A perfect fluffy homemade white sandwich bread for toast, sandwiches, and PB & J! This white sandwich bread recipe is so quick & easy to make, and doesn’t require a machine. My picky eaters love it!
Ever since my husband created his infamous 90 Minute Man Bread, so many readers have emailed saying that Man Bread is the only bread they make, and they use it for nearly all their bread purposes, including sandwich bread. But it’s a little denser than your typical sandwich bread.
So I took Mr. Crumbs’ original idea, modified it slightly and created a homemade white sandwich bread recipe that is everything white bread should be:
- A soft, lightly brown crust (that is worth of eating and not cutting off)
- Durable enough to hold hearty sandwich fillings
- Soft enough for a PBJ to slightly stick to the roof of your mouth
Friends, this is when we ban together and rejoice. YES, we can feed our family healthy food and NO, it doesn’t have to taste like cardboard!
- all purpose flour
- coconut oil
Notes on Ingredients
Yeast. I like to use this brand of active dry yeast. As long as the milk, yeast, and honey create bubbles, that means your yeast is active, and you’re all set to make your bread. If you get no bubbles, start over. You may have to use a new packet if your yeast is no longer viable.
All Purpose Flour. I prefer to buy high quality flours, like this one, that are organic and processed as little as possible. Of course, it’s perfectly okay to use any all-purpose flour that you have on hand for this homemade bread recipe.
Step By Step Instructions
Step 1. Whisk together milk, honey and yeast in a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow the yeast to proof until the surface is covered with bubbles. If you don’t see bubbles, your yeast has gone bad.
Step 2. Add 1 cup of flour and either mix by hand or on low until the flour is mostly combined.
Step 3. Next, add coconut oil, salt and 3 1/2 cups of flour and knead by hand or on medium-low until the dough is soft and smooth. Add additional flour if necessary. I consider the dough done when the bowl is mostly clean and it is tacky to the touch (not sticky).
Step 4. Cover with a towel and place in warm spot to rise for about an hour.* Meanwhile, butter and flour a loaf pan.
Step 5. When the dough is about double in size, lightly flour the counter or a baking mat. Turn dough out onto the mat and knead for a few minutes to get rid of the excess air bubbles (see my method in the post).
Step 6. Shape the dough (again, see the post for my method) and place it seam down in the loaf pan.**
Step 7. Cover the dough with a towel and let it rise for about an hour.*
Step 8. Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the bread for 20-23 minutes, until it is golden brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Let it cool on a cooling rack before cutting, about 20 minutes.
White Sandwich Bread Tips & Tricks
Anytime I talk about food, my inner self is actually teaching about food (which kind of explains why I created a course teaching you how to eat real food on a budget!). So I don’t want you to jump into this recipe without a few bits of advice:
Working with yeast is not hard.
This recipe includes proofing the yeast, which is basically making sure your yeast is active. If you mix yeast and water (milk in the case of this recipe) and honey and get bubbles, keep going. If you don’t, get new yeast. (Read more in my Beginner’s Guide to Using Yeast.)
Kneading bread is not hard either.
The purpose of kneading bread is to work the strands of gluten. Gluten is what makes bread light and fluffy and sponge-y. This recipe calls for kneading twice. Your mixer can do the first, but you’ll do the second.
There is an art to kneading, but if you focus on folding in thirds and pushing the air bubbles out, you’ll be fine.
Shaping bread is probably the hardest part.
I’m not an expert at shaping, and I’m not pleased with the shape of my loaf in these pictures, BUT know this: even ugly bread tastes good.
My method for shaping bread is, once I’ve kneaded it well enough (usually 3 times of the folding in thirds method above), I roll the bread as tightly as I can. This probably isn’t the professional way, but I’m not a professional so it works for me!
This quick and easy homemade white bread recipe is the best, of course! It’s perfect because it’s healthy and so fun to make at home! It has all of the classic ‘fluffiness’ that you’re looking for in a white sandwich bread – minus the additives, preservatives and corn syrup of store-bought processed breads.
Yes! We love this homemade white sandwich bread recipe for PB and J or with our homemade lunch meat! It’s also perfect as toast with butter for breakfast!
Yes! This homemade white bread recipe calls for all-purpose flour, which makes for a nice and simple recipe to make at home using the all-purpose flour that you have on hand.
