Simply Sandwich Bread

With step-by-step pictures, a full video tutorial, and plenty of helpful tips, learn how to make simple white sandwich bread using a few baking ingredients like flour, water, yeast, salt, and milk. Bread flour promises a super soft interior with an extra chewy crust. This recipe yields 1 loaf, so it’s perfect if you only have 1 loaf pan. If you’re new to working with yeast, reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs. 

homemade sandwich bread

This recipe is brought to you in partnership with Red Star Yeast🙂

It’s finally time I teach you how to make sandwich bread. This is a basic staple in any bread baker’s repertoire, but it’s also a recipe that shouldn’t be overlooked. There’s nothing on earth quite like homemade bread and my recipe is loaf perfection– rising tall, tasting buttery-soft, and making the most epic sandwiches. It’s truthfully the best homemade bread I’ve ever tasted and it all comes from just 7 ingredients. And if you’re nervous to bake with yeast, I guarantee you will finally feel confident with this no-fuss recipe.

This Sandwich Bread Is:

  • Soft white bread with an extra chewy exterior
  • Crisp right out of the oven!
  • Made from 7 easy ingredients
  • Golden brown with a super impressive rise
  • Extraordinary on its own or as the base of a sandwich
  • Simple to make
  • Easy to make-ahead or freeze

Looking for a no yeast alternative? Here’s my no yeast bread.

white sandwich bread cut into slices


Sandwich Bread Video Tutorial


Just 1 Loaf of Bread

Besides the simplicity of the process, you’ll appreciate that this sandwich bread recipe yields just 1 loaf. You don’t need a crazy amount of flour, multiple loaf pans, and you’re not left with 2-3 leftover loaves on your hands. (Which wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing!) Just 1 loaf to prepare, rise, shape, and bake– convenient, approachable, and straightforward.

turkey sandwich with homemade sandwich bread

How to Make Sandwich Bread

  1. Make the dough. Continue below to learn more about this dough recipe.
  2. Knead the dough for 2 minutes.
  3. Cover the dough and let it rise. The dough rises in about 1-2 hours in a relatively warm environment.
  4. Punch down the dough to release the air.
  5. Shape the dough into a large rectangle, then roll it into loaf.
  6. Let the loaf rise for about 1 hour.
  7. Bake for 30-34 minutes until golden brown.

As shown in the video tutorial, the dough comes together with a mixer. You can use a paddle attachment or a dough hook. You can also make the dough by hand, but it requires a bit of arm muscle. After the dough comes together in the mixing bowl, it’s time to knead. You can continue beating the dough with the mixer for this step or you can knead the dough by hand. You can watch me knead the dough by hand in the video.

Baking With Yeast Guide

If you’re interested, I provide further detail about kneading in my Baking with Yeast Guide. (Which, by the way, is a wonderful resource for all bread beginners!)

2 images of yeast for bread dough

flour in a measuring cup and bread dough in a bowl

Sandwich Bread Ingredients

You need 7 ingredients– practically the same as my homemade cinnamon swirl bread but less sugar. Likewise, they’re basically the same ingredients as my soft dinner rolls too, but in order to bake a bread that rises tall and has legitimate structure, we’ll leave out some of the fat. Swap some of the milk for water and leave out the egg.

  1. Water: Liquid activates yeast. I use mostly water in this dough because we need a bread that has structure. Using all milk, like I do for my dinner rolls, would yield a flimsy bread without much texture.
  2. Milk: To make a soft bread, you need fat in the dough so make sure 1/4 cup of the liquid is milk. Low fat milk works too, but whole milk produces phenomenal texture.
  3. Yeast: You can use active dry yeast or instant yeast. If using active dry, the rise times will be a bit longer. I recommend Platinum Yeast by Red Star, which is an instant yeast blended with natural dough improvers. It’s my go-to for all bread.
  4. Sugar: Sugar feeds the yeast, increases its activity, and tenderizes the dough.
  5. Butter: Butter promises a flavorful loaf. I tested this recipe with melted butter, softened butter, and even olive oil. We liked the loaf made with softened butter the best because it had pronounced buttery flavor and a softer (yet still sturdy) interior.
  6. Salt: You can’t make flavorful bread without salt!
  7. Flour: You can use all-purpose flour or bread flour. All-purpose flour is convenient for most, but bread flour produces a chewier crust. There are no other changes to the recipe if you use bread flour. For best taste, I highly recommend bread flour. It’s what I always use when I make homemade artisan bread.

