White bread fresh from the oven with a thick smear of butter is maybe the most delicious treat ever. Nothing beats homemade sandwich bread!
This homemade white bread recipe is simple to made with just flour, yeast, milk, butter, sugar, and salt will make you never want to buy another loaf! Try it with our chicken salad for the perfect sandwich!
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White Bread Ingredients
- Active dry yeast – Make sure the package says “active dry yeast” and not fresh yeast, instant yeast or rapid dry yeast.
- Sugar – White granulated sugar.
- Salt – Regular granulated salt.
- Milk – Warmed.
- Water – Warmed.
- Flour – All purpose. Bread flour can be substituted in a pinch, but it will yield a denser result. Do not use self-rising flour.
- Butter – Melted. We like salted, but unsalted is fine too.
How do you make white bread at home? (step-by-step)
⭐ First, mix sugar and warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over and allow it proof. Stir in the warm milk and salt.
⭐ Next, using the dough hook attachment to knead the dough, turn the mixer on low and slowly add in flour until a soft dough ball forms. It should be slightly tacky, but not sticky and come away from the sides of the bowl easily.
⭐ Then, turn dough out into an oiled mixing bowl, turning the ball of dough until it has been completely coated with oil. Cover loosely, set in a warm spot and allow to rise until the dough has doubled in size.
⭐ Next, turn dough out onto a floured surface and punch down. Divide in two. Working with one ball at a time, roll or pat down into a rectangle. Roll the dough up tightly, tuck the ends under and place into a greased loaf pan. Cover loosely, set in a warm spot and allow it to rise until the dough has doubled in size again.
⭐ Finally, brush the tops of the loaves with melted butter. Bake until it has a golden brown crust and sounds hollow when you tap on it.
Choosing the right bread pan
The perfect pan for homemade white sandwich bread is a 9×5″ metal loaf pan. You can use another size or a pan made with paper or glass if it’s all you have on hand, but for the best results you’ll want to use the 9×5″ metal pans.
Form the perfect loaf of bread
To form the perfect white bread loaf, roll or press it into a rectangle, then roll (from the narrow end). Tuck the ends of the dough under, and place it gently into your loaf pan.
How to avoid sunken bread
Avoid a sunken loaf of bread in two ways, first: prepare the recipe carefully. I know this seems obvious, but the most common reason bread sinks is forgetting an ingredient or mis-measuring.
Second, make sure your loaf is fully cooked. White bread is finished when it hits approximately 200F. Most breads are done between 190 – 200F, but we lean toward 200F on this one (which is normal when baking a bread that calls for milk).
You can take the internal temperature of your bread with a meat thermometer.
Leftovers and storage
How long does white bread last?
The bread will stay good at room temperature for 3 – 4 days, up to a week in the refrigerator, or several months in the freezer.
How to store homemade white bread
Store at room temperature in a cool dry place. I like to save our plastic bread bags from the supermarket and use them to store our homemade bread. You can also use gallon bags or paper pastry bags.
Can you freeze sandwich bread?
Yes. Allow the bread to cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and then again in foil, or in an airtight freezer bag. We prefer not to slice before freezing as it can become freezer burned faster if sliced.
Frozen bread will stay good for up to 3 months in an upright freezer or 6+ months in a deep freeze. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator and then transfer to room temp when thawed.
Tips and tricks
Freeze your unbaked dough
Freeze your dough after it’s been shaped into a loaf, and before the second rise. Freeze it in a lined loaf pan and then pull it out of the pan once fully frozen. Wrap it tightly and return to the freezer.
This is a great way to have fresh bread several times while doing the work only once!
To bake it, thaw overnight in the refrigerator (wrapped), then when thawed return it to a loaf pan and allow for the second rise. Bake according to the recipe.
Knead the bread
Don’t skip the kneading! We like to use a dough hook, but you could do this by hand or on the kneading cycle in a bread machine if you prefer. It will be smooth and elastic when properly kneaded. Kneading is crucial for perfect white bread because it’s what forms the gluten and gives it that perfect bouncy, chewy texture we all know and love.
Allow the bread to cool
Don’t try to slice homemade white bread fresh from the oven or you’ll end up with a smashed, crumbly mess. I know this is a lot to ask, but you’re going to need to wait at least 10 – 20 minutes so you can get a good clean cut.
Frequently asked questions
What substitutions can be made?
We have tested this recipe with both all purpose flour and bread flour. Bread flour can be substituted, but it will produce a more dense loaf. (Perfect for making French toast!)
How do you know when your bread dough is ready to bake?
The dough is ready to be baked when it has doubled in size in the pan after it’s second rise. At this point it will be filling the pans and have risen above the edges.
How do you know when white bread is finished baking?
Sandwich bread is done baking when it reaches an internal temperature of about 200F. This will take about 30 – 35 minutes when baked at 375F. When done, it should make a hollow sound when tapping on the top.
Why should I make my own bread?
Homemade white bread fresh from the oven is possibly one of the most delicious things in existence. And if you need more reasons, it’s less expensive than store bought bread, and it’s fun to make!
Here are some fun ideas for making bread with kids!
What to eat with homemade sandwich bread (serving suggestions)
At our house, the first loaf out of the oven is dedicated to eating warm (maybe slathered with a batch of whipped butter or apple butter) and the second loaf is for sandwiches (like this perfect steak sandwich, a classic club sandwich, or a roast beef sandwich dripping in creamy chimichurri sauce).
More delicious bread recipes
- Homemade French bread recipe
- Banana bread with chocolate chips
- Quick yeast dinner rolls
- Spiced pumpkin bread
- Easy banana bread
- Classic zucchini bread recipe
- See all our homemade bread recipes
Tools we love
- Loaf pans – This set is perfect for baking two loaves of homemade white bread.
- Active dry yeast – I like to keep a large bag on hand rather than the individual packets.
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How to Make White Bread
- 2 packets active dry yeast (or 4 ½ teaspoons)
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 cup warm milk
- 6-8 cups all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- Mix sugar and warm water in the bowl of your stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over and allow it proof for about 10 minutes. Stir in the warm milk and salt.
- Using the dough hook attachment, turn the mixer on low and slowly add in flour until a soft dough ball forms. It should be slightly tacky, but not sticky and come away from the sides of the bowl easily. Do not add more than 8 cups of flour.
- Turn dough out into an oiled mixing bowl, turning the ball of dough until it has been completely coated with oil. Cover loosely, set in a warm spot and allow to rise until the dough has doubled in size, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and punch down. Divide dough into two equal parts. Working with one dough ball at a time, gently roll or pat down into a 9x12 inch rectangle. Roll the dough up tightly, tuck the ends under and place into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. Cover loosely, set in a warm spot and allow it to rise until the dough has doubled in size again, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Brush the tops of the loaves with melted butter. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. You'll know the bread is done when it has a golden brown crust and sounds hollow when you tap on it.
- Let cool at least 10 - 20 minutes before removing from loaf pans, and allow to cool completely before slicing.
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