Easy White Sandwich Bread

Easy White Sandwich Bread

If you’re looking for an easy homemade sandwich bread with a tender crust and fluffy & creamy crumb, this one’s for you. One of the best things about this bread? It’s a perfect all-purpose dough – not only does it make a lovely loaf of sandwich bread, but also:

It’s a cinch to make, uses commercial yeast, it’s flexible with the ingredients (see below & also ‘notes’ in the recipe) and it’s mixed, risen, and in the oven in about 2 hours.

The method is simple:

  • mix the ingredients all in one bowl, either by hand or with a kitchen stand mixer
  • knead for 7 to 8 minutes
  • let rise 45 minutes
  • shape into a loaf, or buns, cinnamon rolls, garlic knots
  • let rise 15-40 minutes (depending what you’re making)
  • bake

That’s it!

The recipe calls for using milk and water, but you can use all milk for a lovely enriched flavor, or all water if you’re low on milk. Or you can do what I do – use part milk and part water.  MY SECRET? I use powdered milk. It works great & it’s what most production bakeries use in their bread. It’s cheap, it holds indefinitely, and I can save the fresh milk for drinking. You’ll find powdered milk in the baking section next to the yeast, and canned milk. I always have powdered milk on hand (and powdered buttermilk to make buttermilk biscuits).

A NOTE ABOUT KNEADING:

If you have a kitchen stand mixer, use it – it will be your friend. You’ll need a mixer with a large bowl if you make the two loaves. Mine is a tight squeeze but it works. I have to pull down the dough from the top of the bread hook, but I monitor it and deal with it.

If you’re going to knead by hand – perfect!

Tips for kneading by hand:

  • Use an extra-large bowl to incorporate the ingredients and start the kneading process inside the bowl.
  • Hold back 1 cup of flour to use towards the end.
  • Once all mixed in the bowl, the dough will be wet (this is normal) but keep working it for 2-3 minutes. Slap the dough against the sides of the bowl.
  • Then turn it out onto a floured counter and knead again for another 2 minutes. The dough will start to strand and pull together along the edges. Use a bench scraper if you have it scrape and fold it up onto itself.
  • Then add the remaining flour and you should see it come together and be less sticky.
  • Knead the dough another 3 or so minutes until smooth and shiny and it firmly bounces back with a poke test.
  • Add additional flour if you feel necessary. Only you know your dough.
The recipe below is for the bread dough to bake as 2 9 x 5 loaves. If you’d like to make hamburger buns or other uses, the baking time will vary. Check out my other recipes for:
  • Cinnamon Swirl Bread
  • Soft & Light Hamburger Buns (sandwich rolls, hot dog buns, sesame hoagie rolls)
  • Pull-Apart Cheesy Dinner Rolls
  • Tender Garlic Knots with Herbs and Parmesan
  • Fluffy Cinnamon Buns
  • Dahi Toast – The Ultimate Grilled Cheese
  • Stuffed Bread Ideas (krautburgers, chicken & broccoli bites, breakfast bites, Italian meatball bites)

Kitchen snapshots are below the recipe. 

Easy Homemade White Bread

A lovely white sandwich bread, tender crust, and creamy crumb. Perfect for toast, sandwiches, and an incredible grilled cheese, or PBJ. It's also a versatile dough that can make rolls, buns, cinnamon swirl bread, garlic knots, bread pockets, and amazing cinnamon rolls.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Rise & Proof 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 10 mins
Course Appetizer, Breakfast, Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
Servings 2 loaves

Equipment

  • 9 x 5 inch loaf tin

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup milk barely warmed (not above 100F) This can be prepared powdered milk
  • 4 tsp instant yeast, or active yeast this is 2 sachet packets, or 2 .25oz packets
  • 2 ½ cups water can also use milk for extra richness (prepared powdered milk works fine)
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, margarine, or vegetable oil room temperature
  • 9 cups bread flour all-purpose flour works fine, too. MAY NEED additional flour depending on your conditions, see notes below.
  • 2 tbsp melted butter for brushing on before baking

Instructions
 

Instructions for using a STAND MIXER

  • In a stand mixer with the dough hook, combine the 1 cup warm milk (just a bit warmer than room temp) and the yeast. Let it sit for 5 minutes to make sure the yeast blooms, or becomes active. This is just to make sure your yeast is alive.
    When the yeast wakes up, you'll see a few bubbles and some froth.
    Add the 2 1/2 cups water (or milk if you prefer), salt, and sugar.
    Mix on low to combine.
    On low speed, add the flour one cup at a time until 8 cups are added and most of the dough is incorporated, scraping down the sides and the bottom of the bowl. The dough will be quite wet, like a very stiff cake batter.
    Let the dough rest for 5 minutes to allow the flour to completely absorb the water.
    Add the softened butter (or margarine, or oil) a bit at a time until fully incorporated. The dough will be slippery at first but it will eventually mix in.
    The remaining cup of flour can be used now if needed. Add additional flour until the dough starts to pull away from the edges of the bowl in thick strands. Try not to add too much additional flour, as the dough is kneaded it will stiffen up naturally so adding too much flour on the front end can result in a less tender crumb.
    Mix on low to medium-low to knead the dough until it is shiny and smooth and pulling away from the sides of the bowl and balling up on the dough hook. About 5-7 minutes. If needed, add a bit more flour.
    Remove the dough from the mixer bowl and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Shape the dough into a ball then transfer to a lightly greased large bowl or bread tub. Cover and place somewhere warm to proof (rise) until double in size. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen this may happen very quickly (30 minutes) or longer (up to an hour). My proofing temperature is about 78F so my dough doubles in 30 minutes.
    Prepare your 9 x 5-inch bread tins by greasing the bottom and sides with softened butter, oil, or cooking spray. Butter will work best and give the best color when baked.
    Remove the risen dough to a lightly floured surface to shape into a loaf tin, or whatever your application will be (rolls, buns, etc).
    Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Working with one portion at a time, roll out into a 9 inch by 12-inch rectangle, popping the air bubbles. Very tightly roll the dough along the short 9-inch edge (about the length of your bread tins).
    Tucking in the ends to fit the loaf tin and pinching the seam, roll the loaf of bread so the seam side is down and gently shape into a size that will snugly fit your loaf tin. Place the dough into the tin, seam side down, and gently pat or push the top slightly to evenly shape.
    Cover and let proof until 75% risen in height, about 1 inch above the rim of the tin. The dough will dome as it rises.
    Very gently brush with melted butter and bake in a preheated 375F oven on the middle shelf. The dough will continue to rise slightly as it bakes.
    Baking will take about 30 to 40 minutes - check at the 20-minute mark. Turn the bread around to get even browning. If it looks like its browning too quickly, very loosely tent with foil to prevent over-browning.
    Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. Using a butter knife, carefully run the knife down the edges of the tin to loosen any stuck sections, then turn out onto the counter to check for doneness. The bread should be golden brown on all sides and have a hollow thump sound on the bottom. If it needs an additional 5 minutes, put it back in the oven directly on the oven rack (no tin) to finish baking.
    Let cool before slicing - about 45 minutes. If it's sliced too early, the crumb may not have set up and could be a little gummy.

