This perfect white bread is surprisingly easy to make and is perfect for sandwiches and toast (among many other things!). It is light and fluffy and absolutely delicious!

Perfect White Sandwich Bread

Growing up (pains me to admit this), I was that kid. You know the one. They complain about any food that has color or nutritional value, including bread.

My mom would pack our school lunches with a homemade sandwich, and I would gag every time it was made with wheat bread (in full justification, I’m hoping the gagging was due more to the soggy tuna-laden bread rather than me being a stinker about eating whole grains).

But when my mom would make her famous white bread, I was all over that stuff. No gagging, no complaining.

What an angel child I was.

Seriously, though, my mom’s white sandwich bread is the best, most heavenly bread on the planet. You’d probably have acted the same way.

Perfect White Sandwich Bread

Fast forward to my adulthood, and I began to love and appreciate whole grain everything…and started to try my hand at making a lot of whole wheat/whole grain recipes at home.

Now that I have growing kids, I make a huge effort to get wholesome foods and whole grains into all of our bellies.

Did you see this whole wheat quinoa bread I posted a few months ago? It’s become our solid go-to for bread making lately. It is the softest, most delicious whole wheat bread ever.

In fact, it’s rare that we have white bread of any sort (rolls, sandwich bread, muffins) sitting around.

Sometimes I’ll live on the edge and make bread or rolls with half wheat/half white flour, but a full-blown all-white flour loaf is kind of special.

Perfect White Sandwich Bread

And by special, I mean, my kids about kill each other trying to get access to the first piece. I may or may not be right in there with them.

Over the last several years, I’ve received a ton of requests for a no-fail, white bread recipe.

Because I almost always make whole wheat bread, I haven’t dedicated the time to get this posted for you.

But today’s the day!

Perfect White Sandwich Bread

This amazing, tried-and-true recipe has always been in my back pocket. It’s the one I mentioned above: my mom’s famous and spectacular white bread recipe! It just needed a little bit of TLC and fine tuning to get it just right.

When I started figuring out a white bread solution for those of you that asked, I should have just gone with what I know instead of making a slew of other recipes just in case they were better than my mom’s and I was missing out (I hate missing out on things).

Sorry, mom. I feel kind of traitorous admitting that I cheated on your famous recipe.

The good, relieving news is that none of the other recipes compared, at least in my book.

Some (quite a few, actually) were made with milk, and others had strange-o ingredients that I never keep on hand (like, soy lecithin and dough enhancers).

Perfect White Sandwich Bread

In the end, all roads led me straight back to what I knew in the first place:

my mom’s white bread recipe rocks.

It is simple as can be – standard, everyday ingredients with minimal work.

The loaves of bread are soft yet sturdy, and the slices hold up extremely well for sandwiches.

And I’ve done a scientific analysis that I’ll share…um…maybe someday…that shows this bread makes THE BEST toast (or French toast) in all the world.

Perfect White Sandwich Bread

I’ve included a few step-by-step photos below the recipe for those that may be a bit visual with new bread-making recipes.

It’s not difficult at all. Promise, promise.

Here’s a quick rundown of the equipment I use for homemade bread: 

Stand Mixer
I use my Bosch stand mixer for this (and all breads). I also have a KitchenAid mixer but usually say very bad words when I use it to make bread; I know many of you have better luck using your KA mixer for bread, but I’m a creature of habit, and the Bosch is unparalleled for bread making.

This recipe makes two loaves which is doable in a KitchenAid; I usually double the recipe in my Bosch so I can get four loaves out of the deal.

Having said all of that, you can definitely make this bread by hand, too.

Bread Pans
I always bake our everyday sandwich bread in 8 1/2-inch by 4 1/2-inch bread pans (vs 9X5-inch pans). I have a mix of Chicago Metallic pans and USA Bread pans.

I love both brands, truly. If I had to choose, though, I’d probably opt just slightly more in favor of the USA bread pans (nothing sticks!).

