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My Favorite Sandwich Bread Recipe

Have you ever tried making homemade sandwich bread? You will now. Some links in this article are affiliate links that earn me a commission if you purchase through them.

Sandwich bread loaves

I’ve made bread of various kinds for years. I enjoy baking bread, but somehow, I never shared my favorite sandwich bread.

Why? Who knows.

I pretty much never buy bread from the store. With just five ingredients, I can have this bread ready well before lunchtime.

It’s the softest white bread, and it makes amazing sandwiches. This is probably why two loaves of bread rarely last more than a day in my house.

Plated sandwich with chips

The hardest part is waiting for the bread to fully cool before you cut into it. That said, a warm slice of bread with butter and brown sugar – a childhood favorite – or Nutella tastes amazing every time.

What kind of yeast should I use?

For this recipe, use active dry yeast. Instant yeast will not work well here.

Homemade sandwich bread makes two loaves and uses 3 1/2 teaspoons of yeast. That means you can’t just buy and use one packet of yeast, which contains 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast. Either buy a jar or know you’ll need part of a second packet.

For more on yeast, read my beginners guide to using yeast.

Do I need to use bread flour?

Absolutely not. This sandwich bread recipe calls for all purpose flour, the same kind you use for cookies, and it’s probably the one you have in your pantry right now.

This makes a soft and light bread, rather than a chewy loaf, which is the aim for white bread. That’s also part of the reason this recipe uses proportionally more yeast than my pizza dough, for example.

What if I let my bread rise too long?

This sandwich bread has a relatively short rise time. If you let it rise too long, it actually ends up falling when you bake it. It also creates a crumbly texture and tastes a little off (to me, it tastes like every bread machine recipe I’ve ever eaten).

However, your yeast should have a third rise in it that will help with the texture, though not alter the taste. Remove the dough from the pan, and reshape it. Let it rise again, but make sure to watch the time, then bake it.

Why should I rub butter on the top of the loaf?

When the bread comes from the oven, it has a crispy top crust. But for a traditional sandwich bread, you want a soft crust all around. When you rub butter atop the crust when it first comes out, this softens the crust – and adds a lovely buttery flavor, too.

If you want to avoid the butter, you can also place your kitchen towel over your bread and let it cool that way. It works, but I prefer the butter method.

And it’s usually 1-2 teaspoons of additional butter over both loaves, so don’t worry about the extra calories!

Why do I need to let bread cool before I cut into it?

When your bread is hot, it steams. That steam? That’s the softness and moisture leaving your bread, which means it will go stale faster and be drier once it cools.

If you plan to eat your entire loaf within a couple hours, then don’t worry about the bread going stale because it simply won’t have time!

In addition, the butter you add to the crust needs time to absorb. If you cut and eat it right away, you on’t have the soft crust you want on top, and you’re likely to have a slightly greasy top, too.

However, as the bread cools, the butter disappears into the crust. It won’t feel greasy (unless you add too much!) once the bread reaches room temperature in a half hour or so.

How should I store my bread?

So first, do not ever put your bread into the fridge. The refrigerator is your bread’s enemy and makes it dry and stale much faster.

If you plan to eat your bread within a day or two, keep your bread on the counter. If you wrap it, be sure the bread cools completely before you cover it.til

The crust insulates the homemade sandwich bread and keeps the bread from going as stale quickly, so don’t slice it until you plan to eat it. For a partially eaten loaf, I place it in an old bread bag (or hamburger bun bag) and twist tie it closed. 

Want more help to make this? Make sure to watch the video tutorial that demonstrates how to make this homemade sandwich bread.

How to Make Homemade Sandwich Bread

Add warm water to a bowl with yeast, sugar, water, and two cups of flour. Mix this together to make a very loose dough.

Add your softened butter to the bowl, and mix until it’s incorporated.

Add all but the last half cup of flour, and stir until it’s fully incorporated. This should make a somewhat sticky dough.

Check the dough to see if it sticks to your fingers or if it’s tacky and feels sticky but stays with the main ball of dough. You inevitably need less flour than you feel like you do, so make sure you test it.

If your dough sticks to your fingers, add the remaining half cup and mix with the dough hook until the flour incorporates again. You may need to repeat this step, depending on how humid it is that day.

Once your dough is tacky, knead it five to seven minutes with the dough hook or ten minutes by hand. It should feel smooth like a baby’s bottom when you finish kneading it.

Place a lightly damp kitchen towel over the bowl and let it rise for 45 minutes. The dough will double in volume and push against the towel.

Lightly grease two nine inch loaf pans, and preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the towel and divide the dough into two equal(ish) sections. While I weigh my dough with a digital scale to get even pieces, this is not required.

Two even dough pieces

Take the first piece of dough and gently prod it into a rectangle that’s about nine inches by 13 or so inches. Roll it up as tightly as you can to make a nine inch long cylinder.

Flip it over and pinch the long edge to seal it, then fold over the sides. Place the finished loaf into your pan.

Pinch end of the dough together

Repeat with the second section of dough, then cover both loaves with the same kitchen towel. Let the dough rise for 25 minutes.

Remove the towel after your homemade sandwich bread rises a second time. Use a very sharp knife or a lame tool to slash the top of each loaf, which allows the bread to expand properly.

Slash the tops of the dough

Place your loaf pans in the 400 degree oven, and bake for 25 minutes.

As soon as the loaves come out of the oven, rub the tops with butter. Let them cool for five minutes in the loaf pans, then turn them out onto wire cooling racks to cool the rest of the way before you slice them.

Rub butter over the bread tops

What do you put on your homemade sandwich bread?

Sliced homemade bread

White Sandwich Bread

This recipe makes the softest, fluffiest white bread that tastes amazing and is perfect for sandwiches or toast. This is a keeper of a recipe, for sure!
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 2 loaves
Calories: 106kcal
Author: Michelle

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups warm water
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 6 1/2 cups flour

Instructions

  • Add warm water, yeast, sugar, salt, and 2 cups flour to a bowl and mix.
    2 1/2 cups warm water, 3 1/2 teaspoons yeast, 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, 6 1/2 cups flour
  • Add softened butter and mix again, then add all but the last 1/2 cup flour and mix until a dough forms.
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Check dough, and add additional flour as needed. Dough should be tacky but not stick. Knead 5-7 minutes with a dough hook, or 10 minutes by had.
  • Place damp kitchen towel over the bowl and let rise for 45 minutes.
  • Lightly grease two 9 inch loaf pans, and preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Remove towel and divide the dough into two equal(ish) sections. Press the first piece into a rectangle about 9 by 13 inches, then roll up the short side (to make a 9 inch cylinder).
  • Pinch the edge together to seal, and roll the ends over. Place the finished loaf into your pan. Repeat with the second section, then cover both loaves with the kitchen towel.
  • Let rise for 25 minutes.
  • Remove the towel and slash the top of each loaf, then place loaf pans in the 400 degree oven, and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Once the bread bakes, rub the tops with butter. Let cool for five minutes in the loaf pans, then turn onto wire cooling racks to cool the rest of the way before slicing.

Video

Notes

  • Make sure you use active dry yeast as instant yeast will not work in this recipe.
  • For more tips and tricks, be sure to read the full article above.

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 106kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 155mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g

This site uses an online source to provide nutrition estimates as a courtesy. If you need exact values, please calculate yourself.

White bread sliced from a loaf

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  1. […] I started making more food from scratch, that included bread, and yes, I make homemade sandwich bread weekly. My simple homemade pizza dough is one of my most popular recipes, and I used that to make […]

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