Homemade Sandwich Bread Recipe

A couple of years back, bread baking became trendy due to the fact that it's quite a time-consuming process, and you feel you've really accomplished something. And back then, we all had time and a desire to accomplish something around the house. If you're going to go through the effort of baking bread, you should probably pick a versatile recipe, and, according to recipe developer Jaime Shelbert, this one "ticks all of the boxes" as it's "a classic white yeast bread perfect for sandwiches and toast."

Shelbert describes this bake as "light, fluffy, and moist" and says the slight (but not too heavy) crust ensures that it "toasts up beautifully." She promises that the baking process will be quite the olfactory experience, as your kitchen will be "filled with the smell of a buttery, yeasty aroma." The bread itself is a plain white one, but she says if you want to jazz it up a bit you could always add some dried herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or oregano.

Gather the homemade sandwich bread ingredients

One thing you'll appreciate, if you got caught up in the sourdough craze of 2020, is that this bread doesn't require any complicated ingredients that need to be cultivated like a science experiment. Instead, all you'll need to make it is bread flour, milk (Shelbert suggests whole or 2%), instant yeast (not active dry), sugar, salt, and butter. You should also have some warm water, and, ideally, a thermometer to confirm its temperature.

Make the bread dough

Slowly mix ½ cup milk into 3 tablespoons of flour in a saucepan, stirring constantly. Turn the stove burner to medium and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until it forms a thick paste. Turn off the heat and let it cool.

In a separate bowl, mix the warm water, yeast, and sugar together, then stir in the milk mixture. Shelbert says "it may still have a few lumps," so don't worry too much if that's the case. Let all this stuff sit until it's foamy — something that should happen within 5 to 8 minutes. Once it foams, stir in the rest of the flour along with the salt. Keep stirring until it starts coming together, then use your hands to mix until you get a dough that Shelbert says looks "shaggy." Now cut the butter into chunks and mix it into the dough along with a bit more milk.

Knead the dough and let it rise

Dump your dough out of the bowl onto a work surface (cutting board, countertop, tabletop — whatever you like to use, so long as it's clean), then knead it for 3 minutes. Oil the inside of a large bowl and add the dough. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel, then let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours so it can rise.

Shape the loaf and let it rise again

After the 2 hours are up, your dough should be puffy. Punch it right in the puff and squash it back down again. Now dump it out of the bowl and back onto the work surface. Shape it into a rectangle measuring about 8x14 inches, then roll it up starting at the short end to make an 8-inch long log. Place the log, seam-side down, into a greased 9x5-inch loaf pan. Cover the pan (again, with plastic wrap or a clean towel) and let the dough rise for another hour.

Bake the bread

At long last, you can preheat the oven; set it to 350 F. Once you're there, put the pan on the bottom rack of the oven (take the plastic wrap or towel off first, of course) and bake it for 20 minutes. Rotate the pan, then bake for 20 more minutes (40 minutes in all). When the loaf is done, the top should be golden brown. Let the bread sit in the pan and cool for 15 minutes before you attempt to take it out of the pan and slice.

As for what you can use this bread for, Shelbert says it's great for sandwiches and toast. She also recommends using it to make garlic bread by brushing it with olive oil and garlic and toasting it in the oven. As for how to store it, she says the bread "will keep in an airtight bag or container on the counter up to 4 days." If you want it to last longer, though, you can refrigerate it.

Homemade Sandwich Bread Recipe
5 from 25 ratings
This no-frills, easy-to-make loaf is light and fluffy, comes together with just a handful of baking essentials, and is perfect for sandwiches and toast.
Prep Time
Cook Time
sliced white bread on plate
Total time: 4 hours, 15 minutes
  • 3 cups bread flour, divided
  • ½ cup + 1 tablespoon 2% or whole milk, divided
  • ¾ cup warm water (105 to 115 F)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (1 packet) instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, room temperature
  1. Measure out 3 tablespoons flour into a small pot.
  2. Stir ½ cup milk into the flour, adding gradually to avoid lumps.
  3. Cook the milk and flour over medium heat, stirring for 1 to 2 minutes until a thick paste forms. Let cool slightly.
  4. Combine the water, yeast, and sugar in a medium bowl.
  5. Stir the cooled milk mixture into the yeast mixture.
  6. Allow the yeast mixture to sit for 5 to 8 minutes until it looks foamy.
  7. Stir the remaining flour and the salt into the yeast mixture.
  8. Once the dough starts coming together, mix it with your hands until it looks shaggy.
  9. Cut the butter into chunks and mix it and remaining 1 tablespoon milk into the dough.
  10. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead for 3 minutes.
  11. Place the dough in an oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean dish towel.
  12. Allow dough to rise for 2 hours.
  13. Punch down the dough, then scoop it out of the bowl and onto a work surface.
  14. Form the dough into a rectangle, approximately 8x14 inches.
  15. Roll the dough from short end into an 8-inch log.
  16. Place the log, seam side down, in a greased 9x5-inch loaf pan.
  17. Cover the dough and let it rise for 1 hour.
  18. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F.
  19. Uncover the loaf and place the pan on the lowest rack of the oven.
  20. Bake the bread for 40 minutes or until the top is golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through.
  21. Allow the bread to cool for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan.
  22. Keep at room temperature in airtight bag or container; refrigerate if storing for longer.
Calories per Serving 175
Total Fat 4.8 g
Saturated Fat 2.7 g
Trans Fat 0.2 g
Cholesterol 11.3 mg
Total Carbohydrates 27.8 g
Dietary Fiber 1.0 g
Total Sugars 2.8 g
Sodium 158.2 mg
Protein 4.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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