Instructions for MIXING BY HAND

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the 1 cup warm milk (just a bit warmer than room temp) and the yeast. Let it sit for 5 minutes to make sure the yeast blooms, or becomes active. This is just to make sure your yeast is alive. 
    When the yeast wakes up, you'll see a few bubbles and some froth. 
    Add the 2 1/2 cups water (or milk if you prefer), salt, and sugar. 
    Stir to combine. 
    Add 8 1/2 cups of flour and with clean hands incorporate the mixture. The dough will be quite wet, like a very stiff cake batter. 
    Let the dough rest for 5 minutes to allow the flour to completely absorb the water. 
    Add the softened butter (or margarine, or oil) a bit at a time until fully incorporated in the dough. The dough will be slippery at first but it will eventually mix in. 
    Work and knead the dough inside the bowl for 2-3 minutes, it will be very wet - this is normal.
    Turn out the dough onto a heavily floured counter and begin kneading the dough - fold the edges in towards the middle, then pushing the dough down, fold in the edges, push it down, and repeat. You'll rotate the dough as you go to knead all sides.
    As you knead the dough the gluten will strengthen and will start to pull together. It will still be sticky but will start to have structure. If you need to add more flour - add up to an additional cup, a little at a time, until the dough becomes a cohesive mass. A bench scraper really helps here to scrape the edges and bring them up into the middle, then pushing down in the center with your hands.
    Continue kneading another 5 minutes or until the dough becomes shiny and more smooth. 
    Shape the dough into a ball then transfer to a lightly greased large bowl or bread tub. Cover and place somewhere warm to proof (rise) until double in size. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen this may happen very quickly (30 minutes) or longer (up to an hour). My proofing temperature is about 78F so my dough doubles in 30 minutes. 
    Prepare your 9 x 5-inch bread tins by greasing the bottom and sides with softened butter, oil, or cooking spray. Butter will work best and give the best color when baked. 
    Remove the risen dough to a lightly floured surface to shape into a loaf tin, or whatever your application will be (rolls, buns, etc). 
    Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Working with one portion at a time, roll out into a 9 inch by 12-inch rectangle, popping the air bubbles. Very tightly roll the dough along the short 9-inch edge (about the length of your bread tins). 
    Tucking in the ends to fit the loaf tin and pinching the seam, roll the loaf of bread so the seam side is down and gently shape into a size that will snugly fit your loaf tin. Place the dough into the tin, seam side down, and gently pat or push the top slightly to evenly shape. 
    Cover and let proof until 75% risen in height, about 1 inch above the rim of the tin. The dough will dome as it rises. 
    Very gently brush with melted butter and bake in a preheated 375F oven on the middle shelf. The dough will continue to rise slightly as it bakes. 
    Baking will take about 30 to 40 minutes - check at the 20-minute mark. Turn the bread around to get even browning. If it looks like its browning too quickly, very loosely tent with foil to prevent over-browning. 
    Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. Using a butter knife, carefully run the knife down the edges of the tin to loosen any stuck sections, then turn out onto the counter to check for doneness. The bread should be golden brown on all sides and have a hollow thump sound on the bottom. If it needs an additional 5 minutes, put it back in the oven directly on the oven rack (no tin) to finish baking. 
    Let cool before slicing - about 45 minutes. If it's sliced too early, the crumb may not have set up and could be a little gummy. 

Notes

It's difficult to give the exact amount of flour needed and baking time needed because each loaf is different depending on the temperature in the kitchen (or proofing environment), the hydration in the flour, and variations in oven temperatures. 
This recipe and instructions are going to get you 90% of the way to a great loaf of bread - and the 10% is going to be your judgment call if you need additional flour, or if you need additional proofing time (dough rise) - if your kitchen is 70F or lower, you'll definitely need additional proofing time - if it's warmer than 78 or 80F - that dough will proof fast!  You'll also need judgment on baking time - keep your eye on it, turn the oven light on and watch for color. Tent it if the top looks like it could over-brown. Be sure to bake in the center of the oven or lower if you need to.  Too low, and the bottom will burn. Too high and the top will over-brown.   
You'll know it's done when the bottom sounds hollow when thumped and the internal temp is 190F. 
Once the bread is cooled it can be sliced and it will store at room temperature for 4 days if placed in a plastic bag or BeeWrap. It freezes well and I like to pre-slice then freeze.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 

 

 

 



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