This soft white sandwich bread is easy to make and a great recipe to have on hand. It’s great for toast, sandwiches, or even french toast!
I love homemade bread (I mean who doesn’t right?!?) and my family can polish off a loaf in one sitting. My kids really love this Easy Banana Bread (it’s their favorite!) and this Rosemary Parmesan Bread goes great with Italian night or this Cinnamon Swirl Bread makes great french toast!
If you are looking for a great basic white bread recipe this is it. There are no funny or hard to find ingredients to make this loaf.
And I think it’s a great recipe to have on hand in case you need a loaf of bread and can’t get to the store.
In my family, we can go through a lot of bread. Between making sandwiches or toast a whole loaf is gone before I know it!
How to make Homemade White Bread
- Start by dissolving the yeast. This first step is important because it will let you know if your yeast is alive or not. If it doesn’t look foamy then the yeast is dead and will not work. *Reference the picture above for how your yeast should look.
- Make the dough. You can use a stand mixer or do this by hand.
- Kneading time! The dough needs to be kneaded long enough to form gluten and create a smooth elastic dough. Usually, this takes around 10 minutes with a stand mixer on low speed and longer by hand. If you are kneading dough by hand watch this little video from King Arthur to help guide you.
- Let the dough rise. Your dough will rise 2x in this recipe. Once after you have kneaded it and the final rise after it has been shaped into a loaf and placed in the pan.
- After the 1st rise is over punch the dough down then shape the dough into a loaf.
Ingredients for soft white sandwich bread
- Milk: Yeast needs liquid to hydrate and dissolve it so it can do its job. I like to use milk to keep the bread soft but you can also replace it with water if you prefer.
- Yeast: This recipe will work with both active dry yeast and instant or rapid rise. If you are using active dry it will take a little longer to rise or proof but that’s ok.
- Sugar: This is what feeds the yeast and helps it grow. It also provides flavor, helps the crust turn golden while baking, and improves the crumb texture. However, you can leave the sugar out if you prefer but it will take longer to rise. Or replace it with honey.
- Salt: Salt is very important in yeast baking because while sugar feeds the yeast to make it grow salt helps retard the growth and provides a steady rise to create that distinct homemade flavor.
- Butter: Adds richness and helps keep the bread tender.
- Flour: I prefer to use bread flour because my loaves always turn out better. But if you don’t have bread flour on hand you can substitute with all-purpose.
Can I use a bread machine?
You certainly can! Just follow your manufactures directions instead.
Can bread dough be made ahead?
Yes, it can! After you have kneaded the dough place in a lightly greased bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for up to 15 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and allow the dough to come to room temperature (about 2 hours) before continuing with the recipe.
Can I freeze bread dough?
Yes! Let the dough rise 1 time then punch the dough down and shape into a loaf. Freeze in a disposable bread pan or in a ziploc bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. To use remove from freezer and thaw completely at room temperature (about 4-5 hours) then bake as directed.
Soft White Sandwich Bread
- 1¼ cup (295ml) warm milk (about 110°F)
- 1½ teaspoons active dry yeast (or instant or rapid rise)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups (420g) bread flour
- Whisk together the milk, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of your stand mixer and let stand for 5 minutes or until mixture is foamy.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine then switch to the dough hook. Knead on low speed (speed 1 or 2) for about 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Lightly grease a bowl and place dough in the bowl to rise. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm area until doubled in size.
- Grease a 9×5 loaf pan and set aside.
- Punch the dough down and turn out onto a work surface. Don't add flour at this point. Knead the dough a few times to remove any trapped air bubbles and roll into a small rectangle. Roll the dough and pinch the seam to seal. Place in prepared pan.
- Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm area until almost doubled in size. Bake in a 350°F oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap on it. Allow bread several minutes before slicing.
- Storage: Store completely cooled bread tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room tempurature for up to 5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
- Make-Ahead: After you have kneaded the dough place in a lightly greased bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator for up to 15 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and allow the dough to come to room temperature (about 2 hours) before continuing with the recipe.
- Freezer Friendly: Let the dough rise 1 time then punch the dough down and shape into a loaf. Freeze in a disposable bread pan or in a ziploc bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. To use remove from freezer and thaw completely at room temperature (about 4-5 hours) then bake as directed. Or freeze completely cooled loaves by wrapping tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.
- Nutrition facts: Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate.