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Simple Sandwich Loaf

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat the milk in the microwave or in a pot on the stove until it reaches 100 F; it will be hotter than lukewarm.
  2. Put the 3 1/2 cups flour, salt, yeast, and sugar in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
  3. With the machine running, add 2 tablespoons of the oil and the milk through the feed tube and process until the dough is a well-defined, barely sticky, easy-to-handle ball, 30 seconds.
  4. If it is too dry, add milk 1 tablespoon at a time and process for 5 or 10 seconds after each addition.
  5. If it is too wet, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time and process for another 5 to 10 seconds.
  6. Grease a bowl with 1 tablespoon oil.
  7. Shape the dough into a rough ball, put it in the bowl, turn it over once, and cover with plastic wrap.
  8. Let rest at room temperature until the dough has nearly doubled in size, 2 hours or more.
  9. Punch down the dough to deflate it and shape it into a ball again.
  10. Dust your work surface with 1/4 cup flour, put the dough on the work surface, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for 15 minutes.
  11. Grease a loaf pan with enough oil to coat the bottom and sides.
  12. Flatten the dough into a 3/4-inch-thick rectangle, then fold the long sides of the rectangle into the middle.
  13. Pinch the seam closed and transfer the loaf to the pan, seam side down.
  14. Flatten the top of the loaf with the back of your hand to press the loaf firmly into the pan.
  15. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until the top of the dough is nearly level with the top of the pan, 1 hour.
  16. Heat the oven to 350 F.
  17. Brush the top of the loaf lightly with water, then put it in the oven.
  18. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the loaf falls easily from the pan and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
  19. Remove the loaf from the pan and cool on a wire rack before slicing.

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