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How to Make & Knead Sandwich Dough

Learn how to make and knead sandwich dough in this bread making video from Howcast.

Transcript

Okay, so I'm going to be making a sandwich dough and I'm making a very classic recipe of sandwich dough. And this recipe is French is pain au lait and it means milk bread. It is the quintessential, white, slicing sandwich bread, and it's got a great, very tender crumb, from the milk that's in the dough and also there's a little bit of butter.

So I'm going to show you how to mix this dough using a stand mixer. So the first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to scale out my liquid ingredients. I'm going to scale out my milk, and I need 550 grams of milk, and into that milk I'm going to measure 20 grams of honey. Then I'm going to scale out 100 grams of butter. This has already been scaled out, I'm just going to add it into my liquid.

At this point I'm going to pour it right into here. Okay, and now I'm going to just sort of take my spatula and get my honey out of the bottom. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to add 18 grams of fresh yeast and 18 grams of salt. If you don't have fresh yeast on hand, I usually use instant yeast. You can get instant yeast at any grocery store, it's virtually the same as active dry, so if you find active dry you can use active dry, too.

I used 18 grams of fresh yeast. If you want to convert that into instant yeast or into active dry yeast, just divide by three, so then you'll have six grams of instant yeast. And so now I'm going to add in 825 grams of bread flour and I like to put the liquid ingredients on the bottom of the bowl, and then the dry ingredients on the top, when I'm using any kind of a mixer.

If you try and put the dry ingredients on the bottom first, what happens is they don't get fully incorporated with the liquid ingredients, and you'll end up with some dry patches in your dough.
So now I'm going to turn the mixer on and I'm going just mix on a very low speed, just to incorporate the ingredients. So this is a rather stiff dough, and so I can hear that the mixer is having a hard time incorporating it.

So what I'm going to do is I'm going to let the mixer incorporate all of the ingredients, and this is a great little trick. If you don't feel like getting your hands really messy, but you still want to knead your bread by hand, just let the mixer do the work in the beginning by incorporating the ingredients, and then take the dough out and knead it by hand.

So that's what we're going to do. We are using a Kitchen-Aid stand mixer, and we're using the dough hook attachment. There's also a paddle attachment for like cookies and cakes. There's also a whisk attachment or whip attachment for beating meringues. So my dough, I'm going to turn the mixer off, and I'm going to lift it up and take this dough out of the mixer. You can see it's a very soft dough, because its got butter in it.

What's going to happen now is I'm going to finish kneading it by hand, and so I'm just going to dust my hands with the flour and I'm going to fold over and just sort of knead this dough really quickly. It's going to get a little messy as I'm going, because I'm incorporating the butter into the dough. So I'm moving this dough over to the board to finish it by hand, because as I was listening to the dough mix in the stand mixer, I could hear the motor.

It's a very heavy piece of dough and the motor wasn't going to be able to handle the kneading of this dough, so in this case, it's just better to mix it by hand. I'll add a little more flour to my surface, so that the dough doesn't stick. I'm really using the weight of my hands and my body. I'm sort of pushing into the dough when I'm kneading it. That really helps it to come together faster.

And I'm using a lot of flour on this dough, on this surface as I'm kneading it, because there is butter in this dough and it is a stickier dough and a little bit of flour. But this recipe isn't going to affect the outcomes too much. So I'm going to knead this for about six to seven minutes. Okay, so I've been kneading this dough for about six or seven minutes.

It looks to me like its nicely developed. I'm going to do a quick window pane test, just to sort of check on the gluten development. I'm looking for what looks like a window pane, and you can see that its starting to form, and so I'm very happy with how my dough is developing. And so at this point I'm going to lightly oil a bowl, and I'm using vegetable oil. And then I'm going to put my dough in this bowl.

I'm going to cover this dough with a cloth, so that the surface doesn't dry out. I'm going to ferment the dough for two hours and I'm going to fold the dough halfway in between. Folding means punching down the dough and it's a very organized technique of redistributing the yeast.

Okay, the sandwich dough has been fermenting for one hour and at this point we're going to punch it down or we're going to do what baker's call turning. So that is simply taking the dough; and you can see it's risen quite nicely; and we're going to fold it. And by folding it, I'm deflating it.

We're redistributing the yeast and we're just basically folding it like a letter, and we're rotating it and folding it like a letter one more time, and then we're flipping over on itself and then we're going to let it ferment for one more hour, and then we'll divide it, and that is how you make a sandwich dough.

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