Homemade White Sandwich Bread: THIS is the recipe you need for easy and perfect white bread for every sandwich from peanut butter and jelly to chicken salad to your favorite grilled cheese. Make it in the morning for sandwiches with fresh bread at lunch!

classic sandwich bread

Is there nothing more satisfying than a warm loaf of freshly baked homemade bread? 

Not in my book and apparently, not according to so many of you who entered the KitchenAid Mixer giveaway last week and told us that the first thing you would do with said mixer is make homemade bread.  Well folks, congrats to Steph who said:

Steph is the winner of the KitchenAid mixer and even though her plans are to make chocolate chip cookies (her coworkers are really excited about her win, by the way), I’m pretty sure she’s going to want to make this bread also. 

Heck, you’re going to want to make this bread because it is quite possibly the most fantastically amazing homemade white bread ever created.

classic sandwich bread

Overly effusive? Yes. Lying? NO. 

Seriously, it’s difficult for me to accurately describe the perfectly soft crumb this sandwich bread has without snacking on a piece of it with some softened butter and tangy rhubarb strawberry jam as I sit and write this post. Actually, it’s not so difficult for me to do this. 

It IS difficult for me to tell you how four adults nearly devoured an entire loaf in one day. And it’s difficult for me to tell you that I will be making my third loaf this weekend in as many weeks. 

In comparing this bread to what you can buy in the grocery store, I’m going to stop you right there. You CAN’T compare the two!

This bread is the classic American sandwich bread that our grandmothers would have made. Your grandmothers, maybe. Not mine. Mine was a horrible baker. Ha!

But seriously, if you’ve never done it, I’m here to tell you that making loaf of homemade bread is more simple than you can imagine. The recipe is just 6 ingredients (plus water). SIX!

Flour, yeast, butter, milk, honey, and salt. Yup, that’s it! The right combination of these simple ingredients yields what amounts to be the most outstanding white bread you’ll ever eat.

Don’t believe me? Just read the reviews below the recipe!

I beg you, please go and make this bread so you can start telling me how awesome it is. 

What kind of sandwich to make with homemade white bread

This bread is the epitome of what homemade sandwich bread should be. It’s bread that can make you squeal with delight over eating something as simple as a turkey sandwich. Or something so divine as a pulled pork grilled cheese.

And in my very humble and nostalgic opinion, you just can’t beat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread. With an ice cold glass of chocolate milk.

But if you’re looking for more ideas, I’m here to help!

Needless to say, we love this classic white bread dearly. You will too.

Homemade White Bread

Homemade White Bread

Yield: 1 loaf
Active Prep Time: 25 minutes
Inactive Rise and Proof Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Homemade white bread is the ace up the sleeve of every home baker. You can whip this bread out on a Saturday morning and have the freshest sandwich bread ready for lunch that day. This bread is perfect for any kind of sandwich from the humble peanut butter and jelly to apple pecan chicken salad to your favorite grilled cheese. It's utterly perfect and reviewers are raving about it!

Ingredients

  • 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface
  • 2 tsp table salt
  • 1 cup milk, warm (about 110° F)
  • ⅓ cup water, warm (about 110° F)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 package or 2 ¼ tsp instant yeast

