Please do not ever consider attending a dinner party at my house if any of the following are true:
- You are on a low-carb diet.
- You are on a gluten-free diet.
- You are afraid that eating rice will make your stomach explode like it does to a small bird (if that is actually true – I’ve never been sure).
- Ultra dark chocolate makes your face pucker.
Because these things are still staples in my house. I know, I know… studies are finding out that people who are allergic to gluten can have problems with everything from digestion to depression, but I don’t think I’m one of those people. I can eat a loaf of bread for breakfast, and I feel fine. I try not to, for the sake of moderation and the fact that I also love fruits and vegetables and just about any dairy and protein, but I can if I want.
However, while I don’t have anything against gluten or carbs, preservatives and “flavorings” and anything that ends in “-ate” or “-ide” in the ingredients list has me running and hiding under my covers like a knock on the door in Home Alone (2nd-best Christmas movie ever).
So I’ve been trying out recipe after recipe for whole wheat sandwich bread and the results were like the most boring posts ever on Epic Fail. Dry, crumbly, dense, ranging from overly chewy to “this might actually be a brick in a loaf of bread costume” – I was getting a little frustrated, so frustrated that I went back to store-bought sandwich bread.
Then, Cooks Illustrated swept in a rescued my family from calcium propionate with their Whole-Wheat Sandwich Bread recipe! It was exactly what I was looking for, and it is a winner. The first try came out beautifully and even after five days in the cupboard, the second loaf still had a perfectly soft but hearty texture.
It works for PB&J, but is graceful enough for cucumber tea sandwiches (as if I was ever going to make cucumber tea sandwiches). It also makes amazing French Toast after ten days or so. I have another soaker – one of the secrets to the texture – in my fridge right now, the whole wheat flour getting all soft and delightful in preparation for its transformation into a yummy fluffy carb cloud.
Sorry, this is another recipe that can only be accessed fully with a paid subscription to Cooks Illustrated, but if you’d like to give this recipe (and any other on their site) a try, simply click through to the recipe and activate a 14-day free trial. I’m about to go slice off a thick piece to toast along with my free-range egg omelet (ugh – I know – with this food thing; me = crazy).
Please make a loaf. It’s worth the effort. Even my husband, who has something in his brain that by-and-large breeds animosity towards the humble sandwich, claimed that he enjoyed a peanut butter and honey sandwich on this bread. And then he exclaimed that the French Toast I made with it was so much better than it was with the store bread, and he already loved my French Toast recipe. That’s high praise, people. High praise.
The picture above was picked up on the Cooks Illustrated Facebook Fan Pages, and now you can view the recipe for FREE for the next week! Check it out here!