White Sandwich Bread

If you're looking for that plain and simple, but still delicious white sandwich bread, then look no farther! It takes a little kneading and a little time, but the result is delicious white bread with no preservatives or unexplained ingredients. Plain and simple in all the good ways!

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Easy White Bread

Nothing beats the smell and taste of freshly baked homemade bread, especially when it comes to the classic white sandwich bread. Making your own bread may seem daunting, but it’s actually a simple and rewarding process and anyone can do. Not only is making homemade bread is easier than you might think, and it’s a great way to impress your family and friends AND the best way ever to make your house smell fantastic. 

Two images showing yeast proofing in a bowl: the first image shows the yeast before proofing and the second shows the yeast after proofing.

Proofing Yeast

One of the best pieces of advice when making homemade bread of any kind is proofing the yeast. This means activating the yeast by combining it with warm water and sugar, which helps the yeast to grow and create carbon dioxide, which makes the bread rise. It can be frustrating to wait around for the yeast to proof, but it does save time in the long run because it “proves” that your yeast is alive and active. To proof the yeast, mix it with warm liquid and sugar and let it sit for several minutes until it becomes frothy and bubbly. If the yeast doesn’t become frothy, it may be old or inactive, and you’ll need to start over with new yeast. That’s better than having to throw out the whole dough after putting in the kneading time. You can use active or instant dry yeast for this recipe. 

Two images of bread dough in a bowl. The first shows the dough before rising and the second shows the dough after rising.

The First Rise

After proofing the yeast, you’ll need to let the dough rise. This first rise allows the yeast to grow and create air pockets, which make the bread light and fluffy. To let the dough rise, cover it with a damp towel or plastic wrap and place it in a warm, draft-free area. Let it rise for about an hour or two (depending on the temperature of its environment), or until it has doubled in size. You can even leave the bread in the refrigerator for its first rise, which will allow it to develop more flavor slowly and helps you manage your time.

Nine images showing how to fold dough into a loaf shape.

Folding Dough into a Loaf

Once the dough has risen, it’s time to shape it into a loaf. Flatten the dough into a rectangle, then fold it according to the recipe, illustrated in the images above. The second rise of the dough will take place in the loaf pan. Just cover the pan with a damp towel and let the dough rise again for about an hour, or until it has risen to the rim of the pan. While the dough is rising, pre-heat your oven to 375˚F.

A loaf of white sandwich bread in a loaf pan on a cooling rack with a red and white kitchen towel.

How to Store Homemade White Sandwich Bread

Homemade white sandwich bread is best eaten within a few days of baking, but it can also be stored for later. To keep the bread fresh, store it in an airtight container or plastic bag at room temperature. You can also freeze homemade bread for longer storage. To freeze, wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag. Thaw the bread at room temperature before serving. I really enjoy this bread the day it is baked. On day two, it’s great for sandwiches. On days 3 to 5, it makes great toast!

A hand spreading butter on a slice of white sandwich bread.

Featured Recipe Techniques

More about the skills used in this recipe.

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How To Measure Ingredients Properly

Measuring properly can make or break a recipe and there is a right way and a wrong way to measure....View Technique

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Homemade White Sandwich Bread

  • Prep Time: 20 m
  • Cook Time: 30 m
  • Rising Time: 2 h
  • Total Time: 2 h 50 m
  • Servings:
    12
    slices

Ingredients

  • cups warm water 360 g
  • cup milk 81 g
  • 4 teaspoons sugar or honey 17 g
  • 2 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast 7g
  • 3¾ to 4 cups bread flour or all-purpose flour 525 to 560 g
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt 10 g
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature – cut into pieces (28 g)
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter optional