After you make the dough, let it rise. Then, punch it down to release the air:

2 images of bread dough that has risen

Roll it out into an 8×15 inch rectangle:

white sandwich bread dough rolled into a rectangle

Roll it up tightly starting with the 8-inch side, so you have an 8-inch roll to fit into your 9×5 inch loaf pan. (Unlike cinnamon rolls where you roll up the dough starting with the larger side.) Let it rise until it’s 1 heaping inch above the rim of the pan:

2 images of sandwich bread dough shaped in a loaf pan

Bake until golden brown, about 30-34 minutes.

sandwich bread loaf in baking pan

Uses for Homemade Sandwich Bread

But our favorite way is simply warm toast with butter & jam. Honestly, toast made from mass-produced bread doesn’t even compare. You can actually taste the soft and buttery toasty crumbs here. Or make an easy turkey sandwich– store-bought bread can’t make a sandwich taste as PERFECT as this.

I understand there’s a major convenience with store-bought bread and I’m not asking you to only make homemade bread for the rest of you life, but try it at least once. It takes a few hours one afternoon and most of the work is hands-off while the dough rises. Fresh-baked sandwich bread smells incredible, tastes even better, and I’m confident there’s no better baked good than this perfect loaf. You won’t regret trying this.

slices of white sandwich bread

More Easy Bread Recipes

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homemade sandwich bread

Sandwich Bread

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 3 hours, 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 32 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 1 loaf
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

You only need 7 ingredients to make this simple sandwich bread. Soft and buttery with a chewy/crisp crust, this fresh loaf of bread will quickly become a staple in your kitchen. See recipe notes for freezing and overnight instructions. You can also reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs. 


Ingredients

  • 1 cup (240ml) water, warmed to about 110°F
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) whole milk, warmed to about 110°F
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (7g) Platinum Yeast by Red Star (1 standard packet)
  • 2 Tablespoons (25g) granulated sugar
  • 4 Tablespoons (1/4 cup; 60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 and 1/4 cups (410g) all-purpose flour or bread flour (spoon & leveled)*

Instructions

  1. Prepare the dough: Whisk the warm water, warm milk, yeast, and sugar together in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or paddle attachment. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the butter, salt, and 1 cup flour. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, then add another cup of flour. Beat on medium speed until relatively incorporated (there may still be chunks of butter). Add the remaining flour and beat on medium speed until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, about 2 minutes. *If you do not own a mixer, you can mix this dough with a large wooden spoon or rubber spatula. It will take a bit of arm muscle!*
  3. Knead the dough: Keep the dough in the mixer and beat for an additional 2 minutes or knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for 2 minutes. (See video tutorial above if you need a visual of kneading dough by hand.)
  4. 1st Rise: Lightly grease a large bowl with olive oil or nonstick spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides in the oil. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise in a relatively warm environment for 1-2 hours or until double in size. (I always let it rise on the counter. Takes about 2 hours. For a tiny reduction in rise time, see my answer to Where Should Dough Rise? in my Baking with Yeast Guide.)
  5. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  6. Shape the bread: When the dough is ready, punch it down to release the air. Lightly flour a work surface, your hands, and a rolling pin. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 8×15 inches. It does not have to be perfect– in fact, it will probably be rounded on the edges. That’s ok! Roll it up into an 8 inch log and place in the prepared loaf pan.
  7. 2nd Rise: Cover shaped loaf with aluminum foil, plastic wrap, or a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise until it’s about 1 inch above the top of the loaf pan, about 1 hour. (See video and photo above for a visual.)
  8. Adjust oven rack to a lower position and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). (It’s best to bake the bread towards the bottom of the oven so the top doesn’t burn.)
  9. Bake the bread: Bake for 30-34 minutes or until golden brown on top. If you gently tap on the loaf, it should sound hollow. If you notice the top browning too quickly, loosely tent the pan with aluminum foil. (I usually add aluminum foil over the loaf around the 20 minute mark.) Remove from the oven and allow bread to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving. Feel free to let it cool completely before slicing, too.
  10. Cover leftover bread tightly and store at room temperature for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Notes

