This homemade white bread recipe is easy to make and so delicious! Soft, tender, with the perfect crumb, it’s the ideal loaf of sandwich bread!
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 packet instant yeast or active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
BEST WHITE BREAD RECIPE
IMPORTANT: The instructions below are for instant yeast. If using active dry yeast, refer to the detailed instructions in the “notes” section.
- Add butter to a heat-safe measuring cup. Put it aside. In a small pan on the stovetop heat milk to a simmer. Don’t scald the milk or let it boil, or too much liquid will evaporate! Pour the hot milk over the butter. Let the mixture cool to 120°- 130°F for instant yeast (or 100°- 110°F for active dry yeast).
- Add flour, instant yeast, sugar, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir to combine. If no stand mixer, use a large mixing bowl with a Danish dough whisk, or a wooden spoon and your hands. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix until a dough forms and moves away from the sides of the bowl.
- With the dough hook attachment, knead dough for 6 to 8 minutes (or do this by hand on a lightly-greased surface). The dough should be soft and pliable, not hard, crumbly, sticky or wet. If needed, add a bit more flour or milk to achieve the desired texture. But do not over-knead the dough! If the gluten is over-stressed, the dough will end up tough and the bread will be very dense. For a soft fluffy loaf the texture of the dough should be soft, elastic and supple, not hard. During drier months of the year, additional liquid may be needed to get a good rise: up to 4 tablespoons of water to hydrate the dough.
- Cover the bowl. Let dough rest for 10 minutes. Lightly grease a 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan with cooking spray or a neutral flavorless oil.
- With lightly-oiled hand hands, form the dough into an 8-inch log. Place log, seam side down, into prepared loaf pan. Cover pan loosely with waxed paper and a dry kitchen cloth, or with a piece of lightly-greased plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise undisturbed for 1 hour, or until it has domed above the edge of the pan by 1 inch. When a finger is pressed into the dough, the mark should rebound slowly.
- About 15 minutes before the rising time has ended, adjust oven racks. One rack in the middle of the oven and one below. Preheat oven to 350°F.
HOW TO BAKE WHITE BREAD
RECIPE PREP: Add water to a cast iron pan or metal pie plate. Place it on the lower oven rack. This will create steam during the baking process and help keep the white bread tender and soft.
- At 350°F, bake the loaf of bread for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is light golden brown.
- Test the loaf to see if it’s done: Remove the loaf from the pan. Thump the bottom. It should sound hollow. The interior temperature in the middle should be 190°F. Transfer bread to a cooling rack.
- If desired, brush melted butter over the top and sides of the warm loaf of white bread.
- HOW TO USE ACTIVE DRY YEAST FOR THIS RECIPE: Add yeast and sugar to lukewarm mixture (100°- 110°F) of milk and butter. Once yeast is foamy and soft (about 5-10 minutes), add it to a mixing bowl with the remaining ingredients. Mix until a dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer dough to a lightly-greased work surface. Knead for 6-8 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly-greased bowl. Cover and let rise for 1 hour. Dough will be puffy but not doubled in size. Form dough into an 8-inch loaf. Place in greased loaf pan. Cover loosely with waxed paper and cloth. Let rise for 1 hour. Bake as directed in recipe.
- WHY DID LOAF OF BREAD NOT RISE? Most likely, there was a bit too much flour in your mixing bowl. For best results, always measure flour using the fluff and sprinkle technique.
- NO DAIRY MILK? Use your favorite non-dairy milk! Soy, almond and rice all have neutral flavors that can each produce a loaf of bread perfect for sandwiches. But for a delicious change, try coconut milk. A loaf with that is so darn yummy!
- HOW LONG WILL SANDWICH BREAD STAY FRESH? A well-wrapped loaf of white bread will stay fresh and soft for 3 to 4 days when stored at a cool room temperature.
- HOW TO FREEZE WHITE BREAD: Put the loaf into a large zip-top freezer bag. Gently press out all the air and seal tightly. Another method is to wrap the loaf in several layers of plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 2 months.
- Category: Bread
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: White Bread, Sandwich Bread, Homemade Bread