Instructions

  1. Combine the water and milk and heat to 110°F on the stovetop or microwave. Use an instant read thermometer to make sure the mixture is around 110°F.
  2. Combine the warm water and milk with the honey (or sugar), and yeast in a large bowl or the bowl of your electric stand mixer. (Instant yeast does not need proofing, but if you are using active dry yeast, proof the yeast by letting it sit for 10 minutes, until the mixture is foamy. It should foam in the bowl. If yeast does not foam up, discard, and start again with new yeast.)
  3. Add 3¾ cups of the flour along with the salt to the bowl. Mix together on medium speed, adding the pieces of butter one at a time until all the ingredients are combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and gradually add additional flour as needed until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead the dough in the mixer for 5 minutes, or by hand on a lightly floured surface for 10 minutes.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball, grease a large bowl with a little oil, and place the dough into the bowl, coating it with some of the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in size - about 1½ to 2 hours. (Alternately, put the dough in the refrigerator overnight where it will rise slowly and develop more flavor.)
  5. Generously grease a 9-inch loaf pan with butter or oil.
  6. Turn the dough out on the counter and press it into an 8x12-inch rectangle. Turn the top third of the dough down towards the middle of the rectangle and use the heel of your hand to seal it to the rest of the dough. Then, fold the top two corners of the dough down to the center of the rectangle and again use the heel of your hand to seal the folded dough down. Roll the dough from the top down again, using the heel of your hand to seal it. Then, repeat the roll one last time shaping the dough into a log. Tuck the ends of the dough down toward the counter as you transfer the dough to the oiled loaf pan. Cover with oiled plastic wrap.
  7. Place the dough in a warm place and let it rise until it doubles in again - about 30 to 60 minutes. The dough is ready when you gently poke it and it leaves a mark where your finger was, but springs back slowly.
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 375˚ F and position a rack in the lower position of the oven. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the top is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when you tap it. It should reach 195°F with an instant read thermometer. (For a crispy crust, place a 9x13-inch baking pan with water on the bottom rack of the oven to create some steam.)
  9. Transfer the bread to a cooling rack. For a soft crust, brush the top of the bread with melted butter while it is still warm. After 5 minutes, remove the bread from the pan and let it cool for at least another 10 minutes before slicing.
  10. The bread can be kept in a plastic bag at room temperature for about 4 to 5 days. It will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to a week, or you can freeze for 2 months. Unbaked dough loves can also be frozen as well. Remove the dough log from the freezer and place it in a loaf pan. Let the dough thaw and rise for about 4 to 5 hours before baking.
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Comments (16)Post a Reply

  1. I don’t have the strength or counter space to knead bread. Can I use this recipe in my bread machine?

    1. Hi Diane,
      Yes, you can absolutely use bread flour. The bread flour may absorb more liquid, so you might find the dough a little stiffer, but you’ll still get great bread. I’ve used both successfully.

  2. Is the quantity for the instant, or active yeast the same? I feel like 2 tsps for the instant one is a a little too much….thank you.

    1. Hi Diane,
      When baking in large quantities you do use less instant yeast than active yeast (about 25% less). In a recipe that is just for one loaf, you will be fine using the same amount. The recipe was tested with instant yeast.
      ML

  3. I had to keep adding flour as I was mixing and the dough never pulled away from the bowl. I added even more flour when kneading and dough still seemed very wet I’ve got it rising now, but I’m not confident this will turn out. Any tips on what I did wrong, followed recipe to an t. 🤷🏻‍♀️

    1. Hi Debbie. I don’t know how the bread turned out for you, but my first question would be whether you measured the ingredients with a volume measure or a weigh scale. Weighing ingredients is much more accurate than volume measures. That could be the first reason why perhaps your dough was really wet. There are also things like humidity and weather that can affect bread making too. Since we can’t control for that, you should always feel free to add more flour and also let the dough sit – it absorbs more flour over time. Chances are that if your dough was wet, it was a pain in the neck to manage, but probably came out really nicely.

  4. 5 stars
    I just came across this bread recipe, I use to watch your show on t.v. years ago and loved your recipes and your kitchen set up. Your red stove, I believe was a great add to a pop color on set!
    Anyway I have made this bread four times so far since finding your recipes again. I baked a few for my daughters and then share along the recipe with them and they baked it perfectly!!!
    Thank You

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