Thursday, January 6, 2011

Making homemade bread for sandwiches

I've always wanted to make my own homemade sandwich bread. (My picture quality is terrible but the bread is just PERFECT!) I have searched and searched for the perfect recipe for everyday sandwich bread and always the bread I make is either too heavy, too moist, or too MUCH! But, I made one this weekend that is so perfect. I don't know if this works the "old fashioned" way. I have a bread machine and so since the directions said to use a bread machine, that is what I did. However, I only use my bread machine for making the dough. After the dough setting completes, I take it from there and bake it in a regular loaf pan in the real oven.

Its great! Very soft! In fact, I let it cool completely and still had to slice it with an electric knife. Picture trying to slice a loaf of Wonder Bread with a knife. That's what I'm talking about!

Here's the recipe with exact instructions on how I did it. Worked like a charm and we had this for our favorite, peanut butter and apricot preserve sandwiches. Yum!

Follow the directions exactly. It is terrific. You will never have to buy bread again.

White Sandwich Bread
1 cup warm water (hot but no hurt - should feel like hot bath water)
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 teaspoon yeast (1 packet)
1/4 cup oil
3 cups AP flour or bread flour (I have substituted a cup of the flour with 1 cup whole wheat flour and it makes a delicious light wheat bread, which is pictured)
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

• In a 2 cup measuring cup, measure the very warm water (1 cup), stir in yeast and sugar. Set a timer for 10 minutes. It will start bubbling and at the end of 10 minutes, will look like a big glass of root beer with a tall soft, frothy foam on top. Add the oil and then dump in the pan of the bread machine.

• Next add your flour and top with the salt. (I realize your bread machine may say to do this in a different order, but do it this way and you will have a perfect loaf.)

• Set your bread machine to the dough setting.

• And the end of this cycle (when it is "ready"), then dump the dough on a floured surface (I use a dinner plate with a little flour dumped on there). Knead with floured hands a couple of times - like 5 times. Form into a loaf. Spray or grease your loaf pan. Place dough inside. I then sprayed my loaf with Pam to it didn't dry out. Let rise 1 hour or until it rises up out of the loaf pan by an inch or so.

• Preheat your oven completely before putting the loaf in -to 350 degrees.

• Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until golden brown. (check at 20 minutes).

• Let it sit in the pan about 5 minutes. Then, carefully (because the loaf is so soft) take it out of the pan and let it cool on a cooling rack. Let it cool completely and then slice using an electric knife or large surrogated knife.

It makes great sandwiches, grilled cheese, peanut butter. Probably would make great hamburger and hotdog buns as well.

I'm sharing this recipe at The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.


  1. Thank You!!! this is the perfect bread recipe. i've been making my own bread for several years and have never been able to get the "store bought" quality that this has. Thank You So much for posting & linking up to Grocery Cart Challenge's recipe swap

  2. You've convinced me, I'm going to have to try it! Did you use some white whole wheat flour in yours?

  3. Veronica: I used 1 cup wheat flour plus 2 cups regular AP flour. Also, when forming the finished dough into a loaf, try not to add any more flour. Lately I've been spraying my loaf pan and just plopping it from the bread machine into the loafpan and pressing and stretching it to fill the pan (not flat like a pancake but gentle, just forming it to the size of the pan). Then I let it rise and bake.

    This loaf has a terrific taste. I made a sandwich yesterday with it using ham, spicy mustard, lettuce, tomatoes and onion. It was a feast!

    Let me know if you need instructions for not using a bread machine. I've done it both ways.

    Also, see what a little food color can do. I make this for bake sales and it always goes first. Also great gift for sick litte ones (makes great "bland toast" but still fun food).

    This is the post I did on rainbow bread using this same recipe.

  4. I know this post is from 2011, but I'd be interested in knowing how to make this delightful bread without a bread machine. I have a Kitchen Aid or I am willing to try it out by hand. I will be trying out the wheat/white flour mixture.

    Thanks for sharing your recipes and tutorials!

  5. Here are the directions for making this bread by hand:

    White Sandwich Bread (I use exactly the same ingredients.) (Do not be scared off. I am just wordy and tell you every little thing LOL.)