  1. Freezing Instructions: Prepare recipe through step 6. Place shaped loaf in a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan or disposable loaf pan, cover tightly, and freeze for up to 3 months. On the day you serve it, let the loaf thaw and rise for about 4-5 hours at room temperature. Bake as directed. You can also freeze the baked bread loaf. Allow the bread to cool completely, then freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature, then reheat as desired.
  2. Overnight Instructions: Prepare the recipe through step 6. Cover the shaped bread tightly and refrigerate for up to about 15 hours. At least 3 hours before you need the bread the next day, remove  from the refrigerator, keep covered, and allow to rise on the counter for about 1-2 hours before baking. Alternatively, you can let the dough have its 1st rise in the refrigerator overnight. Cover the dough tightly and place in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and allow the dough to fully rise for 2 more hours. Continue with step 5.
  3. Yeast: Platinum Yeast by Red Star is an instant yeast. Any instant yeast works. You can use active dry yeast instead. Rise times will be slightly longer using active dry yeast. Reference my Baking with Yeast Guide for answers to common yeast FAQs.
  4. Flour: You can use all-purpose flour or bread flour. All-purpose flour is convenient for most, but bread flour produces a chewier loaf of bread and I highly recommend it. The bread is still soft no matter which you use. Either flour is fine and there are no other changes to the recipe if you use one or the other. I don’t recommend whole wheat flour because it doesn’t have the same baking properties as white flour or bread flour (the gluten levels are different). It’s best to stick with bread flour, but you can try half whole wheat flour and half bread flour (or all-purpose flour). The texture and taste will be different. Or you can try my whole wheat dinner rolls.
  5. Doubling this recipe: For best results, I recommend making two separate batches of dough. However, if you want to double the recipe all in 1 mixing bowl, double all of the ingredients except for the yeast and butter. Use 3 and 1/4 teaspoons yeast and 6 Tablespoons of butter.
  6. Bread Machine Questions: I don’t own a bread machine so I have not tested it, but some readers in the comments section have had success.
  7. Adapted from Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Keywords: bread, loaf, sandwich, white bread

463 Comments

  1. Sorry if this question has been asked already (9 pages of comments for such a lovely sounding recipe!)

    Do you have an amount of olive oil to substitute the butter with?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi April, you need softened butter in this dough so I don’t suggest an olive oil substitute (liquid). You can try room temperature (solid) coconut oil though!

  2. Hello Sally,
    Thank you for this wonderful and easy recipe. I m looking up recipes for all things baked in your blog all the time. So far I have loved them all. Very explanatory and I love the science behind them.
    As for this sandwich bread, my husband and I absolutely loved it. He is a big sandwich fan and although I do not eat bread for health reasons, I couldn’t keep my hands off of it! Same for the dinner rolls which were absolutely yummy!
    Two questions about this recipe:
    1. During the second rise, which was supposed to take 2 hours, I was busy with something else and when the timer went off I went to check it and it had overflowed the pan- big time! I took it out, punched some air out so I could reshape it and then put it back in and let it rise again until it reached the desired height of one inch above the pan. This time I didn’t leave the kitchen because it rose so fast!
    It baked fine and tasted fine too.
    I guess my kitchen was too warm so it rose too fast?
    2. My husband says that while he eats his sandwich, the slices of bread tend to fall apart. They are “cakey” in texture (his words) and the sandwich is a bit difficult to eat as it becomes too flimsy. Why do you think this happened? My only idea is that it must have been the third rise. I did use bread flour and I may have added a little bit more to bring it to a kneadable consistency.
    Thank you for this wonderful webpage, I will be trying many more of your recipes in the future!
    Maria

    1. Maria, the second rise is only supposed to be maximum of 1 hour (it actually only takes roughly 30 minutes when I do it).

