If you’ve been looking for the perfect, white sandwich bread, this tried-and-true recipe should end your search! Simple, delicious, and so fluffy. White sandwich bread should be sturdy enough to support a generous spread of mayo and few layers of deli meat, but still soft enough to chew easily. It also shouldn’t crumble to pieces halfway through eating. This recipe uses all the basic bread ingredients: flour, milk, water, yeast, sugar, and salt.
Use warm water and honey to activate your yeast. If you are concerned about killing your yeast by using water that is too hot, err on the side of too cold. You’re looking for lukewarm water, the temperature baby bathwater would be. You’ll know your yeast is activated if you see foam and small bubbles forming at the top of your water-yeast mixture after 5-10 minutes.
If you want this to stay as a fluffy sandwich loaf, do not cut the bread while hot and make sure you use a serrated knife. This recipe makes enough for two large loaves. The most difficult part of bread baking is waiting for the bread to cool. This particular bread definitely requires patience. The soft bread needs time to build the structure as it cools.
- 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 to 2/3 cup hot water, enough to make a soft, smooth dough
- 1/4 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- Mix cold milk with hot tap water to make a lukewarm liquid before adding to the remainder of the ingredients.
- To make the dough: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased surface, oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 minutes, or until it begins to become smooth and supple. Or mix and knead the dough using an electric mixer or food processor, or in a bread machine set to the dough or manual cycle.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow the dough to rise until puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
- If you’re using a bread machine, allow the machine to complete its cycle, then leave the dough in the machine until it’s doubled in bulk, perhaps an additional 30 minutes or so.
- Gently deflate the dough and transfer it to a lightly oiled work surface. Shape the dough into an 8″ log.
- Place the log in a lightly greased loaf pan, cover the pan loosely with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the bread to rise for about 60 minutes until it’s domed about 1″ above the edge of the pan.
- A finger pressed into the dough should leave a mark that rebounds slowly. Towards the end of the rise, preheat your oven to 350°F.
- Bake the bread for 30 to 35 minutes, until it’s light golden brown. Test it for doneness by removing it from the pan and thumping it on the bottom.
- Remove the bread from the oven, and cool it on a rack before slicing. Store the bread in a plastic bag at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.