The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Clueless Newbie Q on Plain Ole' Sandwich Bread

wlaut's picture

Clueless Newbie Q on Plain Ole' Sandwich Bread

I have a bread recipe that worked fairly well until a year ago.  Now that I've diagnosed my water issue, I'd like to "nail down" my recipe.

I'm still mastering baker's percentages, so please bear with my using "consumer" measurements.

3 cups, Bread flour.

3 cups, AP flour.

4 Tbl, Sugar.

2 tsp, Salt.

1/3 Cup, Oil.

2 Cups, Water.

2 Tbl, Active Dry Yeast.

My question is, how much yeast should I be using?  Someone once commented that I'm using too much, and so I'd like to adjust it so I can get back to making bread like in the photo.





beermanpete's picture

For a recipe this size you should be good with 2 teaspoons of yeast. The time for rising will be a bit longer but it will rise just fine.

wlaut's picture

Thank you.  That confirms what I was suspecting after the Yeast Test.


idaveindy's picture

It depends on how long you want the 1st and 2nd rise to go.

A rough "rule of thumb": The standard 7 g, or 1/4 oz packet of yeast is 2.25 tsp, and is "generally intended" for 3.5 to 4 cups (1 lb or 450 g) of flour, and 1st and 2nd rise between 1 and 2 hours each (2 to 4 hours total) depending on temps.

So for that quick rise, 6 cups flour would need ~  3-3/8 tsp yeast. (1.5 * 2.25)

But for an overnight room temp bulk rise, you could get by with 3/8 tsp, because 4  cups needs about 1/4 tsp for an overnight room temp bulk. (Steve Gamelin's method.)


wlaut's picture

LOL!  My hat's off to you, Dave. You are spot-on as always.

I ended up using 2.25 tsp of yeast if for no other reason because that's what Dan asked for in his yeast test.  The rise times match exactly what you said:  The first could have used two hours, although I only gave it 40 minutes.

For the second rise, I divided the dough for two loaves, which I rolled into cylinders and put in my pans.  I then placed then into my electric roaster, set to 130F to encourage the yeast. Normally they would take 30 minutes but I let them  go for almost 2.5 hours, until they were nicely doned. I then baked them for 33 minutes at 400F.

While a bit overly-browned, the longer rise time produced a noticably softer interior,  almost skin to Wonder Bread. The flavor was better as well, although I'm hard-pressed to quantify the flavor.

At first, I had the nonsensical idea that this experiment would fail  because I had insufficient yeast to raise that volume of dough. But as the loaves kept expanding in the roaster, the truth became obvious: The yeast is *alive* and so as long as it has something to feed upon, it's going to continue growing. Duh! *Facepalm*

As for the improved flavor, I conjecture that the longer rise time let's the yeast create more byproducts to flavor the dough. Does that seem reasonable?

BTW, I haven't forgotten what you (and others) said about sifting flour to remove the bran for pizza dough.  As the proverbial "son of an engineer," it made me put my engineering cap on, rising to the challenge to attack the problem from a different approach.  If/when I have results to share, I will post them.

Also, I'm still waiting for Bitterroot to finish my grain mill.I guess they weren't kidding about being deluged with orders owing to the Panic.



idaveindy's picture

"As for the improved flavor, I conjecture that the longer rise time let's the yeast create more byproducts to flavor the dough. Does that seem reasonable?"


That's essentially what makes "artisan" bread, whether it be raised with commercial yeast or sourdough.

BTW, what bread cookbooks do you have?


If you don't bave any, may I suggest this free Kindle ebook:

It is not sophisticated, but it does provide a starting point for whole wheat. and it is "legit", and is temporarily discounted, -- not one of the schlock books that are made free for a week so the author can D/L it with friends and fake accts and write phony reviews, then raise the price.

wlaut's picture

I don't yet have any bread cookbooks that I know of, but I'll have to check. I do have a growing Amazon shopping list, two of which are the Bread Baker's Apprentice and Artisan Bread Every Day, both by Peter Reinhart.


wlaut's picture

And thank you for the citation to the Kindle book.  Will download tonight!

fotomat1's picture

the GraLab timer in the back of the photo

wlaut's picture

You are talking to one die-hard, semi-pro, film-based photographer with the darkroom to prove it.

