Straight up white bread: My favorite homemade white sandwich bread recipe

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Baking bread has quickly become one of my weekend rituals. Wake up, make coffee, check on the chickens, feed the dog and start making bread. I love it because I love to cook/bake, and baking my own bread means one less thing to buy at the grocery store. It’s cheaper and tastes better too. It also fills up the house with amazing, wondrous aromas and makes me feel like a real empowered female homesteader that’s going to meet the day and kick some ass. But I hate it because baking is a science and I didn’t do too well in science class. And also because as soon as I take it out of the oven, I have a 170 lb vulture named Dave who swoops down and eats most of the bread before the weekend is over and I have to make a second batch. However, that just means that he really likes it and I appreciate it.

I like to cook a lot of different types of bread; beer bread, challah, honey wheat, sweet breads and more. But my favorite go-to bread has to be this recipe for your everyday white sandwich bread.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp dry active yeast
  • 2 Tbsp butter, softened (or 2 Tbsp oil, I’ve found both to work equally well)
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt

yields 2 loaves

First, I proof the yeast by combining the water and sugar together and whisking thoroughly. Then, I add in the yeast and mix again. The yeast eats the sugar, therefore the sugar is like an appetizer for the yeast. Let this mixture sit for 5-10 minutes. After 5-10 minutes, the yeast will become a thick, creamy, foamy layer on top of the water.

proofing yeast for making homemade bread
Before the yeast starts proofing.
proofing yeast for making homemade bread
After the yeast is done proofing.

Next, I add in about 2 cups of flour and stir to incorporate. After that’s mixed thoroughly, I add in the butter, salt and the remaining flour. The salt kills yeast so I don’t like to add in the salt right after the yeast proofs. Gotta let the yeast get to know the flour first so they can get all friendly together!

making homemade white sandwich bread
Adding in the flour, butter and salt to the yeast mixture.

After I’ve added the flour, salt and butter and everything starts coming together, I dump it all on a floured surface and start kneading. Yes, I stir by hand and knead it by hand… no bread machines for me! I mean, if you’re going to make bread you might as well go all out, am I right? I knead for a few minutes, making sure not to over work the dough. It should be tacky but not sticky. Then I form it into a ball, spray my bowl down with some Pam or something, then put the dough back into the bowl.

keading dough for homemade sandwich bread
This is the point that I begin kneading
Making homemade white sandwich bread
Return dough to bowl and cover with a damp towel. Place in a warm spot in your kitchen and let it rise.

Move the bowl to a warm spot in the kitchen, cover it with a damp towel and let it rise until it has doubled in size (about 45 mins-1 hour). I like to cover mine with a damp towel but you can also cover it with saran wrap that’s been sprayed with cooking spray (our good friend Pam). Covering the bowl retains moisture in the dough. It’s important.

Making homemade white sandwich bread
After about 45 minutes, the dough has doubled in size

After the dough has doubled in size, I kung-fu punch it down a few times in the bowl and return it to the floured surface. Divide the dough in half, form it into two loaves, place them in two greased loaf pans and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Then I let this rise again for about an hour, until the dough is 1″ above the pan edge.

Making homemade sandwich bread
All ready to go in the oven.

After the second rise is complete, I pop those babies in a 375 degree pre-heated oven and let them bake for 25 minutes. When the bread is done, pull them out of the oven and let them cool for 5-10 minutes before taking them out of the pan.

Making homemade sandwich bread at home
Loaf #1
Making homemade sandwich bread
Loaf #2

This recipe will leave you with a very light crust and light and airy crumb (everything that’s inside of the crust). It’s cheaper and tastier than store bought bread and it’s really rewarding too! Just make sure you keep the hungry vultures away.


7 Responses

  1. January 21, 2013
    Reply

    Ooooh, delicious! I like to make my own pizza dough and have been wanting to try more bread recipes. Yours looks like a winner! Thanks for explaining the process, too. I had no idea that the yeast “eats” the sugar. I was always wondering why I had to add sugar to certain recipes!

  2. January 22, 2013
    Reply

    I will definitely be adding this to my bread recipe repertoire, along with honey whole wheat and artisan bread. My kids love thinner crust so this should be right up their alley. Have you ever tried putting oil in a sprayer and using that instead of Pam? Ours you just have to put whatever oil you like in, pump it a few times, and then it sprays much like Pam does. Thanks.

    • January 22, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks for the tip, I’ll have to try that! I’ve been saving old spray bottles and now I know why! Recycling and using a non-aerosol spray sounds like a win-win to me.

  3. January 28, 2013
    Reply

    Reblogged this on homesteaddad and commented:
    I am definitely trying this soon.

  4. Mrs.o
    October 30, 2013
    Reply

    I now make this daily. We are serious bread eaters…Awesome recipe- used honey, maple syrup as the “sugar”. Sometimes if I am feeling spicy I add a tsp of cinnamon:)

  5. December 2, 2013
    Reply

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