    1 cup warm water (hot but no hurt - should feel like hot bath water)
    2 Tablespoons sugar
    2 1/2 teaspoon yeast (1 packet)
    1/4 cup oil (vegetable or canola is what I use)
    3 cups all purpose flour (I prefer unbleached.) (I have substituted a cup of the flour with 1 cup whole wheat flour and it makes a delicious light wheat bread)
    1 1/2 teaspoon salt

    In a 2 cup measuring cup, measure the very warm water (1 cup), stir in yeast and sugar. Set a timer for 10 minutes. It will start bubbling and at the end of 10 minutes, will look like a big glass of root beer with a tall soft, frothy foam on top. Add the oil. Stir GENTLY.

    In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour & salt. Stir Well.
    Now add the water/yeast/sugar/oil mixture to the flour mixture in the bowl. Stir as well as you can using a large wooden spoon.

    I knead mine right in the bowl to avoid making much of a mess. So just flour your hands and sprinkle a little flour on the ball of dough. Form the dough into a ball or solid shape. Start kneading the dough in the bowl. Set a timer for about 7 minutes. Knead, folding and pressing until the timer goes off. I sometimes pick the dough ball up and press between my hands using my muscles, folding and pressing so that I can walk around. The important thing is to keep the dough folding and pressing but avoiding using any more flour than you absolutely have to. You can lightly flour your hands and keep kneading, but you get lighter bread by using less flour.

    I oil the bowl and place the dough back in the bowl, turning the dough ball to get all sides oiled a little (this keeps a “skin” from forming on the dough so that it can rise better). Cover the bowl of dough with plastic wrap or a damp cloth. Place the bowl of dough in a warm place (I use my microwave to avoid any drafts) to rise. In winter this is a slower process than when your house is warm.

    After it has doubled in size and has a good rise, lightly press the dough down. Gently! You don’t want to press every bit of air out of it. Just enough to form the dough into a loaf. Form into a loaf.

    Place in a greased/sprayed loaf pan, place in a non-drafty place. Let rise for 45 minutes or so – until the dough rises to the top of the loaf pan.

    Place in 350 degree preheated oven. Bake 30 minutes.

    Remove from pan to cooling rack (my daughters use to butter knives as a cooling rack for bread – just to keep the bottom open.) Let cool completely before slicing. Slices for sandwiches work best with an electric knife or electric filet knife (for fish).

    Let me know how this works for you! It’s really good bread!


    1. Gina:

      Thanks so much for the detailed instructions! I can completely appreciate the details...that's how I am I will be trying this out ASAP. I can't wait! :-)

    2. Mykell,

      One more tiny instruction. Let the baked bread cool about 5 minutes in the pan, and then, loosen around the edges with a butter knife and remove it from the pan. Place the loaf on the cooling rack for better circulation around the baked loaf. Cool completely (or as long as you can wait LOL), and slice. I store my sandwich bread in those plastic bags you get that are for sale in the isle with the Ziploc bags but they are open and you use a twisty to keep them secure. If I don't have those, I use old bread sacks/bun sacks that I have saved for this purpose. The bread will stay fairly fresh for about 3 days. I then place in the freezer for using as the most delicious toast you have ever eaten! My favorite is peanut butter toast!

      Let me know how it goes!


    3. I made two batches. The first one, I forgot to add the oil!! I didn't realize that until I had it kneaded. I was wondering why it was so dry and difficult to knead. LOL! I decided to try to knead it in anyway. While it was quite slippery, it only took a few minutes and seemed like it might work.

      The second batch was MUCH easier to knead and pleasant to work with! Go's amazing what happens when you actually follow the directions.

      Both batches were allowed to rest for about 45 minutes. The microwave tip was very helpful. They were then lightly punched down and formed into a loaf for each pan and allowed to rise again for about 30+ minutes. They looked beautiful and smelled even better.

      Once they were in the oven, the smell was tantalizing to say the least. The first batch actually browned beautifully despite my oil mistake. The second batch was a bit on the lighter side but still enticing. Both were buttered on top right out of the oven.

      Both batches tasted even better than we expected. I almost ate half a loaf by myself!