As a sidenote, I never wash my bread pans when making homemade sandwich bread (banana bread and other quick breads are a different matter). Sounds icky, but after a decade plus of homemade bread making and pan cleaning, I haven’t had an issue.

Instead of washing and submerging in water, I get a clean dishrag and run it under very hot water. I wipe out each pan, paying particular attention to the crevices, let them air dry, and call it good.

This has helped avoid rust in the edges of the pans. I’ve had a few of my bread pans for almost 10 years and they are going strong.

Perfect White Sandwich Bread

Scale
I use my trusty kitchen scale to weigh out the dough when dividing into loaves. You certainly don’t have to, but I like the loaves to be as similar in weight as possible so they bake evenly.

Bench Scraper
Another optional but super handy tool, this bench scraper/cutter is the perfect thing to use when dividing bread into loaves (plus, it’s one of the most-used items in my kitchen since it has a million different purposes).

Flour Sack Towels
A great alternative to using greased plastic wrap, I throw these lightweight towels over my bread while it is rising in the pans.

Unbleached All-purpose Flour
When using white flour, I always use unbleached all-purpose flour vs bleached all-purpose flour. I’m sure you could use bleached white flour in this recipe, too; I just haven’t tried it (but I’m 99.9% certain that’s what my mom used for decades when I was growing up).

Bread Bags
A few years ago, I bought a case of 1,000 bread bags. Yes, that’s right: 1,000.

I’m still working through them (obviously), but it’s cemented the preference that real, live bread bags (instead of stuffing that loaf into an ill-fitting ziploc bag) is the way to go.

This is the case of bread bags I have, but I bought these bread bags for a friend and she loves them (bonus: you don’t have to buy a gazillion at once). I always use plastic clips like these (I snag them at IKEA when I’m there once a year) to close the bags.

Bread Bags
This is my favorite bread knife. So inexpensive, and the long blade design makes for very even, neat slices!

Perfect White Sandwich Bread

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! I literally have to walk out of the kitchen when slices of this white bread (or let’s be serious, any bread) are sitting on the cutting board next to a big slab of butter.

My self-control only goes so far.

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Three Years Ago: Incredible Chocolate Pudding {Dairy, Egg and Gluten Free}

Perfect White Sandwich Bread

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Perfect White Sandwich Bread

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Yield 2 loaves

I always use unbleached all-purpose flour and haven't made this bread with bleached all-purpose flour but I'm guessing it will work just fine. I've also made this bread with bread flour in place of the all-purpose - delicious if you have it on hand and like an extra chewy/sturdy loaf of bread!

If you don't have instant yeast, you can dissolve the same amount of yeast in 1/4 cup water with a pinch of sugar until it is foamy and bubbly and then use it in the recipe (add it with the oil and water). 

As with all yeast doughs, particularly bread dough, I use the flour amount in the recipe as a guideline and encourage you to do the same. The exact amount of flour you use will depend on how you measure flour (this is how I measure flour), the climate and temperature where you live (humidity can be a factor), and several other things. Add flour gradually until the texture of the dough is soft, smooth, and only just slightly tacky to the touch. 

Ingredients

  • 6 1/2 to 7 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons instant yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar or honey
  • 2 3/4 cups very warm water
  • 1/4 cup neutral-flavored oil (like grapeseed, canola, vegetable, avocado)
  • Butter for top of loaves, optional

