In my recent quest to live a simpler, pseudo homesteader life, I have discovered that homemade sandwich bread is a great way to save money. And be in control of the ingredients going into something eaten almost daily.
But it’s not the easy task I assumed it would be.
Homemade sandwich bread (that doesn’t crumble!)
Many of the recipes I tried in the beginning resulted in great tasting bread but actually making a sandwich was quite difficult. They crumbled so badly that when I tried to spread peanut butter or condiments it completely fell apart.
Toasting the bread was our only option. And even then it still fell apart if it was sliced too thin.
In my search for “homemade sandwich bread that doesn’t crumble”, I came across Mel’s Kitchen Cafe and her claim to have the “Best White Sandwich Bread.” At this point I’ve baked about 8 loaves with this recipe…. and I have to say that so far it is definitely the best!
And even better it’s easy to make! Especially if you have a stand mixer (which is highly recommend!).
HOMEMADE SANDWICH BREAD SUPPLIES
Having a stand mixer makes kneading bread dough SO much easier. It’s worth the investment.
Enter my budget mixer (that I love)…… the Hamilton Beach 63390 stand mixer. I can’t speak for all Hamilton Beach mixers but this one can actually handle bread dough. And comes with all of the basic attachments you will need.
Obviously you need bread pans to bake a loaf of bread. Not all of them are created equal. I would use 8.5″ x 4.5″ bread pans (as opposed to 9″ x 5″). You get a taller loaf that way. But 9″ x 5″ bread pans will work too if it’s all you have! This is my favorite.
For this recipe, I highly recommend weighing the dough with a kitchen scale so that they are equal. This will make things much easier since you cook the 2 loaves at the same time. Leaves no room for error.
I store the bread in bread bags (to keep them from drying out) and slice them directly on our butcher block counter.
Note: I store the second loaf in a bread bag in the freezer. When we are ready for it I pull it out of the freezer and let it thaw in the bag on the counter.
FREEZING TIP: I recommend freezing the whole loaf without any cuts. If you do need to slice it, I would go ahead and slice the whole loaf into sandwich slices before freezing.
You can really get carried away with the expensive bread knives. I’m sure there’s some convincing foodie reason for buying a $100 bread knife… but I don’t get it.
Keep it simple. This bread knife is wonderful and slices bread very well.
I buy flour in bulk at Sams Club to save money. I was a bit overwhelmed at the amount of flour you actually get…. but that’s the point right?? A ton of something for an amazing price!
I decided to buy a food grade bucket to store the flour. You can just dump the flour into the bucket and get on with your day. But I wanted to make it easy to refill my flour container in my pantry (love these storage containers!). I filled gallon size storage bags with the flour (in 5 bags). They all fit perfectly in the bucket.
Other recipes you might enjoy:
- Beer Bread (super easy (and delicious) recipe – and no yeast needed!)
- Low carb Keto 90 Second Bread (good English muffin substitute)
- Healthy Apple Muffins
- Low Carb Keto Everything Bagels
HOMEMADE SANDWICH BREAD RECIPE
- 6½ to 8 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
- 2½ tsp salt
- 1½ tbsp instant yeast
- ¼ cup sugar or honey
- 2¾ cups very warm water
- ¼ neutral flavored oil - like grapeseed, avocado, canola or vegetable oil
- Butter for the tops of the loaves, optional
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, combine 3 cups of the flour plus salt, yeast and sugar. Use a large bowl if making dough by hand.
- Add the water and oil and mix until combined. The mixture will be thinner than bread dough.
- Cover the bowl and let the batter rest for 10 minutes; it will be slightly bubbly at the end.
- Gradually add another 3 to 4 cups of flour, until the dough comes together in a ball that clears the bottom and sides of the bowl and doesn't leave a lot of doughy residue on your fingers when touched. Just slightly tacky (not over floured and dense). FYI I occasionally need more than 4 cups at this point. Just pay attention to the consistency of your dough.
- Knead for about 2 minutes. until the dough is smooth and supple.
- Lightly grease a large bowl. Add the dough to the bowl, cover with greased plastic wrap or a light kitchen towel or flour sack towel. Let the dough rise until doubled, about an hour or so.
- Lightly punch down the dough and divide it into two equal pieces. Weigh it on a kitchen scale to make sure they are equal.
- Grease two 8½-inch by 4½-inch bread pans.
- Press each piece of dough into a thick rectangle about 8-inches wide. Roll it up and pinch the final seam together.
- Place the dough seam side down into the prepared pans.
- Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap or thin kitchen towels and let rise until doubled and the dough has risen about 1-inch above the top rim of the pan. About an hour or so.
- While the dough rises, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Bake the bread for 30-33 minutes until golden and baked through. I usually have to bake it 32-33 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and turn the bread onto a wire rack. Immediately brush the tops of the loaves with melted butter (or use a stick of butter, peeling the paper back and rubbing it on the top of the hot bread).
- Let the bread cool completely.
- Loaves can be stored at room temperature, covered in a bread bag, for a couple days. Or frozen for up to a month or so.
FLOUR: Use the flour amount in the recipe as a guideline. The exact amount of flour you use will depend on various factors. For me, I tend to need a little more flour. But the key to remember is to add flour gradually until the texture of the dough is soft, smooth, and slightly tacky to the touch.