Instructions

  1. Adjust oven rack to low position and heat oven to 200° F. Once oven temperature reaches 200° F, maintain heat 10 minutes, then turn off oven heat. I use the proof setting on my oven which maintains the heat at 85° F so if your kitchen is warm enough, there is no need to use the oven for proofing – just keep the bowl in a draft-free area of the kitchen.
  2. Mix 3 ½ cups of the flour and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix milk, water, butter, honey, and yeast in 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Turn mixer to low and slowly add liquid. When dough comes together, remove the paddle attachment and switch to the dough hook – the dough will be very sticky at this point. Increase speed to medium (setting number 4 on a KitchenAid mixer) and mix until dough is smooth and satiny, stopping machine two or three times to scrape dough from hook if necessary, about 10 minutes. If, after 5 minutes the dough still sticks to the side of the bowl, add another ¼ cup of flour to the dough, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl. Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface; knead to form a smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds.
  3. Place dough in very lightly oiled bowl, rubbing dough around bowl to lightly coat. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap; place in warm oven until dough doubles in size, 40 to 50 minutes.
  4. Form dough into loaf by gently pressing the dough into a rectangle, 1-inch thick and no wider than 9 inches long, with the long side closest to you. Next, starting with the long side, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pinching the seam with your fingers to make sure the dough sticks to itself. Turn dough seam side up and pinch it closed. Place dough in greased 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan (a 1 lb loaf pan) and press gently so dough touches all four sides of pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap; set aside in warm spot (not in the oven) until dough almost doubles in size, 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350° F and adjust the racks to the center and bottom positions. Place an empty baking pan on the bottom rack. Bring 2 cups water to boil.
  6. Remove plastic wrap from loaf pan. Place pan in oven and immediately pour heated water into empty baking pan; close oven door. Bake until instant-read thermometer inserted at angle from short end just above pan rim into center of loaf reads 195° F, about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove bread from pan, transfer to a wire rack, and cool to room temperature. Slice and serve.

Notes

adapted from Baking Illustrated, by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated

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Homemade White Bread

  • Prep Time: 20min (active) + 1-1hr 30min (inactive)
  • Cook Time: 40-50min
  • Yield: 1 loaf

Ingredients

3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for work surface ½
2 tsp table salt
1 cup milk, warm (about 110° F)
1/3 cup water, warm (about 110° F)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp honey
1 package or 2 ¼ tsp instant yeast

Instructions

  • 01

    Adjust oven rack to low position and heat oven to 200° F. Once oven temperature reaches 200° F, maintain heat 10 minutes, then turn off oven heat.  I use the proof setting on my oven which maintains the heat at 85° F so if your kitchen is warm enough, there is no need to use the oven for proofing – just keep the bowl in a draft-free area of the kitchen.

  • 02

    Mix 3 ½ cups of the flour and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix milk, water, butter, honey, and yeast in 4-cup liquid measuring cup. Turn mixer to low and slowly add liquid. When dough comes together, remove the paddle attachment and switch to the dough hook – the dough will be very sticky at this point.  Increase speed to medium (setting number 4 on a KitchenAid mixer) and mix until dough is smooth and satiny, stopping machine two or three times to scrape dough from hook if necessary, about 10 minutes.  If, after 5 minutes the dough still sticks to the side of the bowl, add another ¼ cup of flour to the dough, 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough clears the sides of the bowl.  Turn dough onto lightly floured work surface; knead to form a  smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds.

  • 03

    Place dough in very lightly oiled bowl, rubbing dough around bowl to lightly coat. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap; place in warm oven until dough doubles in size, 40 to 50 minutes.

  • 04

    Form dough into loaf by gently pressing the dough into a rectangle, 1-inch thick and no wider than 9 inches long, with the long side closest to you.  Next, starting with the long side, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pinching the seam with your fingers to make sure the dough sticks to itself. Turn dough seam side up and pinch it closed. Place dough in greased 9×5×3-inch loaf pan and press gently so dough touches all four sides of pan.  Cover the pan with plastic wrap; set aside in warm spot (not in the oven) until dough almost doubles in size, 20 to 30 minutes.

  • 05

    Meanwhile, heat oven to 350° F and adjust the racks to the center and bottom positions.  Place an empty baking pan on the bottom rack.  Bring 2 cups water to boil.

  • 06

    Remove plastic wrap from loaf pan. Place pan in oven and immediately pour heated water into empty baking pan; close oven door. Bake until instant-read thermometer inserted at angle from short end just above pan rim into center of loaf reads 195° F, about 40 to 50 minutes. Remove bread from pan, transfer to a wire rack, and cool to room temperature. Slice and serve.

adapted from Baking Illustrated, by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated Magazine

we love to see what you make!

tag what you make with #smellslikehomeblog on Instagram and follow along with me in my New England kitchen!