Some of my other favorite bread recipes that the family loves (and that are easy):
And a few baking-hack posts to help you in your bread endeavors:
- How to Make Bread Machine Recipes By Hand
- Ultimate Guide to Freezing Bread
- Ultimate Guide to Troubleshooting Bread
- How to Cook Bread in the Slow Cooker
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Watch How to Make the Best White Sandwich Bread
The Best White Sandwich Bread Recipe
This homemade white sandwich bread recipe is so quick & easy to make without a bread machine. Creates a perfect fluffy texture for your favorite sandwiches or toast & butter.
- Prep Time: 2 hours
- Cook Time: 23 mins
- Total Time: 2 hours 23 mins
- Yield: 1 loaf 1x
- Category: Breads
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: American
- 1 1/2 cups milk, warmed to 105-110F
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp yeast
- 4 – 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided, plus more for dusting
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- Vital wheat gluten – 1 Tbsp per cup flour (optional)
- Whisk together milk, honey and yeast in a large mixing bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer. Allow the yeast to proof until the surface is covered with bubbles. If you don’t see bubbles, your yeast has gone bad.
- Add 1 cup of flour and either mix by hand or on low until the flour is mostly combined.
- Next, add coconut oil, salt and 3 1/2 cups of flour and knead by hand or on medium-low until the dough is soft and smooth. Add additional flour if necessary. I consider the dough done when the bowl is mostly clean and it is tacky to the touch (not sticky).
- Cover with a towel and place in warm spot to rise for about an hour.*
- Meanwhile, butter and flour a loaf pan.
- When the dough is about double in size, lightly flour the counter or a baking mat. Turn dough out onto the mat and knead for a few minutes to get rid of the excess air bubbles (see my method in the post).
- Shape the dough (again, see the post for my method) and place it seam down in the loaf pan.**
- Cover the dough with a towel and let it rise for about an hour.*
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Bake the bread for 20-23 minutes, until it is golden brown on top and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Let it cool on a cooling rack before cutting, about 20 minutes.
* The rise time of this recipe is very flexible, but you get a softer crumb (the inside) when it rises for at least an hour. You could shorten the rise time to 30 minutes each, but the dough will be more dense.
** To make two loaves, let the dough rise for 90 minutes the first time. Divide into two loaves before kneading and shaping, and then let it rise for another hour or so.
***Vital wheat gluten is optional but helps create a more pliable, softer loaf.
- Serving Size: 1 slice
- Calories: 157
Keywords: white sandwich bread recipe
Thank you……will be doing that in about an hour! Heard from you just in time 🙂
I will be making this for the first time………can unsweetened almond milk be used in place of regular white milk? If white milk is necessary, can 2% be used in place of whole?
Yes to 2%, maybe to almond milk. I haven’t tried it personally, but I bet it would work!
I’m so glad to hear this! We love so many dairy products that we aren’t able to eat anymore, but almond milk has been such good news for us……..now it may get another star beside it 🙂 And thank your for answering so quickly! I really want this recipe to work……….yeast and I have not been such good pals…….maybe this will be the turning point! Also, I assume that the second knead by hand is really necessary, but is there a way to cheat on this? My shoulders and wrists are paying the price of having to use mouse/computers since 1989…….daily until about two yrs ago. Was hoping I might be able to use the Kitchenaid the second time around, but if it is an absolute, I won’t. Thank you………..
Wonderful! Hand-kneading really is best the second time around, but you don’t have to do it long at all… maybe 45-60 seconds? Just enough to beat the elastic out of it and then shape. 🙂
Can I make this recipe with whole wheat flour? Like the one you buy at the grocery store?
Will it change the structure or fluffiness?
I’m not sure Cristina, I haven’t tested this recipe with whole wheat flour.
I want to thank you for a Wonderful bread recipe. I used it to make hot dog buns yesterday for dinner
And they are the best ever made by me. Every one loved them.
I’m so glad you liked this Frank!! Thanks for sharing this review. 🙂
As it turns out white bread is actually the healthier option. We as a people have all been fooled by the “Whole Grain Lie”. Whole grains contain large amounts of plant proteins, called lectins, which destroy the linings in our stomachs and lead to inflammation, which is responsible for most of what ails our population, from heart disease to arthritis. For more information read The Plant Paradox by Dr. Steven Gundry.