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or in a large bowl, if making the dough by hand), combine THREE cups of the flour, salt, yeast and sugar. 
  2. Add the water and oil and mix until combined. The mixture will be thinner than bread dough.
  3. Cover the bowl and let the batter rest for 10 minutes; it will be slightly bubbly at the end. 
  4. With the mixer running (or stirring by hand), gradually add another 3 to 4 cups of flour, until the dough comes together in a cohesive ball that clears the bottom and sides of the bowl and doesn't leave a lot of doughy residue on your fingers when touched while still being just slightly tacky (not overfloured and dense). 
  5. Knead for about 2 minutes until the dough is smooth and supple. 
  6. Lightly grease a large bowl. Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl, cover with greased plastic wrap or a light kitchen towel, and let rise until doubled, about an hour or so, depending on the warmth of your kitchen. 
  7. Lightly punch down the dough and divide it into two equal pieces. 
  8. Grease two 8 1/2-inch by 4 1/2-inch bread pans.
  9. Press each piece of dough into a thick rectangle about 8-inches long; roll it up, pressing on the seams, and pinching the final seam together.
  10. Place the dough loaves into the prepared pans.
  11. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap or thin kitchen towels and let rise until doubled and the dough has risen about 1-inch above the top rim of the pan, about an hour or so, depending on the warmth of your kitchen.
  12. While the dough rises, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  13. Bake the bread for 30-32 minutes until golden and baked through. 
  14. Remove from the oven and turn the bread out onto a wire rack. Immediately brush the tops of the loaves with melted butter (or use a stick of butter, peeling the paper back and rubbing it on the top of the hot bread).
  15. Let the bread cool completely.
  16. The bread can be stored at room temperature, covered in a bread bag, for a couple days, or frozen for up to a month or so. 

Perfect White Sandwich Bread

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81 Responses to Perfect {and Simple} White Sandwich Bread

  1. Kelly says:

    Mel, you have been my go-to gal for so, so many recipes and I’ve been trying to master my yeast bread skills for the last couple of years, with your help. I’ve had much success with rolls and many things but have still struggled with wheat bread. But, I decided to give this white bread a try right away and holy smokes!!! It was so easy!!!! Absolutely perfect loaves with delicious flavor and texture on my first go ’round. I’m about to pop another batch in the oven right now and they look equally good. Thank you, thank you for tutoring me in yeast and helping me give my family so many delicious meals!!

  2. Lissa says:

    HI MEL–I’ve made the bread twice and it was delicious…one loaf still in the freezer. I did have a question though: on the yeast: Is it TABLESPOONS? Seems like so much. My first batch–the bread rose up over the pan a bit. Yesterday’s batch–the 2nd rise was huge at 20 minutes. I’ve usually used just 1 packet of instant rise, but this is nearly 3 x as much. Worth it for such amazing and tempting bread, but have you ever used less ?

  3. Carolyn Hammer says:

    The only thing I would add to this is the best way to slice homemade bread is with an electric turkey knife. I worked in a bakery when I was in high school. I spent hours slicing freshly baked bread with an industrial slicer. An electric knife works equally as well. Perfectly sliced bread that isn’t smashed by my kids. Awesome!!

  4. Jane says:

    Made this recipe today. First time in 20 years baking white loaf bread. I doubled the recipe as 2 loaves wouldn’t cut it around here. First loaf always goes just for a snack fresh out of the oven, this bread was divine. Thanks for sharing.
    The real purpose of this response is to tell you I get my bread bags at Smart and Final. They are called Food and Bread storage bags and easily hold a 1lb. loaf. And you don’t have to buy 1000 at a time!!

  5. Jennifer says:

    I was very nervous about making this bread recipe. I ordered new bread pans that you recommended and the bread knife and finally found the time to make your recipe today. I have been unsuccessful in the past so with your awesome recipe and instructions, I was SUCCESSFUL in making this very easy but delicious recipe. Thank you so much. Love the bread knife too!!

  6. Amy says:

    Mel! I have to tell you that I’ve been eyeing this recipe since you posted it. I’ve been a long time wheat bread maker, but white bread comes more in the form of rolls or cinnamon rolls – things my kids have learned are special treats. For the last couple of months my 5-yr-old has been getting a taste of Grandma Sycamore bread every week and EVERY week he leans over and asks why I can’t make bread as “fresh” as that. Apparently, my wheat bread has nothin on Granny. So, today I decided to regain my title as amazing bread maker and this recipe did not disappoint. Only “oohs” and “ahhs” at dinner and my son told me that my bread was WAY better than that other stuff. Mission accomplished. 🙂 Also, I made one loaf a cinnamon/sugar swirl – so so good. Thanks for saving the day Mel!

