Easy "Melt-In-Your-Mouth" Sandwich Bread Recipe
When I tell you this bread is good...I mean it is GOOD. This bread recipe is the perfect go-to for the casual bread-baker or the beginner wanting to learn the ropes. It's absolutely delicious whether you make a sandwich or choose to eat it right by itself. I'm serious! This recipe yields 3 loaves of delicious white bread with a super soft center. The whole process from start to finish takes about 3 hours. With two hours of rise time and 30 minutes of baking time, you're really only spending about 30 minutes of hands-on time with this bread...which is easy-peasy if you ask me! With a few simple ingredients, you'll be a bread baker in no time! Keep reading for my easy sandwich bread recipe.
Here's what you'll need:
2 packets of active dry yeast
3/4 cup of warm water (be sure it isn't too hot or it'll kill the yeast. Warm like a baby's bottle is what I go for.)
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 TBSP salt
3 TBSP salted butter, room temperature
2 2/3 cups of additional warm water
9-10 cups of all-purpose flour
1/2 stick of salted butter for brushing the tops of the loaves once they're out of the oven
In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in 3/4 cup of warm water and 1 tsp of sugar (just use 1 tsp out of the 1/4 cup you already measured). Wait until your yeast is foamy on top before adding any other ingredients. It should take about 5 minutes or so for your yeast to activate. If your yeast doesn't foam up, stop here and start over. It's likely that your yeast was old or your water was too hot.
When the yeast is bubbly and foamy, mix in the rest of the sugar, the salt, the butter (3 TBSP), and the warm water. Use the dough hook attachment to begin slowly mixing the ingredients. Slowly add in 5 cups of flour and mix on low speed until the dough begins to smooth out. Gradually add in the remaining flour, adding in just enough to make a smooth and slightly sticky dough. I ended up using just less than 9 cups. You'll use the rest to dust the surface you roll your dough out on.
Here's the fun part. You can continue to use the dough hook and knead the dough for 10 minutes in the mixer, or you can work the dough in the mixer slowly just until the flour is combined and knead the dough by hand. If you choose to use your mixer, just keep an eye on the dough and be sure it is being worked evenly. It has a tendency to want to climb up the dough hook. If you choose to knead by hand, lightly flour a clean surface and then place the dough on it. Knead by hand using a consistent motion of stretching and then tucking the dough under itself. Your dough will go from a shaggy texture to a soft, smooth texture. Don't worry if this is an awkward process at first. It takes a little practice, but you'll get the hang of it. You want the dough to be formed into a smooth ball. Next, spray a large bowl with nonstick spray and place your dough in it. Lightly spray the top of the dough with nonstick spray and cover it with plastic wrap or a tea towel. I like to use a tea towel. Allow the dough to rise (double in size) for 1 hour. As a general rule, the warmer the room, the faster it will rise.
After 1 hour has passed and your dough has doubled in size, punch it down in the center of the bowl and then pour it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently again for a couple of minutes, reworking it into a loaf shape. Divide the dough evenly into three sections. Roll each piece into a loaf shape, tucking the ends in underneath. Be sure to place any seams in the dough on the bottom. Place each loaf into a lightly greased bread pan. I use Baker's Joy to grease my pans. The bread comes out perfect every time! I also used 11-inch pans to bake my loaves in. I'll link mine here. Cover and let them rise for 1 more hour. You may need a little less or a little more rise time depending on the temperature.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. When the dough has doubled in size again (I look for it to rise about 1 inch above the top of the loaf pan), you are ready to bake it. Bake it for 15 minutes uncovered and then lay a piece of aluminum foil over the top and bake it for another 15 minutes. The foil will keep it from getting too dark. Once baked, remove your loaves from the oven and brush them with salted butter. The butter is optional, but it sure does make it extra delicious! Let the loaf cool completely before slicing it. Then, enjoy!
If you found this to be helpful or enjoyed the read, be sure to leave a comment or share it with a friend so others can find it, too!