That being said, while white flour made from wheat still contains some lectin content, it is significantly lower that that of whole wheat, and the yeast will do a nice job of breaking the lectins most of the way down. I am looking forward to trying this recipe.
I am excited to try this recipe. We love the Man Bread, but I am in need of a lighter bread for my kids’ sandwiches. Making a loaf as I type, can’t wait to slice in to it tonight!
I found this recipe to extremely dry. I had to add 1/4 cup water and was still barely able to knead it. My kitchen must be very dry. I’ll see how it turns out.
Well that’s strange!! I’ve never had bread be too dry. Perhaps next time don’t add all the flour at the same time?
Going to try that tonight. Wish me luck!
So glad I have it another shot! This time I used the recommended amount of liquid but slowly increase the flour by half cup until I had a dough of proper texture. I’m sure you seasoned bakers don’t find this impressive, but I’m a total newb so this was a big deal for me. Anyway, it came out *perfect* like, “I could package it and sell it at Starbucks” perfect. The texture! The flavor! The color! It’s gorgeous. I did add 1/2 cup whole wheat flour to it for a little added guilt reduction but I can’t taste it. Love making my own bread! This is the best New Years resolution ever 🙂
I’m so glad you gave it another shot too Julia!! Love the “guilt reduction” too. I’m working on a whole wheat bread recipe that should be guilt-free! 😉
Possible you live further above sea level then the OP does, when living in higher elevations we must add more liquids to compensate for the drier air.
I made this today and used butter instead of coconut oil but apart from that followed it exactly. It turned out exactly as the picture!
Thanks for sharing this with me Jackie!!
Just wondering if I can substitute the white flour for all purpose gluten free baking mix.
Hmmm… I’m going to go with a no Cora. For bread, you need gluten for a rise. GF by nature won’t have any gluten, so you’ll end up with a brick. My suggestion is to find a GF specific recipe and go that route instead. Sorry!
Have you ever used a Bosch? I wonder if the second kneading is required with a Bosch…..how many lbs of dough does this make?
I haven’t Robyn, I have a Kitchen Aid mixer. I use the machine for the first knead, and use my arms for the second. I’m not sure how many pounds of dough this makes because I’ve never weighed it!
I never knead my bread twice.
Helen – I’ve been experimenting with single kneads vs. double kneads and I’ve noticed a difference. If you want a tight structure for bread, that holds up well to hearty sandwiches, a double knead is necessary. If you want more holes with a softer crumbs, you can do one knead + shaping. But For this particular recipe, you need the second knead.
Thanks for this recipe!! I have been making the 90 Minute Man Bread when I make homemade bread and my family can hardly wait for it to cool. They eat it warm with butter, toasted and even for sandwiches and don’t care that it isn’t in the shape of a loaf. I am excited to try this recipe to use for sandwich bread. Thank you again!
How do you warm your milk? I have a food thermometer but I’m not sure it’s reliable. Is there a way to make sure it’s warm enough another way?
I use a food thermometer too, and you can calibrate it to fix the accuracy here: http://www.foodrepublic.com/2011/04/04/how-to-calibrate-your-food-thermometer/
With water, my “hot” from the tap is perfect for proofing yeast. For other liquids though, it’s best to use a thermometer.
It is delicious!!! I used instant yeast because I didn’t have active dry, and I had to add several tablespoons of flour to get the dough tacky and not sticky like you described. But holy moly! New favorite bread recipe. Will add this to the rotation.
Wonderful news Esther! Thank you so much for coming back to update me!!
Ok… I know this is probably a silly question but in the notes you mention making two loaves by allowing the bread to rise for 90 minutes. I would still need to double the ingredients to get two loaves, right?
Avi – I just tested this yesterday!! You can use the recipe as written, use TWO 90 minute rise times and you’ll have enough dough to get two full loaves. Personally though, I noticed that the structure of the bread wasn’t as solid. It was still very delicious, but it didn’t hold up quite as well to slicing and would probably tear holes if you make a heavy sandwich. With that said, if you’re going to devour with butter, go for two loaves. If you’re truly looking for a durable white bread, stick with the recipe as-is and make one gorgeous loaf. 🙂
Avi – I cut into the bread today (so it’s completely cool) and it held up so much better than yesterday. So… you probably CAN do it as you wrote and it would be fine. The only difference I’m seeing today, is that the bread isn’t *quite* as sturdy as the single loaf version. It would be great PBJ’s or ham & cheese, but not sturdy enough for a chicken club. 🙂
Stacy told me waiting overnigt before slicing makes it slice much easier and hold together a bit better.
