ye olde bread blogge

bread, coffee and tidbits

A sandwich day

with 11 comments

German Type 550 flour performs okay-ish when baking French or Italian bread using a cool dough that ferments over a couple of hours with little yeast, strengthening it by giving it folds. But the relationship between flour and water fizzles when making sandwich breads like toast- or Pullman loaves These doughs need to stand tall, undergo a relatively warm fermentation period and are mixed at high speed. I added a little gluten to help the dough rise quite a bit over the top of my baking frame. Gluten absorbs flavor, I am reluctant to add it, but it makes sense to me here, as dense slices of sandwich breads are no fun. If using American flour, adding gluten is not necessary and I believe most varieties of strong white flour in the UK also give super results.

I like my sandwich with spicy pastes or spreads. The chickpea flavor of the one I’ve used here is very good in combination with turkey and a couple of cucumber slices. You could add tahini and garlic to the chickpea spread to make hummus and congratulate the people behind the biggest serving of hummus ever made.

Sandwich bread

Sponge (= biga)

  • 70g strong white flour
  • 42g cold water
  • 1g fresh yeast

Mix together, knead briefly and let stand covered at cool room temperature for 12-16 hours. It shoud look very inflated.


  • Sponge
  • 280g strong white flour
  • 180g warm water
  • 8g butter, softened
  • 8g sea salt
  • 5g powdered gluten
  • 4g fresh yeast
  • 4g sugar
  • 0.5g malt

Mix on highest speed for 4-5 minutes or until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Let rise for 45 minutes, then shape into a sandwich loaf and prove for 45-60 minutes.
Bake at 230°C for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 210°C and bake for further 30-35 minutes until brown on top.


Chickpea sandwich spread

  • 100g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom seeds
  • pinch of powdered chile
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 or 4 dried tomatoes, soaked overnight in water
  • 5-10 tbsp water

Cook the chickpeas for about 60-90 minutes until soft. Roast the cumin and cardamom in a pan and as it starts to release aromas, grind the two spices in a mortar. Blitz everything on the ingredient list together except the dried tomatoes, chop those. If necessary, put through a sieve; chickpeas can be quite tough even cooked. Season with additional salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes to the finished smooth paste.


Written by theinversecook

14 May 2010 at 16:11

11 Responses

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  1. Are the yeast measurements for fresh yeast or for active dry yeast. That is not much yeast there. It looks more like the amount for dry yeast than fresh.


    14 May 2010 at 16:27

    • Hi, this is for fresh yeast, which is around 1.25% in total. The sponge helps the dough rise, so yeast can be reduced.


      14 May 2010 at 17:04

      • I just realized if you use a very strong flour, it yould be too little yeast for the given rising times. But instead of increasing yeast quantities, I would extend the first to up to 90 minutes.


        14 May 2010 at 18:37

  2. I find that when I make this with the scary very strong flour (supposed to have 15grams protein) that I get at the moment it rises quicker because the gluten is so strong that the bubbles seem to hold together more, so in fact I need less yeast than normal and I get Wallace and Gromit bread :)

    Joanna @ Zeb Bakes

    16 May 2010 at 16:45

    • pic of ridiculously tall white bread made with this flour

      Joanna @ Zeb Bakes

      16 May 2010 at 16:48

      • Those are indeed proud looking loaves. Any differences in flavor compared to flour with less protein at all?


        17 May 2010 at 22:21

        • To be totally honest I don’t notice a difference in the taste, mostly because the bread dough I made there, though similar to yours in looks is made with milk and butter and then usually covered with more butter and marmalade! I do notice a difference in the texture, more elastic and springy-spongey – like shop bread. I just uploaded a cut pic fo ryou to compare: I think if you made a pure flour water salt yeast bread with it then I would hope I would notice it. The flour I usually use, an organic white from Shipton Mill hasn’t been making me happy recently, so I have been using this one in moderation, sounds like a drug :) I hope I don’t get addicted and forget how to make bread with normal flour :) Ah yes, the yoghurt maker, I must make some more soon….

          Joanna @ Zeb Bakes

          17 May 2010 at 23:36

          • “Very strong white flour” is practically unknown to German bakers from what I gather as mills do not produce it, but adding gluten is a common practice. The crumb of the left brighter breads of the two does look like shop bread.

            I had the most amazing bread from Holland. It was a large boule, light as a feather with a dark brown color, and the crumb was like cotton candy. When I cut into it, it shrunk to the size of a golfball. At that point it retained its size. I could not bring myself to eating it as the image of inflating golf balls in the stomach was not to my liking.


            18 May 2010 at 00:01

            • The one on the right is the 60/40 of yours of course :)
              Maybe our flour producers just add gluten at source and it doesn’t have to be listed? The big one above is still fairly substantial, has a bit of heft to it and doesn’t shrink when you cut it.

              The worst shop breads are the ones when you pinch at the crumb and it appears to revert to something that looks like uncooked dough. (shudders) One reason why I can never buy sandwiches in service stations on the motorway, chilled damp bread….I’d rather eat chocolate :)

              Joanna @ Zeb Bakes

              18 May 2010 at 13:18

            • I think it’s something in the ‘improvers’ and also the high speed mixing that makes shop-bread-crumb feel uncooked with a strange feeling in the mouth. It’s even worse when that kind of dough is used to make croissants using not real butter but some other hard fat without flavor. Ugh..


              18 May 2010 at 14:21

      • I have the same yoghurt maker ;-)


        17 May 2010 at 22:21

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