Each week, I make a few staples: sprouted hummus, yogurt, mayonnaise, and long-simmered bone broth and bread. It’s these staples that provide a dependable rhythm in my kitchen, around which I build our meals, a schedule, and a budget. This routine brings a bit of sanity and balance to what can, more often than not, be chaotic between satisfying everyone’s weekly schedule of appointments, sports, music classes, playdates and the unexpected.
Lately, this Milk and Honey Sandwich Bread has replaced our usual no-knead sourdough loaf. We toast it in the morning, then spread it with butter and honey and sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar which we playfully call Fairy Toast. Or, I slice it thin, and slather it with avocado oil mayonnaise, stuffing it with fresh vegetables and sliced deli meats, making a sandwich for my son’s school day.
It’s a pleasant bread, offering a light milky, whole wheat flavor with notes of honey and oat. Out of the oven, its mahogany brown crust crackles, and when you slice the loaf, its crumb is soft and creamy. And while it’s a bit less spongy than the store-bought sandwich bread, I find the value in producing my own loaf at home to be far more satisfying and palatable.
Soaking Flour for Better Bread
Soaking flour overnight in a liquid like water or milk does a few things to improve the quality of your bread. Soaking flour helps to release food enzymes naturally found in whole grains, and these food enzymes help to break down components of your whole grains, like food phytate, that can make grains, flours, and breads difficult to digest or lightly bitter.
The result is that, by soaking flour, you make bread that’s naturally slightly sweeter, that’s easier to digest, and softer in its crumb. It’s a process that takes a touch more planning, but it is very worthwhile.
Working with White Whole Wheat Flour
Unlike white flour, for which it’s easily confused, white whole wheat flour is simply made by grinding the white wheat berries into flour. It’s the whole grain, nothing more and nothing less. White whole wheat flour is pale in color with a softer flavor, but with all the benefits you would associate with a whole wheat flour. For these reasons, it makes a particularly good choice for a homemade sandwich bread: light color, good flavor, and soft crumb with all the vitamins, minerals and fiber of whole grain.