A while back, I hopped on the sourdough train along with everyone else on Instagram. I could never get my starter to really do what it should, though, and my loaves of bread just wouldn’t rise properly. I really wanted my family to have fresh bread on the regular, though … so I decided to just start making homemade sandwich bread using store-bought yeast. We have been loving it!
The Quest for the Perfect Recipe: I have been experimenting with recipes for the past few months and finally landed on a really great sandwich bread recipe that is almost perfect! It makes two loaves – which for my family is enough for a week of sandwiches. Read on for all my tips and tricks (or click the button above and jump right to the recipe)!
Ingredients You’ll Need: You just need a few simple ingredients to get started: bread flour (AP flour can be substituted if necessary), coconut oil, eggs, water, yeast, sugar, and salt. If you want to make bread on the regular, I also highly recommend having a thermometer and a scale to make things more accurate.
Making the Dough: Start your prep by getting your eggs to room temperature, heating your water to 110 – 115 degrees – you want it warm enough to activate the yeast and cool enough to not kill it so this is an important step – and melting 2 oz coconut oil. In your mixer bowl, combine 1/2 oz active dry yeast and 2 cups warm water. Stir to dissolve the yeast. Add in 1/3 cup sugar, 3 tsp salt, 2 eggs (room temperature), melted coconut oil, and 3 cups of flour. Using your dough hook, beat on medium-low speed until smooth. Stir in 3-4 more cups of flour – 1/2 cup at a time – until a soft dough begins forming.
Kneading and Rising: I like to let the mixer do some of the kneading for me. So, once you see your dough forming, set a timer for 3.5 minutes and let it do its thing. Just make sure you’re paying attention in case the dough starts to go wild and escape the bowl. While the dough is being kneaded, clean a surface off and flour it. Get a large bowl out and grease it. When the timer goes off, turn the dough onto your floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic – approximately 3 more minutes. After you’ve done this several times you’ll get the hang of the feeling of a proper dough! Place the dough ball into your greased bowl, and turn once to grease the top. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled. This should take approximately one hour.
Shaping & Second Rise: Punch down your dough after doubling (I don’t know why – but it’s fun!). For even loaves, weigh the dough and divide it in two. Flatten each piece into a rectangle that is a little longer than your loaf pan. Roll the rectangle into a “log” and tuck the two ends underneath. Place the dough logs into two loaf pans. Cover with damp towels and let rise for another hour or so until they’re doubled in size.
Rising Notes: Everyone’s home is different. Don’t rush the rising process! If you’ve checked in on your dough and it doesn’t seem to be filling the pan or completely risen, let it go a little longer. There is a lot of trial and error with recipes like these.
Pan Notes: When it comes to choosing the right pan for your homemade sandwich bread, it’s all about personal preference. You can opt for an enameled Dutch oven if your family enjoys round loaves, which is perfect for sandwiches like sloppy joes or classic toast. Alternatively, I’ve experimented with Mason Cash terra cotta bread pans, which work well for certain bread types, particularly sourdough loaves. For both of these options, I recommend lightly oiling the pan and adding a sprinkle of cornmeal to the bottom to prevent sticking.
However, my personal favorite is the Pullman loaf pan. These pans don’t require any oiling (and trust me, you’ll want to avoid it, as they have holes at the bottom that can lead to messy oven mishaps—though, of course, that’s not from experience wink). Plus, the Pullman loaf shape resembles that of store-bought bread, which my kids absolutely love. It’s all about finding the pan that suits your baking style and your family’s bread preferences.
Baking & Cooling: Once your loaves are looking nice and full, you’re ready to bake. Keep them in the oven for 25-35 minutes until golden brown on top. Let them cool in the pans for a minute or two; then remove the loaves to a wire rack to cool.
Additional Tips & Tricks:
- Definitely don’t skip the step of dampening your kitchen towels – it helps keep the dough from getting a weird dry crust on the top when it’s rising.
- This recipe actually works really well for swapping out flour. I was able to get bulk bread flour recently, and the high protein content is great for bread … so that’s what I use. But you can definitely substitute with all-purpose flour. I’ve even used whole wheat with great success. Don’t be afraid to try out some different things!
- Use your thermometer to figure out when your bread is done! According to King Arthur, an internal temperature of 190 should result in perfectly cooked bread.
Enjoy your homemade sandwich bread, and good luck with your baking adventures!
- 1/2 oz Active Dry Yeast
- 2 C Warm Water (110-115 degrees)
- 1/3 C Sugar
- 3 tsp Salt
- 2 Eggs (room temp)
- 1/4 C Coconut Oil (melted)
- 6.5-7 C Bread Flour
- Heat your water to “warm:” 110 – 115 degrees. Melt coconut oil.
- In your mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Combine sugar, salt, eggs, oil, and 3 cups of flour. Mix on medium-low speed until smooth. In increments of 1/2 cup, stir in enough of your remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Once the dough comes together, continue mixing with your dough hook for 3.5 minutes.
- Turn partially-kneaded dough onto a floured surface and knead by hand another 3 minutes or so, until smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough ball into a greased bowl, turning once to coat the top. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled – approximately one hour.
- Punch down the dough after doubling, and divide into two. Shape each piece into a “loaf” shape and place into two loaf pans. Cover with damp towels and let rise another hour until doubled. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- After rising, bake loaves in the oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top. Remove from pans and let cool on a wire rack. Attempt to keep children from devouring immediately.
*This recipe was adapted from the Country White Bread recipe by Taste of Home. See the original here.