Favorite White Sandwich Bread
Our family favorite white sandwich bread. Light, fluffy and sturdy enough for a sandwich, this white sandwich bread is perfect for cold cuts, peanut butter and jelly, grilled cheese or to eat plain.
- 1 1/3 cup warm water temperature of baby's bathwater (or milk for a richer bread)
- 3/4 Tablespoon instant yeast
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 Tablespoons neutral flavored oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3-4 cups bread flour see recipe note
To the bowl of a stand mixer (affiliate link), fitted with a dough hook, mix together the water, instant yeast, sugar, oil and salt. Add 2 1/2 cups bread flour and begin kneading. The dough will start coming together. Add flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough is just a little sticky but rolls into a ball in your fingers. You will also notice the dough no longer sticks to the sides of your stand mixer. Check out this post for how to know when to stop adding flour. I tend to go by the feel of the dough for when to stop adding flour more than an exact measurement. Knead for 8 minutes in a mixer or 10 minutes by hand.
Lightly oil a bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel, set in a warm place and let it rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Turn the dough out onto the counter and shape into a rectangle. You will roll the dough into a cylinder shape. Starting at the edge closest to you, roll up the dough. Take care to press in the dough at the seam after each roll and pinch the seam closed at the end. Refer to the photos in this post for a visual.
Transfer the dough, seam side-down to a bread pan. I like using an 8.5 by 4.5 (affiliate link) bread pan but this loaf will fit a 9 by 5 bread pan too (the bread may not rise quite as tall if you use the larger pan but will be a bit wider).
Allow the dough to rise about 45 minutes to an hour, covered and in a warm place. The dough should just rise a little bit over the top of the bread pan (it will rise more in the oven).
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Bake the bread for about 35 minutes. Top with melted butter if desired. Let cool before slicing. I like to slice and freeze the slices for easy sandwiches or toast.
Bread Flour: This recipe originally called for 3 1/2 - 4 cups of bread flour. After making it more, I found that I tend to use closer to 3 cups of bread flour. I use a bread flour with 12.5% protein content. If the protein content of your bread flour is less, you may need a little extra flour. If it is higher, you may need to add a little less flour. If you don't have bread flour on hand, you can use all purpose flour and add 1 Tablespoon of vital wheat gluten.
Previous recipe version: Originally this recipe called for mixing together all the ingredients except the flour. Then adding 1 cup of bread flour and letting the mixture rest for 10 minutes, then adding the rest of the flour and proceeding with the recipe. I've found that I tend to skip this process and my bread turns out perfectly. If you want to develop a bit more flavor, you can add this step in. I haven't thought it significant enough of a difference to the finished loaf to keep it in the recipe instructions.