Okay, with the results of Trial #1, I’ve decided to increase the amount of sugar (to make the bread sweeter) as well as increase the potato flour to improve on the softness of the bread.

Here’re the ingredients and method for Trial #2 …

Soft White Sandwich Bread Trial #2
(adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (2007) by Jeff Hertzsberg & Zoe Francois, page 204, and Pain de Mie (Pullman loaf or regular sandwich bread) by King Arthur Flour)

Prep: About 15 minutes
Initial Rise: About 2 hours
Rest: About 40 minutes
Oven: 350°F (~180°C)
Bake: About 40 minutes
Cool: About 1 hour
Makes: 2 1-lb loaves

Ingredients (changes in ingredients from trial #1 are in bold italics)
1 3/4 cups lukewarm water
3/4 Tablespoon instant yeast (~12mL)
1/2 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup) olive oil (110g)
3 1/2 cups Pillsbury BEST Bread Flour (450g)
2 1/2 Tablespoons lecithin granules (~24g)
1 Tablespoon potato flour (~14g)
2 Tablespoons soy flour (~16g)
2 Tablespoons vital wheat gluten (~22g)
4 Tablespoons milk powder (~32g)

1. So, this time, I remembered to add the oil and milk powder when they were supposed to. The salt, sugar was dissolved in the water followed by stirring in the yeast. Then the oil was spooned in and whisked into the water just before the dry ingredients were added.

2. The flours, lecithin, vital wheat gluten and milk powder were mixed well together using a whisk, and gradually added to the yeast water, whisking well to help incorporate the lecithin and flours into the oil and water … I’m hoping that this whisking will help to break the lecithin granules out of their shells and start their magic in emulsifying the oil in the water. Of course, once more than half the dry ingredients had been added, using a whisk was no longer possible … the dough would became too stiff to whisk, so I then used a wooden spoon to ensure all the dry ingredients were incorporated.

3. The dough was left to rise for a couple of hours … here’s what it looked at the start of its rise …

And here’s the dough in the container, after an hour rising …

4. Half of the dough was cut out from the container, a ball quickly formed from it by stretching the surface of the dough to the bottom using wet hands, and it was dropped into a 9″ x 4.5″ Pullman lidded loaf pan which had been lightly greased with olive oil. It filled less than half the pan …

5. The dough was left to rest in the pan for about an hour, during which it rose to fill about 3/4 of the pan (to about an inch from the rim) …

6. The pan was covered and placed in a preheated 350°F (180°C) fan-assisted oven to bake for 30 minutes.

7. The lid was removed and the bread baked for a further 10 minutes (or until the middle of the loaf had reached 190°F (88°C) with an instant read thermometer). BTW, it was after removing the lid that I discovered that the dough had collapsed … as Trkingmomoer commented in my earlier post, looks like the dough had over-proofed.

8. The bread was tipped out of the pan to cool on a rack …

A bit short for a proper Pullman/Pain de Mie loaf due to the over-proofing and subsequent collapse while it was baking.But it still slices like normal sliced bread  …

And the hole structure of the crumb looked okay. Here are two of the loaf’s slices: the top one was from near the end of the loaf, while the bottom slice was from the middle of the loaf (showing where the dough had collapsed) …

This Trial #2 was a bit softer and had a less gummy/sticky feel to the crumb than that of Trial #1, and the sweetness to Trial #2 is much better when compared to Trial #1 … I had also made a second loaf from the leftover stored dough for Trial #1 that was made and refrigerated yesterday.

Here’s the remainder of of the dough made for Trial #1, in a silicone loaf pan …

And after it had rested and risen in the pan for about an hour …

Baking it for about 30 minutes (in a preheated 350°F (180°C) fan-assisted oven) resulted in a nicely browned, soft crust …

And here’s the new loaf for Trial #1 being sliced …

So, where does this leave us in making the Softest White Sandwich Bread possible? With both trials, I’ve learned that it needs to be sweeter and that this combination of ingredients may require less initial rising & resting time using the no-knead bread-in-5-minutes-a-day technique. And the dough can indeed be stored and kept in the refrigerator to be baked another day.

I’ve been using store-bought white sandwich bread kinda like a control in these trials, to compare softness, texture and taste. However, as I do not know the exact proportions of ingredients in the store-bought bread, this is still pretty much guess-work to determine the right proportions. So, perhaps for Trial #3, I think it’s time to use another control with known proportions of ingredients … I’m thinking of following King Arthur Flour’s recipe for Pain de Mie (Pullman loaf or regular sandwich bread) and to have a bit of a workout making some nice kneaded bread, right?

What do you think?