  7. Starr says:

    5 stars. Have had the link saved for this recipe ever since you posted it. Finally got to try it out today. It made 2 gorgeous loaves, one went to a neighbor with sick kids and the other was half gone in 5 minutes between my 3 little kids. Very delicious, was not disappointed and super easy to make. Thank you so much for sharing!! I will be trying your no bake chocolate cheesecake this week as well.

  8. Helen says:

    I tried this recipe this week and the bread was wonderful. The taste and texture was great, I especially loved the height of the loaves. Will definitely be making these again. Thanks!

  9. Katherine says:

    I made this yesterday and it was so so good! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  10. Shonda says:

    Mel, loved this bread – turned out perfect as I knew it would because all of your recipes do, especially the yeast recipes. Right when I planned to reduce gluten…….

  11. Terri says:

    This is a fantastic bread recipe…and so easy! I’m going to make several batches and freeze it! Thx so much Mel!

  12. Phyllis says:

    Hi Mel! Tried this recipe and it was fluffy! Could I half the recipe foe just one loaf? My standard kitchen aid mixer struggled to mix the dough towards the end. Also, freezing the loaf, do you use a bread bad or is there a certain “technique” I should use when freezing a loaf? Thank you in advance.

    • Mel says:

      Yes, you could definitely halve the recipe. For freezing, I just put the baked and cooled loaf in a bread bag, get as much air out as possible and pop it in the freezer. 🙂

  13. Sarah says:

    Okay – talk to me about making this recipe into mini loaves. About how many mini loaves would you divide this up into? I have 8 mini loaf pans that are 5 3/4 x 3 x 2 1/8 (it’s printed on the pan, no way would I be that precise with the measurements!). I’m wondering if one loaf would split well into four mini loaves of that size, or if I should go for three mini loaves from one loaf. I will probably experiment one day soon, but just wondered if anyone had tried this yet with this particular recipe. I did make it into regular loaves last week and it’s delicious!

    • Mel says:

      I haven’t made it into mini loaves, but I’d probably split the dough into three mini loaves, not four.

      • Sarah says:

        I’ll try it and let you know how it turns out! Would you bake for the same amount of time or shorten the baking time slightly?

        • Mel says:

          I’d probably cut the baking time by a few minutes…a lot will depend on your particular oven and how fast/hot it bakes.

  14. Heather bell says:

    Didn’t fall apart and rose beautifully. Walked in the house after swim lessons and thought yum it smells like rising bread. I had forgotten I made it. Lol

  15. Marcie says:

    I have tried many white bread recipes and this is by far the best one! We all loved it. Thank you!

  16. Kelly Finger says:

    Made this today – so good! Thank you!

  17. Barbara S says:

    I just made this bread this morning and I am really impressed. I have a little bread baking experience, but I’m no Pro! I must say, It came out beautifully, just like the picture. The crumb, texture and flavor are wonderful. I am going to slice and freeze the second loaf. Tomorrow I believe we will be having french toast for a lovely Sunday morning breakfast. I can’t wait. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  18. Ellen says:

    I don’t have a heavy duty stand mixer, so I’d be kneading by hand. Do you know how long the dough should be kneaded? Is it the same 2 minutes as the mixer would do? (I know nothing about bread making, so this may be a dumb question.)

    • Mel says:

      Not a dumb question! You probably want to hand knead it for 4-5 minutes.

    • Liz says:

      I don’t have a stand mixer and make everything by hand. I think it is actually best when you are learning because you learn more about how the dough looks and feels.

      If I were making this, in Step 4 after I incorporated enough flour to make it hard to stir, I’d dump it out and start kneading – adding flour to your surface and dough surface no more than 1/4 cup at a time, and in between additions, knead until the dough is sticky and flour cleaned off the counter. STOP adding flour when the dough nearly cleans your hands. I learned from Mel that I probably over-floured for many years 🙂 !!!

