I needed a good sandwich bread to replace the old Roman Meal. The recipe seems to have been changed over the past several years. We like Pain de Mie or Pullman Loaf. But there is a need for a good whole wheat sandwich loaf, both for taste and also to make the food Nazi a bit happier. The basic honey wheat is a good loaf, but it is more of a good dunking in the soup bread rather than a sandwich loaf. So the search began….I never did find a really good whole wheat sandwich loaf, so I started experimenting. A good tasting whole wheat is Jeffrey Hamelman’s Honey Wheat, from his book Bread. I used that as the basis for this variation. Hamelman uses a pate fermente to give the bread a more robust flavor. I thought about that, but, since I keep a tasty sourdough starter around I decided to use that instead of throwing away so much of it every time I feed it. I also used yeast since I wanted a good rise. So, here it is:
100 g fed sourdough starter
275 g bread flour
300 g whole wheat flour
30 g milk powder
30 g honey
30 g soft butter
300 g water (this may vary a little, depending on the consistancy of your sourdough).
11.0 g salt
7.4 g (1 pkg) yeast
1. Place all the ingredients in the mixing bowl. (I usually proof the yeast in about 1.2 cup of the water, heated to 100°, with a pinch of sugar for about 10 minutes). Mix on first speed for 3 minutes until all the ingredients are incorporated, then on second for 3 minutes more. The dough consistency should be medium. Desired dough temperature should be 78° to 80°F.
2. Let rise for 1 hour. Fold once. Let rise another hour.
3. Divide dough into 2.4 pound loaf. Lube pan and lid. Shape into long, non-tapering cylinder. Place into Pullman pan. Slide the lid on and let rise at 76° for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. If you don’t have a Pain de Mie pan, you can get one from Fantes.com or the King Arthur site. If you are just experimenting you can use a regular bread pan. The scale for a regular pan would probably be 1.5 pounds or a little more. You will need to balance a jellyroll pan or cookie sheet on top, weighted down with a brick. Be careful doing it this way. There is no need to humidify the oven since the bread cooks enclosed in the pan.
4. When the dough is about 1/4 inch from the top of the pan, close the lid. and bake at 400° for 45 minutes. Immediately remove from the pan to a cooling rack. The bread should have a nice, even, golden color. Give it the old thump the bottom test. It should sound like any other done bread. Resist the temptation to cut too soon. After it has cooled wrap it in baker’s cloth and let it rest for 24 hours.