Bahn Mi

Vietnamese Bread

Whenever I had the opportunity to get into a town to buy from the local economy, I bought a bagful of bahn mi. The tasty little loaves made a welcome addition to C-rations. It seemed that no matter how far out in the field we were, enterprising Vietnamese would show up selling soft drinks and trinkets. It didn’t take them long to learn that Americans loved hamburgers. The first bahn mi sandwich I ever saw was made with a chunk of tough, stringy water buffalo and offered up as a hamburger. Back then, bahn mi were just little loaves of rice flour bread, although some sidewalk vendors did make simple sandwiches. Of recent years it seems that bahn mi has come to mean the sometimes elaborate deli-style sandwiches. I have found that adding 1 ½ tablespoons of vital wheat gluten to the mix will greately improve the rise and texture of the bread.

Preparation: 1 hour 45 minutes Life Experience Recipe
Makes 6 bahn mi
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1 rounded tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 ½ tablespoons vital wheat gluten (optional)
  1. Place water in the bread maker bowl. Add softened butter.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the bread flour, rice flour, sugar and salt. Add to the dry mixture in the bread maker. Sprinkle bread machine yeast over the other ingredients.
  3. Use the dough cycle on your bread machine. When the dough cycle has completed, turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead gently to “punch down.“
  4. Divide dough into 6 equal portions. Roll into small, baguette-shaped loaves. Place loaves on a cookie sheet covered with a sheet of parchment paper. Cover with a damp towel and place in a warm place to rise until doubled.
  5. Bake in a preheated 400° oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Done loaves will thump hollow. Cool on a rack before cutting crust.

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Latest revision done August 2007
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