Thursday, February 20, 2014

How to Make the Perfect Loaf of Sandwich Bread

There's no smell better than bread baking in your oven!  I mean, NOTHING says home like fresh bread.  I firmly believe it's what Heaven will smell like, infinite amounts of fresh bread!  And, because it's Heaven, carbs and calories won't count!  Are you with me?  Well, you should be!    It's that passion for bread that has led me on this journey of no store bought bread.  I am three months in now, and I don't think there's any turning back. So allow me to share a little love from my oven to yours, How to Make a Perfect Loaf of Sandwich Bread.

A sliced loaf of the Perfect Sandwich Bread

Let me preface this with saying any time you are learning a new skill it will take a few tries before it comes out perfect, especially with things like dough.  You'll learn what it is supposed to feel like, smell like, everything.  So if this isn't everything you hoped for right out of the gate, don't be disappointed.  Keep at it.  It was literally four loaves in before I hit my sweet spot.  The recipe is fool-proof, but practice will make perfect and with that...

Let's Get started!


  • 2 cups Warm Water
  • 3 tsp Dry Active Yeast
  • 1/4 cup Honey or Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Melted Butter
  • 5 cups Bread Flour
  • 2 tsp Salt
I'm making this using my KitchenAid, but you don't need to have one for this recipe to work.  I have also done it by hand and it turns out great, its just a lot more physical work.  

To begin, you are going to attach the dough hook to the KitchenAid and place the yeast in the bowl of your mixer.

(If you do not have a mixer, place in a LARGE mixing bowl.)

Add your two cups of WARM water, honey, and melted butter. Leave alone for 10 minutes. 
When the yeast is active and ready it will be frothy and bubbly like the picture above.

(Same in your mixing bowl.)

After your yeast is active, add your salt.

(Same with your bowl.)

Next, add 2 cups of flour and mix on low.

(If you are working in a bowl do the same thing, but mix well with a spoon.)

After the initial 2 cups of flour are well combined with your water, add your flour, a cup at a time, while your mixer is on low.

(If you are working in a bowl, you will need to use your hands to knead the dough by folding it in half, like a book, and pressing down into the bowl continuously.  As you get each cup incorporated add another.)

Once all of the flour is mixed together turn your mixer to 2 and let it knead for 10 minutes. 
After the 10 minutes the dough will still be a little sticky.  That's fine.  Don't add anymore flour.  

(If you are working in a bowl there will still be a little four, but when it looks like the photo above, it is ready.)

Add a little oil to a bowl.

Grease it to keep the dough from sticking.

Place dough in bowl.

Cover with a damp towel and place it in a warm spot like inside of your oven and allow to rise for one hour. 

The dough will double in size.

This is where it gets fun!  You are going to make a fist and BAM!  Punch that dough down.

There, doesn't that feel better?

Pull it out of the bowl and knead it on the counter a few times to rework the gluten. 

Spray your bread pan with cooking spray.

I forgot to photograph this part, but cut the dough in half (this recipe makes two loaves) and roll the dough out into a rectangle shape and roll it into a log.  Put the dough into the pan.  

Cover with a damp towel and....

Let it rise for an hour! 

It should look something like this when it is finished.

Put in a 360 degree oven for 40 minutes and...

TA-DA!  You will have a beautiful loaf of bread!!!

I like to brush the outside of the entire loaf of bread with melted butter.  This really enhances the outside of crust and softens it a little.  

Let it cool COMPLETELY before cutting it.  

Mmmmm.....Warm, fluffy, and oh so nice!  Yes, bread is not something you can do in 30 minutes.  It is a labor of love, but let me assure you, when you serve this to your family, they will feel that love from the top of their heads to the soles of their feet!  I hope you enjoy this recipe and let me know how it works out for you!  I would LOVE to see your pictures on my facebook page. 

And as always...

Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and Happy Living,

~The Kitchen Wife~