I have been searching for a really great sandwich bread. I came up with one recipe I like a lot (Classic Sandwich Bread for Beginners), but thought I'd see what CES has to offer.
I tried three recipes by CES cooks today and baked them to see what differences there were between them. I only used knead-by-hand recipes, as I don't have a bread machine.
Bread #1: soft, silky dough, good rises, baked in 25 minutes, but not tall enough for sandwich bread in 5x9 pan, so smaller pan may work (8x4 or 8x4 1/2), fairly dense, tasty bread with a hint of sweetness. Would bake again in smaller glass pan. This, to me, is a good bread for tuna, chicken, or egg salad, French toast, toast with jam, etc.
Bread #2: added less than 3 cups flour, as it became apparent the called for amount was too much, then added about 1/4 cup more when kneading, nice first and second rise, baked in 20 minutes, only slightly taller than #1, but not as dense, good bread for sandwiches, but needs a bit more sugar. Would bake again with more sugar in a smaller glass pan. Very tasty general purpose bread.
Bread #3: not enough liquid for suggested amount of flour, so cut back on flour to under 3 cups and wound up at about 3 cups when kneading, firm dough, after first rise was clearly going to rise well on second one over the top of the pan, which it did. After baking 20 minutes, the best of the three, but all of them good. This bread must completely cool before slicing for sandwiches, sliced about one inch.
Lessons learned by me about 3 cups of flour, or so, one loaf sandwich bread recipes:
They need at least a cup of liquids, and to be baked in 8 x 4 1/2 loaf pans, or 8x4, if not high risers, such as ones made with bread flour.
Glass beats metal pans, hands down, when it comes to crust.
Taste the dough for salt and sugar.
Rise until doubled means just that.
At least 3 tbs. salted butter are needed.
If it doesn't rise over the top of the pan on the second rise, it's not going to when baking, so the first rise sets the foundation.
Just my take on things. Hope it helps new bread bakers, and am open to your suggestions.