The Best White Sandwich Bread

This is the best white sandwich bread ever! It is surprisingly easy to make and is perfect for sandwiches and toast (French toast, too!)!

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 sandwich 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 sandwich 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 sandwich 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 white sandwich 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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The Best White Sandwich Bread

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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

Directions:

  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.

Notes:

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. 

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Perfect White Sandwich Bread

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