      Anyway, at the point where the dough is cleaning your hands, continue kneading until it is smooth and elastic. If you get tired but think it needs more just cover and let it rest and then knead a little more before going to step 6.

  19. Holli says:

    If I wanted to do half all purpose flour and half white whole wheat would I need to make any other changes to the recipe?

  20. Mickie Spence says:

    I’ve made it twice now and it turned out perfect both times. My kids “showed off” at lunch with their sandwiches I hear, and are so disappointed when I haven’t made home made bread. Oh boy, I need to limit their homemade white bread eating now! You’ve got them hooked! 🙂

  21. Rita says:

    This is very similar to the “recipe” I use (really it’s just a guideline). Only I’ll sub in bacon fat if I have it. It adds just a bit of flavor and makes for a crispier crust. When it’s done just right the crust will “talk” to you as its cooling. You can hear the crackling. It’s so good! It also lends itself well to making crusty rolls. Just for fun we’d take some of the dough and make “crazy buns”, rolling out long ropes, twisting them up and placing them in greased muffin tins. Makes for lots of great crevasses for butter and jam.

  22. Liz says:

    Beautiful loaves, Mel!

    re freezing. I bake for 1. I do have freezer space but I mostly bake a loaf at a time and I slice (when completely cool) and then freeze slices. I use parchment paper to separate/wrap and then into a zip bag. I do this with artisanal crusty breads as well as with the Quinoa-whole wheat. To thaw, a brief time on the counter and maybe a light toasting works for sandwiches, otherwise normal toast with the “frozen” setting. This works well for me and my rate of consumption vs a family which would go through a loaf in a sitting 🙂

  23. Alice E says:

    Hi Mel, similar to my recipe and yes there is something special about plain white homemade bread. A suggestion or two for bags if people don’t want so many. My sister lives close to a Dillon’s (Kroger) store and they still sell gallon plastic bags that are not zippered. She bought me some and they are nice, so it might be worth checking other stores also. I just sweet talked the bakery manager into selling me a couple dozen or their bread bags, which do when I checked come a thousand at a time. Depending on the store, this might also work for others who aren’t sure yet how many bags they will want. Also, I have occasionally cut loaves of bread in half before bagging them to give away or freeze. This is especially handy for folks who live alone and might not use a full loaf.

  24. Juliana says:

    I’ve been making your quinoa bread, I just made this bread and it is delicious! Thank you so much for sharing all your recipes.

  25. Kayla says:

    My husbands jaw is going to drop when he sees white bread. I only make wheat bread and he enjoys it, but I know his heart belongs to white. Also, do you know why the ingredients list does not show up in reader view?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Kayla – that’s strange. Are you on an iPad or other tablet?

      • Kayla says:

        I am on an iPhone. I use it frequently while making your recipes and this is the first one I have noticed. It has everything before and after the ingredients, but the list of ingredients and amounts is missing.

        • Mel says:

          That is really strange, Kayla. I just checked on my iPhone and my husband’s and I can see the ingredients. Try clearing the browser cache/history on your phone; hopefully that will do the trick!

  26. Laura says:

    Yum! My recipe is very similar. I don’t make it too often as is, but I sometimes make it, roll out each loaf, cover with cinnamon sugar, and then roll it into a loaf, let rise and bake. It makes great cinnamon bread, and feels a little healthier than cinnamon rolls (like it can actually be breakfast), but still a treat!

  27. susanne says:

    You work so hard for all of us! Thank you! I too make whole wheat bread but I love a good white bread too. This bread looks delicious. I wish my loaves looked as good as yours. You are the best.

  28. Kristi says:

    This bread looks amazing!

    Thank you so much for the menu plan and grocery list you sent in the email newsletter! Grocery shopping was a cinch, and I know what to say when my kids ask, “What’s for dinner?” You’re the best!!!

  29. Macie says:

    How do you make such perfect slices of bread-I am a true fan of your blog-you & the blog are awesome-I can’t figure out how to make the slices evenly & look like yours.
    Thanks for all the time you put into posting the recipes. I read your food blog regularly & refer to it often.

