A disclaimer: This is not a photo of my bread. My bread does tend to look like this, though. I did take a picture of the bread I made this morning, but my computer is questioning whether I hold the license to that photo. Because apparently I'm such an amazing bread photographer that my iPhone pic looks professional. Go figure.
Sandwich Bread (so called because when I say I'm making bread the kids all think it's banana or pumpkin bread and I have to clarify)
1 1/8 cups warm water
2 Tbs oil
3 Tbs honey (or sugar)
3 cups flour (white, whole wheat or a combo)
1 1/2 teas. salt
2 Tbs dry milk
4 teas. vital wheat gluten
2 1/4 teas. active dry yeast
BY HAND - combine dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and mix well. Knead until elastic, 6-8 minutes. Cover and let rise about an hour.
BY MACHINE - add ingredients in order listed. Hit 'dough cycle'. Go fold some laundry or something.
When bread has risen or the machine is done, knead lightly and form a loaf. Place into buttered loaf pan and preheat the oven to 375. Let rise until pretty (30-60 minutes depending on the temperature of your room). Bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on how dark you like your bread. I bake mine for precisely 21 minutes, and I always like the results.
Remove from pan to cool. Allow to cool completely before slicing. Or, if you can't wait because fresh warm bread with melting butter is SO yummy, just realize that your slices will not be very even.
I did not come up with this, so the credit goes to my good friend Jennifer. Next time you make bread, grab some gallon sized zip top bags and measure all the dry ingredients into them. I usually do 6-8 at a time. This way when you want bread, just empty the bag into the bread machine, add wet ingredients and walk away. I make 2-3 loaves per week and my net work time is about 30 minutes. Yay for easy recipes!