Simply Sandwich Bread
Author: Sally McKenney Quinn
Learn how to make simple white sandwich bread using a few baking ingredients like flour, water, yeast, salt, and milk. This recipe yields 1 loaf, so it’s perfect if you only have 1 loaf pan.
Here are the basic steps:
- Make the dough with a few standard ingredients.
- Knead the dough.
- Let the dough rise for 1-2 hours.
- Punch down the dough and roll it into a rectangle.
- Roll it up and place in a loaf pan.
- Let the shaped bread rise for 1 more hour.
- Bake until golden brown.
Most of the work is hands-off and you can easily get started the day ahead of time. And you also have the wonderful bonus of your kitchen smelling like a professional bakery!
This homemade dough is soft. My #1 tips are to make sure you’re using a combination of water and milk and bread flour instead of all-purpose flour. Here are some other ingredients you need:
- Yeast: Start with quality yeast. I always depend on Platinum Yeast from Red Star. It’s an instant yeast that builds a stronger and more voluminous dough.
- Sugar: Sugar feeds the yeast and adds flavor.
- Water & Milk: For soft, flavorful, and chewy bread, use a combination of water and milk.
- Butter: Butter adds flavor.
- Salt: Salt also adds necessary flavor.
- Bread Flour: Flour is the entire structure of the bread. Bread flour is best here because of its strong gluten formation and high rise. You can use all-purpose flour if that’s all you have, though.
This bread is a basic staple in any bread baker’s repertoire, but it’s also a recipe that shouldn’t be overlooked. There’s nothing on earth quite like homemade bread and my recipe is loaf perfection– rising tall, tasting buttery-soft, and making the most epic sandwiches. It’s truthfully the best homemade bread I’ve ever tasted and it all comes from just 7 ingredients. And if you’re nervous to bake with yeast, I guarantee you will finally feel confident with this no-fuss recipe.
- 1 cup water, warmed to about 110°F
- ¼ cup whole milk, warmed to about 110°F
- 2 and ¼ teaspoons Platinum Yeast by Red Star (1 standard packet)
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 and ½ teaspoons salt
- 3 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
- Step 1. Prepare the dough: Whisk the warm water, warm milk, yeast, and sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
- Step 2. Add the butter, salt, and 1 cup flour. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add another cup of flour. Beat on medium speed until relatively incorporated (there may still be chunks of butter). Add the final cup of flour and beat on medium speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 2 minutes. *If you do not own a mixer, you can mix this dough with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula. It will take a bit of arm muscle!*
- Step 3. Knead the dough: Keep the dough in the mixer and beat for an additional 2 minutes or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 2 minutes.
- Step 4. 1st Rise: Lightly grease a large bowl with nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise in a relatively warm environment for 1-2 hours or until double in size. (see note for overnight rise option)
- Step 5. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan.
- Step 6. Shape the bread: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release the air. Lightly flour a work surface, your hands, and a rolling pin. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 8x15 inches. Roll it up into an 8 inch log and place in the prepared loaf pan.
- Step 7. 2nd Rise: Cover shaped loaf with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise until it's about 1 inch above the top of the loaf pan, about 1 hour.
- Step 8. Adjust oven rack to a lower position and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Step 9. Bake the bread: Bake for 30-34 minutes or until golden brown on top. If you gently tap on the loaf, it should sound hollow. If you notice the top browning too quickly, loosely tent the pan with aluminum foil. Remove from the oven and allow bread to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Feel free to let it cool completely before slicing, too.
Baking enthusiast Sally McKenney Quinn is the blogger and photographer behind Sally’s Baking Addiction, as well as the author of best-selling cookbooks Sally’s Baking Addiction and Sally’s Candy Addiction. The kitchen is where her creative juices flow and she enjoys sharing recipes with her millions of fans around the world. When Sally isn’t in the kitchen or behind the camera, she enjoys practicing yoga, running off all those cookies, and hiking with her husband, Kevin, and their dog, Jude.