Have-it-on-hand-at-all-times Homemade Sandwich Bread.
Guess what? You could be eating a thick slice of buttery homemade bread in about 3 hours. Even better, only about 20 minutes of that time is hands-on. This homemade white bread recipe has been a staple in my house for over 20 years because it’s quick, simple, fail-proof, and deliciously satisfying like only homemade bread can be.
Years ago, when our kids were little and the budget was tight, I decided to plant a vegetable garden. My initial interest in doing so was economic. I figured that a few packets of seeds and seedlings could provide a healthy, savvy solution to our super restricted grocery budget.
This proved to be true. That vegetable garden fed our little family well for the few years we had it. What I didn’t anticipate was the enormous satisfaction I felt from walking out into the garden on a warm summer evening and picking things for my family’s dinner that I had grown myself.
This is how I feel about homemade bread.
Baking your own bread is economical and delicious. But, it’s also enormously satisfying. It is one of the most effortless ways I know to feel like a domestic goddess.
Is there anything as basic and extravagant as homemade bread?
I make at least one batch of homemade bread every single week, which means that homemade bread is completely commonplace around my house. And yet, like magic, it never looses its novelty. We comment on how good it smells while it’s baking. We hover around warm loaves, wondering if they are cool enough to slice.
Homemade bread is always welcome, always delicious, and always a treat. Comfort food at it’s finest.
I can cook dinner guests a gourmet feast of complicated, expensive dishes and you know what they can’t get enough of? The homemade bread.
All of us love and appreciate homemade bread. But, few of us actually bake it. Perhaps this is partly because many don’t realize how easy it is. The majority of the bread making process is hands-off. Mix the dough and let it sit. Shape the loaves and let them rise. Put the loaves in the oven and let them bake.
If you’re making bread by hand, the most involved part of the process is the kneading, which will only take you 10 minutes or so. (Kneading dough is also a great way to get out any pent up frustrations. I recently received a sweatshirt that says, “I bake because punching people is frowned upon.” There are days when a truer statement has not been uttered.)
If you have a standing mixer, even kneading the dough for this white bread recipe is hands-off.
I made homemade bread before I owned a standing mixer. But, I started making it weekly after receiving one. It just makes the process so incredibly easy. Dump the ingredients in the bowl and let the mixer do all the work of kneading them into bread dough.
You can even force the dough to rise in accordance with your schedule. For this homemade white bread recipe, there are two blocks of time during which the dough is left alone to rise. If you allow the dough to rise at room temperature, each rise will take between45 minutes and an hour and a half.
However, if you place the dough in the refrigerator to rise, you can slow the whole process down. Use this as needed to make bread baking fit your schedule. Mix up a batch of dough and let it rise in the refrigerator all day if you wish.
Another way to make bread baking suit your schedule is to punch it down after the first rise and let it rise again before shaping it into loaves and baking it. This will, in fact, make your homemade white bread loaves even more delicious because it’s during the rise time (also called “proofing”) that the bread’s flavor is developed.
One reason why you might not want to bake homemade bread…
I recently read an article about a woman in Rhode Island who is literally the town baker. It’s the kind of town where such a thing can still exist. Every week she bakes wholesome, hand crafted gorgeous loaves of bread, which she then delivers around town, stocking local shelves with the kind of happiness that only comes from a fresh loaf of homemade bread.
If you live in that Rhode Island town, buy that woman’s bread. Otherwise, it’s time to start baking.
Used to make this homemade white bread recipe:
More favorite homemade bread recipes:
- Simple Homemade Whole Wheat Bread
- Buttery Homemade Dinner Rolls
- Homemade Flour Tortillas
- Simple Homemade Pizza Dough
- Soft, Buttery Potato Rolls
For more delicious bread recipes, follow me on Pinterest.
If you give this recipe a try, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or take a picture and tag it #ofbatteranddough on Instagram.
This simple, fail-proof homemade white bread recipe turns sandwich suppers, a humble bowl of soup, or a simple piece of toast into a whole new treat.
- 2 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk (warmed slightly, to between 80–100 degrees Fahrenheit)
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp (1/2 stick or 2 oz.) butter, melted and cooled to at room temperature
- 6 cups (approximately) unbleached all-purpose flour (or bread flour)
- 1 tbsp salt
- Add the milk, yeast and sugar to the bowl of a standing mixer and whisk with a fork to blend. Let the mixture rest for about 5 minutes, until the yeast is activated and looks creamy. Whisk in the melted butter.
- Fit the mixer with the dough hook and add 4 cups of flour to the milk and yeast mixture. Turn the mixer to low (speed level 2 on a KitchenAid mixer) and beat to start to bring the dough together. As the dough beats, slowly add enough remaining flour to bring the dough together into a soft, smooth dough. The dough should clean the sides of the bowl, but still stick slightly to the bottom. (*See note.)
- With the mixer continuing to knead the dough, slowly sprinkle in the salt. Once the salt is incorporated, let the mixer continue to knead the dough for another 5 minutes, until the dough is elastic, smooth and soft.
- Spray a bowl large enough to hold double the amount of dough with non-stick spray, or coat it with a bit of melted butter. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl, shape it into a ball, and plop it down into the greased bowl. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with non-stick spray, or brush it with a bit of melted butter, and use it to cover the bowl.
- Let the dough rest at room temperature until it has doubled in size. Depending on the temperature of the room, this will take between 45 min, and 1 1/2 hours.
- Spray two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pans with non-stick spray, or coat with a bit of melted butter. Dump the dough out onto a clean work surface and divide into two pieces. Lift one piece of dough and form it into a ball by using your thumbs to gently stretching the outside of the dough into a ball, pinching the dough together at the bottom. Bring the opposite sides together and pinch together at the bottom. Lay the ball of dough on your work surface, and roll it back and forth a few times to create an oblong ball. Lay the dough, seam side down, into one of the loaf pans. Repeat with the other half of dough.
- Spray two sheets of plastic wrap with non-stick spray, or brush them with a bit of melted butter and loosely cover each loaf.
- Allow the loaves to rise at room temperature until they double in size again, rising over the tops of the pans, 45 minutes – 1 1/2 hours.
- While the loaves rise, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. When the loaves are fully risen, bake for 35-45 minutes, until they are golden brown and an instant read thermometer plunged into the center of one of the loaves registers between 190 – 200 degrees.
- Remove from the oven and use a dish towel to grip the top of each loaf to lift it from the pan onto a wire rack. Allow to cool completely.
- Once cool, the loaves can be wrapped in plastic and stored for 2-3 days at room temperature. For longer storage, wrap the bread airtight and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature, still wrapped.
- If you add too much flour and your dough is dry and tough, just add in more milk, teaspoon by teaspoon until the dough is wet enough to stick ever so slightly to the bottom of the bowl.
- One reader left a comment about making this dough in her bread machine. For anyone else who wants to try it, here’s what she said: “I actually dumped all ingredients in my bread machine. Had it mix and kneaded it. Then once it formed a smooth ball I pulled out and gave it one last knead by hand and placed in oil bowl to proof. After it doubled I did the stretch and pull to the center routine a few times, then rolled to a rectangle then rolled up to size to fit in my bread pan. Let it proof and it baked up perfectly.”
- Category: Bread baking
Keywords: bread, homemade bread, sandwich bread, homemade sandwich bread, simple homemade bread quick homemade bread, bread recipe
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