Perfect! Thank you so much for the reply!
Love your blog and recipes so much!! What kind of yeast should I use?
Thanks Frances! I always use active dry yeast.
What kind of yeast? I have instant and active dry, not sure which this recipe calls for! I love your site and all your recipes. (:
Thanks so much Emily! I always use active dry yeast.
Have you tried substituting butter for the coconut oil?
I haven’t in this recipe Kristin, but I have in a similar recipe and it comes out just as good. 🙂
This sounds delicious! Am curious if you can substitute water for the milk? Does the milk just make the bread softer in texture or does it add something else? I live a bit out of town and wonder if I can still make this when I’ve run out of milk and can’t make it to the store. Thanks!
You can Letty, if you’re in a pinch. The milk helps to give it that texture that we’ve grown to know and love about white bread. But making it with water still makes a great loaf. 🙂 So glad you liked it!!
I always keep low fat milk powder on hand in my freezer for emergencies and for baking. Be sure to let the milk powder come to room temperature before adding it to your recipe(s)!
Depending on how much milk is called for in the recipe, you could simply set that amount of plain water aside for the recipe, then refer to the milk powder box (I tape a copy of the box instructions to an easy open airtight freezer container) to see how much milk powder the box recommends adding to that amount of water to make milk or if it is not specified, I calculate it from what the box does say. You would then either add the milk powder to the water, mixing it in well before adding the milk to the recipe, just as you would have added the regular milk. The other option is to add the plain water to the recipe, then mix the milk powder in with the flour, then simply add the flour and the milk powder to the recipe at the same time. I have been making bread this way for more than 55 years since my grandmother and great grandmother taught me. For them it started as a necessity as it was often all they had access to during hard times like depressions & wars. By the time it was no longer a necessity, many women had realized the baked goods they created with the powdered milk was just as good as what they could make with fresh milk, but it was a lot cheaper to buy, so they started buying it to bake with, and just purchasing fresh milk for their families to drink. The tip was quietly passed on from mother to daughter, generation after generation, sometimes getting lost along the way. But still, using powdered low-fat milk for baking has long been known by many woman and even more bakers as an easy way to save money, and produce top quality baked goods without compromising taste or texture or anything else of value, but those in the know seldom passed on their secret outside of family. I hope you will give it a try, I promise no one will ever know the difference unless you tell them!! So, keep your secret to yourself, and your family and friends will be very happy, and health, as will your budget!
Can you make this in a bread machine?
I believe so Fanny – you’d have to follow the directions in your bread machine.
Tiffany, this looks great. I’m wondering if you have made it with bread flour instead of all-purpose? I might have to try both and compare.
Hi Carla! I’ve made it both with all-purpose and bread flour and neither one made an impact in the end. I’d say use whatever you have!
Made this Bread today, followed your recipe, instead of bread pans, baked it on a pizza stone, it took about 55 minutes. It is delicious, this recipe is a keeper. Thanks for shirring!
I totally agree with this post. We eat lots of whole grain foods (whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole wheat flour in muffins, etc.) but my family never could get behind whole wheat bread either. I’ve been making my own white bread lately too. The last couple times I’ve made it my usual recipe hasn’t come out very good. I know my yeast is fresh because everything else is coming out fine so I think I’ll try your recipe. It looks delicious.
We use the Bread Beckers Basic Dough Recipe and 100% hard white wheat we grind ourselves. Best bread ever! I think it’s the dough conditioners of lecithin and vital wheat gluten that do it. As soft as good ‘ol white bread and my kids love it. I won’t go back to any other recipe! It works for pizza dough, cinnamon rolls, buns, anything.
I’ve heard that’s a great base recipe Helen. I use VWG for some things, but don’t have lecithin on hand. Do you buy this at the grocery store?
Vitacost! But Bob’s Red Mill makes it too so any grocery store with a good selection of Bob’s should have it.