I love homemade bread, especially sandwich loaves. While artisan breads, like French bread, are more difficult to make at home and sometimes you can be better off buying from a good bakery, that's definitely not true of sandwich bread. It's both super easy and it's almost certainly going to end up being tastier than what you can buy at the grocery store. This recipe is no exception - it mixes together in almost no time in a stand mixer, and then rises and bakes in around two hours or less. I used a sort of random selection of flours I had around the house to make a loaf that's a mix of white and whole wheat flours while still remaining soft and not at all dry. You can use butter or oil in place of the Crisco if you like - both would probably lead to better flavor but the texture won't be quite as "sandwich bread"-y.
Soft Wheat Sandwich Bread (adapted from the Joy of Cooking)
Makes 1 loaf
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 T vital wheat gluten
1 T brown sugar
2-1/4 tsp quick-rising active dry yeast
1-1/4 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
2 T melted Crisco (or butter)
Additional whole wheat flour as needed (I used graham flour)
1. Whisk together the flours, vital wheat gluten, yeast, sugar, and salt. Beat in the water and Crisco. Knead either by hand or with the dough hook of a stand mixer on low speed, adding additional flour as needed to create a dough that is moist but not sticky. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
2. Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled in a warm place, about 30-45 minutes.
3. Punch down the dough and shape into a log. Place in an oiled loaf pan, cover, and let rise until doubled, 30-45 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Bake the loaf for 10 minutes, and then reduce heat to 350 degrees. Continue to cook until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, about 30 minutes. Let cool before slicing.