydm's picture

Looks pretty nice! 

Skibum's picture

Very happy with the results. No more grocery store bread. Happy baking! Ski

alfanso's picture

A wonderful sandwich bread.


Skibum's picture

I make this recipe fairly often, but in the past always for rolls. I used to share these large bakes with my neighbors, but my new neighbors run the local bakery. I gavbe some to my butcher and he fixed me up with a great strip loin! Happy baking! Ski

clazar123's picture

I have also moved a few times the last few years and after the first move I was astonished on how entrenched I had been with my old kitchen. My 35 yr old stove was an old friend that functioned well. The new stove at the first and the second place don't function nearly as well. I am learning to compensate for the equipment' idiosyncrasies but find I am just not enthusiastic about baking. I have to develop new patterns and get used to new surroundings. It will just take time and practice but I will get there eventually.Your loaf and post are encouraging!

Skibum's picture

My starter hadn't been refreshed for some time, so for this bake I fed the sweet levain each day for four days, to be sure it was good and active on baking day. Happy baking! Ski

kendalm's picture

Looks fantastic ! A good,sandwich loaf is something I really miss and never thought about making it home. Whats the recipe you used ?

Skibum's picture

I used a sweet levain version of a Peter Reinhart recipe, from Artisan Breads Every Day. My levain is 100% hydration, sourdough type starter, which I keep sweet as i don't like the sour notes in my breads.

levain 150 grams

Milk, scalded to above 135F --  375 grams

78 grams honey dissolved in the warm milk

1 egg beaten and added, when the milk is cooled

1/2 Tbs active dry yeast

Mix wet ingredients.

650 grams strong bread flour

1 Tbs coarse Kosher salt

Mix wet and dry ingredients

85 grams melted butter, add to the mix

Mix well and develop the dough in your preferred way. I still like a version of Reinhart's four stretch and folds with 10 minutes rest in between.

I let the dough bulk proof for about 3 hours until doubled, then shaped for a 5x9" loaf pan. I let rise until the dough was 1" domed above the pan, two hours or so I think. It's about the4 dough development, rather than the time.

Baked at 350T for 20 minutes with steam, turned and baked for 20-25 minutes more until the internal temperature was between 185 and 190F.

Happy baking! Ski

kendalm's picture

I will have to put this on my list amd been meaning to get back into sourdoughs - btw I too am not a big fan of the sour taste so the more it has the sourdough texture and less the tang the better. Ive just been tasked by my boys to do more pizza so maybe i can swing pizza and sandwich simultaneously (never hurts to multitask !)

isand66's picture

Great to see you Baking again.  Looks like the perfect grilled cheese to me!

Now you need a nice bowl of soup to go with it :).

Happy Baking.


Skibum's picture

Great to be baking again and yes, it was a GREAT grilled cheese with bacon! I enjoyed working with the dough again and have got used to my new kitchen and oven. A new town and home take some time to adjust to. This loaf will likely be a weekly bake for me or when ever it starts to run out. One loaf of grocery store bought bread was enough to gird me back to baking my own. Nice to be back baking and reconnecting with some old tfl friends. Happy baking! Ski