  30. Janalee Bernardo says:

    Mel, I love your blog. I am reading your recipe for white bread. How much should each loaf weigh if using the size of bread pan you use?
    Thank you,
    Janalee Bernardo

  31. Carol says:

    Bread is my favorite thing to bake (cookies run a close second). I too try and make bread with whole wheat or multi grains …however there are times when NOTHING but a delicious loaf of white bread will do. I’ll definitely be trying your Mom’s recipe-thanks so much for sharing it. And I’m still working on making your Whole Wheat Quinoa Bread too. Good grief-there are SOOO many delicious bread recipes I want to try…I have to use restraint. We’re empty nesters, my freezer will only hold so many 4 slice packets of different breads and if I DID make all the recipes I’m dying to try and ate them? I think my scale would explode. SO not fair. 😉

  32. Paige says:

    A good homemade sandwich bread recipe is hard to come by! We’ll definitely be trying this out soon!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  33. Kristi says:

    This looks very similar to the bread recipe my dad made all the time when I was growing up. He would make it by hand (great for taking out frustration!!) in big batches, 8 loaves at a time. As I got older, he made more and more wheat bread, but white bread is always special, and a reminder of childhood. I was a bread snob too ;). Thank you for the recipe. This is the site I always check first when I need a no-fail recipe for pretty much anything!

    • Mel says:

      Wow, 8 loaves at a time by hand? That’s amazing! Isn’t that funny how something like a loaf of {white} sandwich bread can be so nostalgic? That’s the same for me.

  34. Donna says:

    Mel, can this be made gluten free also?

  35. RossC says:

    We don’t eat a lot of bread anymore… When we do, we want white, fluffy, no nutritional value bread such as that which was on every grocery shelf growing up and into our adult lives.. Yup… We are in our 70’s and try our best to find the kind of bread we used to crush into a little bread balls and throw at our siblings when mom had her back turned.. Every time we choose a loaf in our various markets, we love the first few slices and then, suddenly, the rest turns hard…grrrrrr… I’m not much of a baker but, I will try to make this..
    Wish it was for a single loaf as we won’t get through a loaf of any bread in a week…

    • Barb says:

      You can freeze it

    • Mel says:

      Hi Ross, your comment made me giggle as I remember doing the same thing with the old-fashioned Wonder bread my mom would sometimes buy. You can freeze these loaves and they are great once thawed out of the freezer.

      • RossC says:

        Thank you Mel and Barb about freezing.. We do freeze bread but, we have an apartment sized fridge and it gets crammed…1st world problems.. ;o)
        Wonder bread rocked but, it has changed along with lots of things.. :O)

  36. Ellen says:

    Looks great! And those bags look good, too! I’ve just been (re)using produce bags and they don’t fit as well.

  37. Abby says:

    This looks similar to my mom’s recipe, which is also delicious, but it gets a bit crumbly so it’s not the best sandwich bread. Does this crumble much?
    Also, I’m wanting some new kitchen scissors, and i think you’ve posted before your favorite kitchen tools – is that right? Could you give me a recommendation for kitchen scissors? And I’m actually wondering if my current ones were sharpened, they’d be just fine. Maybe I should invest in a sharpener instead?
    Thank you for all your hard work and passion for cooking and sharing with the world! I’ve turned to your website almost daily for years. Love your style – not too impractical or fancy! Just my style! Thanks so much!!

  38. Aby Traboulsi says:

    You are a great Lady chef. I am lucky and happy to follow your recepies.

  39. Lise says:

    Could I mix this dough under the “dough” setting of my bread machine? Yes, I am that lazy.

    • Mel says:

      Haha, not lazy, just practical! I get it. I don’t have a bread machine, so I can’t say for sure…but as long as the quantities fit (without overflowing), it should work fine. 🙂

  40. Lachelle says:

    I was similar as a kid, white bread was a treat. I love whole wheat bread now though. However, my kids love white bread so I’ll have to try this recipe for a “treat” for them. Thanks Mel!

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