I must always be prepared to serve toast and jam.
If I have met you at a market or show recently I probably told you that we (Tall Dark Handsome & myself) have been living on bread and jam. You see we have been recipe testing a few fruit jams and TDH firmly believes that toast is THE BEST vehicle for jam. While I occasionally try to argue that a scoop of jam into rich tangy Greek yogurt is the better way to go (I ❤ yogurt), TDH is right.
Jam is best judged on warm toast. This is because you can see the quality of the fruit and the consistency of the gel all on one edible platform. Too stiff and you will crumble the toast. Jam too soft becomes dipping sauce for toast sticks. Soft fruit jam is yummy and still useful (jam-gria) but not exactly jam.
Last week we tested 6 batches of fruit jam and it took us 3 loaves of bread. We had to taste each one over and over. It was tough I tell you.
Official tasting method: Slice bread thick and toast it until golden and the smell of warm bread fills the room. Smear with softened salted butter and allow the butter to melt into the crumb of the warm bread. Slather heaping spoonfuls of jam onto toast. Devour. Make round two and try to eat more thoughtfully.
This tasty bread gets its flavor from honey and whey*. It is easy to make and perfect for sandwich slices. This recipe yields 2 med-large loaves. Serve this with soup or salad to feel justified about making a meal on bread.
White, Whey, & Honey Sandwich Loaf yields 2
- 5c flour (+ 1-2c set aside) This can be all purpose white flour or blended with whole wheat.
- 3ts salt
- 5ts rapid rise yeast (2pkgs)
- 2c water or whey (I use the *whey by-product from this cheese making process)
- 1/3c milk (optional sub water if using whey)
- 3T melted unsalted butter
- 1/4c honey
Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside. Prepare a floured surface for kneading bread with approx. 2c four reserved.
In a small pan on the stove top (or use the microwave) melt the butter and then dissolve the honey in the warm butter. Add the milk and whey and stir to combine.
Using a wooden spoon stir the wet into the dry. Mix together until a sticky dough forms. Turn the dough onto the prepared floured surface. Adding flour as needed (to keep things from getting to sticky), knead dough into a smooth ball. This will take at least 5 minutes.
Once the dough is smooth, allow it to rest there for 10 minutes. This is a great time to wash up and choose baking pans. I use loaf pans but this recipe can also be used to make rolls.
After 10 minutes cut the dough in half and form each half into loaves. Place the dough loaves into waiting pans. Using a sharp knife slice length wise down the center of the loaf (this is mostly to make it pretty).
At this point I like to brush the top of my loaves with egg wash or water and then top the bread with things like wheat germ, ground flax, onion seed, sesame, salt, pepper, etc.
Cover the loaves with a clean dish cloth (no knap or fuzz!) and allow to rise until double in bulk. This should take approximately 2 hours but can take a number of hours in a cool house. Be sure you find a warm spot if you plan to eat these with dinner.
Preheat the oven to 40 degrees. This should be done at least 30 minutes prior to baking.
When the loaves are done rising, place them in the hot oven and bake for 30-35 minutes. Tip loaves out of the pan and cool on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes before slicing.