  3. Hello!! I would love to try this recipe, I have yeast and bread flour but was wondering if I could add in some stone ground dark rye flour? I have a 1 pound bag I found on sale and would like to use it =)
    If it would work to add some into this recipe could you suggest an amount and if the liquid level would need to change? Also my altitude is ~5000 feet so I’m not sure if that makes a difference here. =)
    I love your blog and recipes and I’ve made many of them and told others about this website! Thank you for your help Sally!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Emily, We’ve never tested it with alternative grains, but you can certainly try to replace some of the all-purpose flour with your favorite. Keep in mind that you may want to slightly reduce the amount of water/milk since these grains won’t soak up as much moisture as regular flour. We have no experience baking at high altitude but I know some readers have found this chart helpful: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/high-altitude-baking.html
      Let us know how it turns out!

      1. thanks so much Stephanie! I will add in a little bit of rye flour and give it a try. =)

  4. I felt super intimidated to make bread. This was the first bread I’ve ever made. I don’t know why I felt intimidated because it was super easy to make. It taste wonderful. I love the video that goes with this recipe.

  5. 60 year old male fledgling baker here.
    I just made this recipe, and wow!! this bread is perfect for sandwiches!! I’m super impressed with this recipe!!

  6. Hey Sally – what about putting a tray of boling water in the oven – so that the steam can create a crunchy crust? tx

    1. Hi Marlon, it wouldn’t help as much in this recipe since there is fat in the dough which keeps it soft regardless.

  7. Hi Sally,
    I made this bread once and my husband said it was the best bread he ever had! Last night, I made it a second time and thought I did everything exactly the same, but this time my bread came out really crumbly (not dry, but when I try to slice it, it just breaks apart). Any idea what I could have done differently this time to cause that? Thanks so much!

  8. We only use 2% milk in our house. Can I make the substitution?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lauren, You can make it work with 2% in a pinch, yes!

  9. Delicious and easy recipe! This also made wonderful homemade hamburger buns.

    1. Chris Maraccini says:

      I like using a bread machine for the kneading and first rise parts.
      I mix everything in a bowl first so I can get a feel for moisture. I make any needed adjustments, then plop it into the bread machine. After the first rise I punch it down, shape it, and put it in a bread pan. Wonderful recipe by the way. My whole family loves it.

  10. Hi Sally,

    I have made this 3 times already and they turned out great all the time. Unlike other bread recipes I have tried, the bread becomes dry or hard by the 3rd day. But this one mantained soft and fluffy. I live in a hot tropical country, so having bread that stayed soft and fluffy for days is really heaven! Even after putting it in the fridge. And I like that the recipe makes only 1 loaf. Perfect for me and my husband. Thanks again Sally!

  11. I have come to this site for a few recipes. I don’t know what I did wrong but my dough was very dry I measured everything according to directions still a lot of flour did not mix in at all. I found it odd to roll the dough out as well then rolling it up rightly would also mean my bread would come out more like a sweet roll accept it did not have the sugary goodness in between.. . It’s frusterating because I made bread when I was younger and we did not roll it out flat then roll it up and it was good too bad I forgot the recipe.

  12. Thank you for the recipe and detailed instructions. As I was running out of all purpose flour, I substituted some of it with whole wheat bread flour and it still turned out great!

  13. I figured out 2 major things I did wrong. one it seems i had both my milk and water at wrong temps. my water is weird it goes from the right temps then suddenly a scolding hot water in seconds. my second was not spooning the flour. I opted for bread machine though because my fingers cramps . So as I only have active dry yeast. I made sure my milk and water was around 110F infact both were about 107 to 109F added that after putting in my sugar then added my yeast into my loafpan. spooned and leveled my flour and instead of using 1 1/2 tsp of salt I used 1 amd 1/4 rth and unsalted butter. I set my machine to knead 3 times for 4 minutes each. Rise 3 x at 59 minutes each. it’s currently baking but for 45 minutes. I tried lowering the baking time yesterday my loaf was not fully cooked. I think that my breadmaker bakes at lower temps. it came out perfect crunchy crust soft inside.

  14. This is the best recipe! I had given up on sandwich bread in the past because it never seemed to rise well and came out too short of a loaf. I think its the “rolling” technique that sets this recipe apart. I did sub 1/2 of the flour with Whole Wheat, and it still turned out soft, fluffy, and made awesome sandwiches…and the best toast! Thanks for another great recipe Sally!

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