@smellslikehomeblog
  • April 24, 2012 at 6:10 AM

    What a classic, yummy, idea! I can’t wait to make my own!

  • April 24, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    Beautiful looking loaf of bread! There is nothing better than a slice of a freshly baked bread.

  • April 24, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    LOVE a good bread recipe! This looks lovely.

  • April 24, 2012 at 9:10 PM

    This is my favorite sandwich bread too. And not only is it a great bread, but it’s perfect as a base for all sorts of fun mix-ins to create different flavor combos. I am totally itching to go make a loaf right now!!

  • April 26, 2012 at 1:27 PM

    if i wasn’t pregnant up to my nose, i could eat this whole loaf in a day. it is delicious. thanks for the recipe!

  • April 28, 2012 at 1:09 PM

    I love making my own sandwich bread, but it’s hard to find one that stays soft and fresh. I’ll have to try this one. Love Cook’s Illustrated, so it must be good. Thanks!

  • April 30, 2012 at 3:14 PM

    This bread looks so beautiful! I can almost smell it freshly baked coming out of the oven!:) I’ve never made sandwich bread at home and this looks like the perfect recipe to try!

  • chelsea
    April 30, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    this looks really yummy too bad i dont have a kitchenaid

  • Schmidty
    May 12, 2012 at 12:35 AM

    Wow …
    I’ve been on pinterest a while but have not seen anything happen like this before. I pinned this beautiful bread to my food board over an hour ago and the emails keep coming in. I’ve gotten 70 or so pins in the last hour. 🙂 🙂

    Isn’t that wonderful? I plan on making it tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe!

    http://pinterest.com/pin/225461525065520955/

  • May 13, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    This looks amazing! Can’t wait to make this bread, I’ve been looking for a recipe like this!

  • Jody
    September 11, 2012 at 11:12 PM

    I just made this bread. It is amazing! I’ve been trying to find the perfect white sandwich bread, and this is it! If your reading the comments to decide if you want to make it the answer is YES! Go make it, Now. Also the recipe is very well written and so easy to follow!

  • September 17, 2012 at 6:01 PM

    Just made this bread today-INCREDIBLE!! and beautiful-I have made many loaves of bread in my life and this tops them all!! Well written and accurate recipe- everyone should make a loaf!

  • November 7, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    I love the way this bread looks – PERFECT! I especially love that you didn’t need to use starter, so I’m going to definitely try this one!

  • Tara
    November 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    This bread looks amazing I can’t wait to try it! One question though. On step 3 “Place dough in very lightly oiled bowl, rubbing dough around bowl to lightly coat. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap; place in warm oven until dough doubles in size, 40 to 50 minutes.”
    will the plastic wrap not melt in the warm oven? That would be my only concern.

    • November 15, 2012 at 9:32 AM

      Turn your oven on to the warm setting (around 170 degrees F), let it warm up for about 2 minutes then shut it off. Put the covered bowl in the oven and you’re all set. My kitchen is always on the chillier side and dough doesn’t rise properly at room temperature. If your oven has a proof setting, you can use that too. Let me know how it turns out!

  • Molissa Allen
    January 1, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    You know we as a society of consumers, we used to make our own sandwich bread, but over the last few generations have lost our ability due to conveniently premade sandwich bread. I am so avid about making my own bread. I don’t even go to the bakery very often either. I only do so to support my local businesses.

  • JESS
    January 19, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    i am going to make this for sure mynext day off of work. i hope it works out. my huband eats at least 2 sandwiches a day and have been wanting to tart making bread for him instead of buying 2-3 loaves of bread a week. lol. i will tell you what i think 🙂

  • Athena
    January 22, 2013 at 1:49 PM

    Can this recipe be made using bread flour instead of AP flour? If so, do I use the same amount or something different?

    • January 26, 2013 at 2:17 PM

      I’m not really sure but it’s worth a try! Let me know how it turns out! 🙂

  • Rachel
    February 15, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    What kind of milk do you suggest using??