      I do need help with a problem. While both loaves rose beautifully (so I thought), they both seemed a bit on the denser side. Could it be that I need to knead longer/shorter time? Should I let it rise longer? I did wait until they were almost completely cool...that was soooo hard!

      Thank you so much! The taste was super yummy and even the kids loved it. I will be trying this one out again soon!

  6. Wow! Sounds like you were a dynamo bread baker LOL! And I am so glad your family liked the taste. I agree, the waiting is the hardest part.

    One time I had made a loaf (for sandwiches for the next week) and my husband came in wanting a slice while it was still hot. At first, I balked, but then it occurred to me how crazy I was acting. Heck, if the man I love wants to savor a slice of his sweet wife's homemade bread, by all means he should be able to. LOL.

    As far as the density of the bread. I find that the breads I make by hand ARE more dense than the breads that I bake using the bread machine for the dough making portion. I'm not sure why that is. I think there is something to how long and consistently it is needed. I also find that when my dough is in the bread machine, I let it rise in there longer than the first beep which gives me a very, soft, almost unmanageable consistency to the dough for forming the loaf. Sometimes I am only able to dump it directly from the bread pan into the sprayed loaf pan, mash it around to fill the loaf pan, and let it rise. Maybe try a longer first rise time (when it's in the bowl) and see if it really softens up.

    Sounds like we will both be making some tester batches to see if we can figure this out. At least the tester batches will be delicious and nothing will go to waste, right?

    If your kids like this bread and you want to try something fun (and if you don't have any problems with food color), check out my post on rainbow bread. I made three batches of dough, colored each batch a different color (with color added to the liquid ingredients), divided each batch into thirds - because you will be combining 1/3 of each batch (color) to make one loaf = 3 loaves) and placed three discs of dough (one each colord) together to roll out and spiral for the colored bread. Am I making sense? They turn out so cute!! It's a fun project for rainy (or snowy days), and the kids love to take that bread for lunch. You end up with three loaves of bread but it does freeze well and/or makes a great gift.

    I used paste coloring for more vivid colors and here's the link to that:

    Thanks for letting me know how this experience went for you. If it makes you feel better, sometimes I forget ingredients too(as hard as I try not to). One time I made pineapple upsidedown cake and when I flipped the cake out... I had forgotten the pineapple. Ah well... we ate it LOL.

    Happy bread baking!


  7. Any idea how it will be if I bake it in the bread machine?

  8. I have not tried this recipe myself in the bread machine to bake. I usually just make the dough itself in the bread machine. The only reason for that is that I think baking bread in a real loaf pan which is a little bigger than a bread machine pan makes for a lighter loaf but it also could be because I allow mine to rise longer than the bread machine might allow. My college daughter bakes hers in a bread machine though and she says it's great. From her pictures, the loaf looks a little denser than my finished loaf but she says it tastes wonderful and she still makes sandwiches with it. Give it a try and let me know how this works for you. Thanks for commenting!

  9. Hi again Gina!!

    I tried making the light wheat bread again today and it came out PERFECTLY!!

    The crumb is beautiful and it is as close to store bought as I have ever gotten.

    Thanks again! :-)

    1. So glad you liked this recipe! Every time I make it, I cannot believe it turns out so well! Thanks for commenting! I love to hear when someone has success with one of my recipes!

    2. I swear I've made at least 5 loaves of this fabulous bread just in the last week. The family (me, husband and 2 kids) just can't seem to get enough! Yay!!

    3. Mykell,

      That is wonderful! So glad that you and your family are all enjoying this bread. I love finding a recipe that I can really incorporate into my everyday cooking that makes such a difference.

      Have you tried the 5 Minute a Day bread yet? I'm betting your kids would love the pizzas you can make at home with that recipe as well. I think the sandwich bread recipe and the 5 minute a day bread recipe changed what we're eating at home for the better more than anything!

      I've been wanting to make a cinnamon swirl / raisin loaf with the sandwich bread recipe but I haven't tried that yet. I have this thing for toast and I'm betting that would be really good!

      Happy bread baking! Thanks so much for commenting. I love to hear that this recipe works so well for you!



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