Everywhere I looked there was an obsession for what is perceived as healthy - recipes that boasted of being egg free, gluten free, fat free, no white flour, no sugar, no butter - only oil, and a zillion other 'healthy' claims. The sad thing is most people have no idea of what genuinely is healthy, or rather relatively healthy, and what is actually quite far from being good for anyone. That's not to say all things touted as healthy or good for you aren't - one just has to realise that blindly substituting and replacing, often with synthetic substitutes, is not the path to healthier or nutritious eating.
Tired of this I decided I had to have my own little rebellion. I was going to make that terrible. terrible thing - white bread. Made with no compromise to the all purpose white flour. No whole wheat flour or any other 'healthy' flour would even be allowed to come near. If the recipe asked for a pound of butter I was going to put in a pound of butter. If eight eggs were required eight eggs it would be. You get the drift...
I asked my friends to share tested recipes and I went looking around on my own. I read quite a few recipes and finally decided to use one by Julia Child. My main motivation to use her recipe was that I'd never made anything from a Julia Child recipe and this was the perfect opportunity. And the recipe was simple and straightforward, perfect for an amateur like me who needs a recipe to bake bread. Always. Even for breads I've made many times over. So I made my date with Julia and we made white sandwich bread from here.
I'm not rewriting this recipe as I didn't change anything in it. Just replaced the 1 tbsp Active Dry yeast with 2 tsp Instant yeast.
The dough for this bread is quite sticky and I was quite sure it was not going to work out. But it did. I was nervous because it took time to come together and I had to struggle not to add too much flour beyond what the recipe called for. Don't worry, this recipe works! And the stand mixer did most of the work ;)
Make sure you have a couple of loaf tins ready before you start. I didn't have two of the same size so I divided the dough accordingly instead of blindly halving the dough.
Make the bread the evening before and have it for breakfast the next morning. It tastes much better after resting for those hours. Don't slice the bread unless it is absolutely cooled. Patience is the key here.
As it turned out all this recipe requires is APF, yeast, and water, with a little bit of butter to help it along. Not so evil after all! So bring out the butter, Nutella, the jams, marmalades, honey, cold cuts, fry and egg or two and have yourself a feast.