    • February 15, 2013 at 9:16 AM

      Any kind of milk is fine. I’m sure I used skim because that’s the only kind we ever have in the house (unless we’re making ice cream, of course).

      • February 16, 2013 at 5:11 PM

        Thank you!

        This recipe was amazing..I was suspicious it would never turn out as good as it looks in your pictures but I got pretty close.

        Here’s a photo to prove it http://instagram.com/p/VzhwsUjHkh/

        🙂

        • February 16, 2013 at 5:59 PM

          Great job, Rachel!! This is by far our favorite white bread recipe and I’m glad it turned out so well for you! Thanks for taking the time to come back and let me know. 🙂

  • Stephanie
    March 31, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    I just made this bread and my 1 year old daughter loves it so does my fiancee. I just have to figure out why mine was a bit flatter then yours was. I’m thinking my oven is a bit hotter because it took only about 35 minutes to cook. So next time I’ll try about 325 instead of 350. Thanks for a great recipe.

  • Kristine
    June 13, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Can this be made with a bread maker?

  • lisa b.
    September 6, 2013 at 1:10 PM

    can you make this without a dough hook or a kitchen aid?

  • Dana
    October 20, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    I have made this bread a couple times, we love it!

    I do not have a stand mixer, and make it by hand. It comes out great, but I do knead it a little longer (about 3 minutes). I also use a combo of all purpose flour and bread (high gluten) flour. I have never tried with only all purpose, but the combo I use tastes great.

    Thanks!

    • taraliptak
      October 22, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      Thanks for the suggestion about the time for kneading by hand – that is always helpful for others who don’t use a stand mixer. So glad you love this bread – my mom is still talking about the greatness that is this bread, a year and a half after I made it for my parents. lol

  • Cheree Moore
    June 1, 2014 at 8:24 PM

    Great recipe! I just made this and it turned out perfectly. We ate our first slices, still slightly warm from the oven with a pat of real butter. My crew loved it.

    • taraliptak
      June 12, 2014 at 8:26 PM

      Oh goodness – tell me how addicting this bread is still warm from the oven! It’s SO hard not to polish the whole loaf off with just butter!

  • July 26, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    This is so so great to hear! It’s definitely the best white bread I’ve ever made and is still my go-to recipe.

  • September 4, 2014 at 6:27 PM

    For most basic bread recipes, kneading by hand is usually an option. As Dana noted, it does take a couple minutes longer to knead by hand than the stand mixer takes, but I feel like the results are more satisfying since you’re doing all the hard work! I hope you love this recipe, Chasity – please do come back and let us know how it turns out for you. 🙂

  • NBG
    September 15, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    Great recipe. So easy! The texture is fantastic. One thing I would say is that when the dough completed the first rise, it was clear that it would not fit in our 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan. We used our 10 inch pan and it came out great.

  • November 10, 2014 at 9:15 AM

    Great idea to steam up the oven – I’ll bet the crust was really wonderful!

  • November 11, 2014 at 7:57 PM

    You’re so welcome! This recipe is hands down our favorite for white bread and I’m so happy everyone else is loving it too!

  • […] was also lovingly made (with two children chattering excitedly in the background) using this recipe. Lovingly because I love homemade bread and the smell. The Smell! I could bathe in the smell of […]

  • John Hill
    March 25, 2015 at 10:14 PM

    Cut the water to 1/4 C and add a beaten egg. Helps color and texture.

  • […] bread. A couple hours to warm, fresh from the oven bread. This I can do. A friend posted a recipe with a rave review so I decided to go for it. Ready. Set. […]

  • Michelle
    February 13, 2019 at 6:54 PM

    This recipe turned out perfectally! I cooked it for 45 min in my convection oven and used almond milk instead of cow’s milk. Thanks so much, I’ve tried a lot of sliced bread recipes and we decided this one is the best.

    • Tara
      February 15, 2019 at 4:34 PM

      Hi Michelle! So wonderful to hear! This is our very favorite white bread recipe and I’m so happy that it’s such a big win for other families too! Thank you so much for coming back to leave a review!

  • […] from Smells Like Home […]

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