Camera gear is a nearly-complete Nikon F4 system w/ all the power supplies, six prime lenses, bellows attachment, slide copier, etc, etc.  Only thing missing is the 250-exposure film back.

Darkroom includes a Job CPP-2 rotary processor with reels and sheet film tanks, paper tanks to 16x20 ( but will buy the 20x24), Eseco T-85 color transmission densitometer.

Enlarger is an Omega D5-XL, with the Chromega D colorhead; lens and baffles to enlarge from 35mm to 4x5.

Lab includes a stocked chemical locker, graduates, Kodak Process Thermometer #2, scales include an Acculab V-333 and a DRX2(?) Torsion accurate to 0.005g.

Other includes Speedotron Brown Line for studio lighting, assorted easels, papers, etc.

Only process I've not yet attempted is Due Transfer, but I have Jim Chapman's reference book.

Once I finish moving to my rural property, at some point I will then migrate from C-41 bulk neg film (no longer available) to Kodak Vision 3 cine film. Probably their 50D, as I like the non-existent grain for enlarging to 20x24.

And, of course, my beloved GraLab timer!  :-)


fotomat1's picture
fotomat1 for 30 years Switched to digital (at an enormous cost) and all clients did was bitch about how it could still cost the same as film. Now I make 🍞 bread

wlaut's picture

Ugh. You have my deepest sympathies.


idaveindy's picture

being nosey... And I know you don't have your mill yet... But why are you still making all white loaves?

You've been around here a while. Shouldn't you be transitioning the family to at least partial WW bread, using some store-bought WW, even for pan loaves?

Even if you do not want open-crumb, you could do the overnight, or all day, 1st rise for the flavor, still with commercial dry yeast if you want, de-gas well for a sandwich loaf, 60- 90 min 2nd rise in a loaf pan, and slowly inch your way to a 50% or more  WW loaf.

Sure, store bought Ww is not as good as fresh-milled, but ain't it better than all white?

What's the plan, Stan? 

wlaut's picture

Well, I have old bags of AP and BF I want to use up, because once the mill arrives I'll be jumping into the "deep end," starting with a 100% WW. Attached is a photo I found on TFL that I want to next master.

And speaking of my mill, Bitterroot told me it will get shipped next week.  Hallelujah!  I thus won't be messing with white bread much longer.

Also, in anticipation of the mill -- and before you advised against it -- I visited our local Amish store and bought 50# sacks of HRW, HRS, HW, and SW.  I also bought 20# of Durum for making pasta.

I'm a devotee of Self-Sufficiency including home canning. Cherries are at the Farmer's Market, so next week I'll be canning cherry pancake syrup, jam, etc. And a friend who has a huge garden has a great tomato crop, so she's willing to sell tomatoes by the bushel for $8.  So after the cherries I'll be canning tomato juice, sauce, soup, and spaghetti and pizza sauces. 

There will be a lull before the string beans and sweet corn comes to market, and I get those processed.

Anyway, back to bread:. First to master is that lucious loaf in the photo, and to gradually move into other things like sourdough, pasties like crossants, cakes,.  Reverse-engineer my favorite Euphrates crackers.

I also think it would be fun to create a "gourmet" PBJ with home-milled bread and peanut butter, and home-canned jam.

Nearly everything you said in your third paragraph I've never heard before -- but I will be asking you as my experience grows!

All of tntetspersed  with my main pursuits, including closing on my rural property and expanding the cabin into a house for the next chapter in my life. 

So, that's the plan!  And BTW, I did learn one thing the GrainMaker is not recommended for:  Grinding Wet corn for Masa / nixtamalia.  The burrs are not stainless and so could rust if they are not promptly cleaned and dried.