The very first loaf of bread I perfected was a basic sandwich loaf. Over the few years of making it, I adapted it to suit me and decided it was time to bring it to the blog. I rarely ever make it, however, when I do, we remember how delicious it is! You will never want to buy white bread from the store after making the perfect white sandwich loaf!
If you follow us either here or on YouTube, you know I am pretty obsessed with sourdough and bread baking in general. I love the process of taking a few ingredients and making a beautiful loaf of bread.
When I first started on my bread baking journey, my mom gave me a recipe for a basic sandwich loaf. Over time, I made a change here and there and adapted it to be the perfect loaf for us.
I didn’t have a stand mixer back then. I only had a mixing bowl, my handy wooden spoon, and my hands. There are times I still like to just knead by hand because it’s such a therapeutic process to knead bread dough.
One thing I learned is when you are making a loaf of bread that is this simple, the quality of the ingredients matters so much.
The Flour: I highly recommend an unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour. I choose to use Organic flour. But, that is optional.
The Salt: I use Redmond’s real salt. But, any sea salt will work great.
The Water: It’s important to use filtered water that has been heated to 105-110 degrees F.
The Yeast: The only yeast I will use is Red Star Active Dry Yeast. I keep it in either the fridge or the freezer. It has always worked for me and I see no reason to change a good thing, ha ha!
To make this bread, start by heating your water to 105-110 degrees F. Pour in large mixing bowl and add yeast and honey. Stir. Cover and let the yeast activate. This usually takes between 5-10 minutes.
Once the yeast is active, add the 3 cups of the flour, salt, and the olive oil.
Mix well with a wood spoon.
Take 1/2 cup of flour, still in the measuring cup, and sit aside.
Sprinkle some of the flour on your work surface and turn dough onto the floured surface.
Begin kneading the dough adding just enough flour to keep the dough manageable.
You will not use the entire 1/2 cup, but, have it available just in case.
The goal is to add the least amount of flour as possible so the end result will be a moist loaf.
Knead for 8-10 minutes or until the dough is very stretchy and doesn’t tear easily.
Wash the mixing bowl, dry, and add some oil. Put the dough in the bowl and turn it around a couple of times to make sure it is coated with the oil. Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled in size, roughly.
Once it has risen, punch down the dough. Grease your loaf pan and sit aside.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a couple of turns to make sure you have removed all the air bubbles.
Shape the dough into a loaf shape. I like to lift the dough and drop it on the table a few times to make sure there are no big bubbles inside.
Add to the loaf pan, cover, and allow to rise for 30 minutes to an hour or until it tops over the pan.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. I do this as soon as I add the dough to the loaf pan and let it proof on top of the stove while it preheats. This way, the oven is ready when the dough is.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. If using an internal thermometer, the bread will need to be 205-210 degrees F.
I prefer to brush my loaf with an egg wash before adding to the oven. But, this is optional.
Allow the loaf to cool completely before slicing.
Store in a bread bag for up to 2-3 days. This loaf also freezes well.
The Perfect Sandwich Loaf
- 1 mixing bowl
- 1 wood spoon
- 1 Loaf Pan
- 1 1/2 cups filtered water heated to 105-110 degrees F
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 3-3 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose or bread flour
- Add heated water to mixing bowl and add yeast and honey. Stir, cover, and let proof for 5-10 minutes. Yeast mixture will look foamy when activated.
- Add olive oil and salt.
- Add 3 cups flour. Mix well. Reserve other 1/2 cup for kneading.
- Turn onto floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes. Adding just enough flour to keep dough manageable. You do not need to use the entire 1/2 cup of reserved flour.
- Wash mixing bowl and grease with oil. Add dough and turn it a couple of times to make sure it is coated in the oil. Cover, and allow to rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled.
- Once doubled, punch dough down and turn onto lightly floured surface. Knead for a few turns to make sure it is properly deflated.
- Shape the dough into a loaf shape. Grease loaf pan. I prefer to lift the dough and drop it on the table a few times to make sure there are no big bubbles inside.
- Add the dough to the greased loaf pan. Cover, and allow to rise 30 minutes to an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Once the dough has topped over the loaf pan, bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. The internal temperature should read 205-210 degrees F.
- Optionally, you can brush with an egg wash before baking.
- Allow to cool completely before slicing.