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February 27, 2013

Hearty Sandwich Bread Recipe

For those who've been asking for healthy eating and budgeting tips, and recipes -- here we go! I can't say that I ever thought food would become a part of this blog, but as a new member of the Shrinking Kitchen writing team, I'm realizing that I've long had a passion for beautiful, whole food. Some positive, encouraging feedback from y'all was just the push I needed to share here.

Making your own bread can save you a bundle of money, and I think this homemade loaf is the perfect place to start. A conventional, white bread that will replace your store-bought sandwich stuff. There are a few steps, but it's truly simple to make -- not to mention quite therapeutic, in my humble opinion!

Maile and I like to share a buttered slice, fresh out of the oven, and it. is. marvelous.

Traditional White Loaf (2 lb)
  • 1 1/2 cups warm 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Add all the ingredients, in order, to your bread maker pan. Before adding the yeast, make a well in the center. You want to make sure the salt won't touch the yeast. Salt = yeast killer. 

Toddler fingerprint on your camera lens optional.

Select the Dough cycle, and press Start.

Our bread maker's dough cycle is an hour and a half, so I used that time to load the dishwasher, fold some laundry, and put Maile down for her afternoon nap. 

Once your dough is finished, remove it from the bread maker.

Lightly flour a counter, and knead the dough for 1 minute. 

Dust a bit of flour on top of the loaf, and place it in a 9-inch, buttered loaf pan. (If you want your loaf to be more even than mine, you can shape it into a pretty oval.) 

In my experience, butter works better for greasing than cooking spray; cooking spray typically gives you a super crispy crust ... sometimes with a funky taste to it, depending on the spray. Ick.

Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place. I use our toaster, because it's directly below a window. 

Backlit darkness brought to you by the blizzard raging outside.

Let the dough rise for 45 minutes to an hour. It should about double in size.

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Remove the plastic wrap from your loaf, and bake for 35 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing and slicing.

Then, wait for photobombing wee hands to start snatching the good stuff.

Because homemade bread is preservative-free, it doesn't stay soft as long as store-bought bread. I slice it, as needed, store it tightly plastic-wrapped on a shady, dry area of our counter, and watch it disappear. Maile loves a small slice with her morning eggs, oatmeal, sausage, cereal ... Tim architects gargantuan sandwich skyscrapers with the stuff. And it makes de-licious French toast. But that's for another post ...


PS - Enter our current giveaway, from Jordan Diane Arthere!


  1. Sounds yummy! Is it worth getting a bread maker? I've always wanted to make bread, but don't have a lot of extra room for appliances

    1. I definitely think it's worth getting a bread maker; it takes SO much of the work out of it (and therefore time). Time is the reason I *don't* do a lot of things I'd like to do as far as clean/green living and eating, so I love having a bread maker!

    2. Bread making is very easy without a bread maker if you don't have the space! I've made bread without a bread maker for three years with no trouble. It does help if you have an electric mixer, though. Cool rise recipes take less time and are super yummy.

    3. Agreed, it is easy to do even if you don't have a bread machine, but it's a whole lot easier if you do. And if you can't afford a brand new one you can often find them on sites like craigslist or freecycle.

      We got ours for free from freecycle right after my almost 4 year old was born. I had to restrict my diet to no eggs, soy or dairy, which are in everything, including commercially produced bread, while I was breastfeeding because of my son's allergies. We've used it regularly since then and even second hand it's stood up pretty well.

      P.S. Oh, and as it turns out, our kiddo isn't allergic to any of those things and his skin problems were due to something else. Go figure. But the homemade bread is still great!

    4. Yes, I completely agree with both Diana, and Chelsea! This is just one bread recipe of many, but it is our favorite basic -- and, as it turns out, one that requires the use of a bread maker.

      However, as the ladies said, there are many, many recipes out there that don't require the use of one. :)

      Chelsea, I was soy and dairy free for pretty much the first year (and a little after) of Maile's life. She did have a soy and dairy protein intolerance that she's since outgrown, but man ... I know how tough that is! Good job, mama!

  2. Freshly baked bread is delllicious. We typically eat sprouted grain bread, which, not that I've tried, I assume is harder to make at home. But there are definitely moments that call for our own loaf. It feels like a treat!

    1. Challenge accepted! Haha.

      Actually, I'm not sure about making sprouted grain bread at home, but I sure would love to try -- it's delicious!

  3. i love the smell of freshly baked bread and with butter. yummm.. don't get me started!

  4. so glad you shared this recipe! we have recently been attemptingggggg to go gluten free, but I think I may use some of our gluten free flour with this recipe, we need a good basic bread!

    1. We were gluten free for awhile, and though it wasn't for us, I think it's awesome that you're making the effort! I think with this particular recipe, an all-purpose GF flour would probably hold up just fine. :) If you try it, please let me know how it turns out!

  5. This looks insanely scrumptious. In my house we don't normally eat gluten free just because of time, but I would definitely put time aside to make this bread. Would rather eat freshly homemade bread than store bought. Great pictures and receipe! :D

    Mostly Lisa

    1. Thank you so much, Lisa!

      I am personally not a huge fan of most gluten free recipes, but there are a few winners out there. :) I love this bread, and I'm sure it could easily be converted to gluten free, if you so desired!

  6. Love home-made bread - but did I miss something? Why don't you just keep the loaf in the bread machine and let it bake in there?


    1. Haha! No, that's a great question, actually. It's perfectly acceptable to leave the loaf and let it bake in the bread maker. Over time, though, I've found that usually this leaves the crust a little thicker and crispier than we like for sandwich bread. So, for this particular recipe, we take it out and bake it in the oven, but you could definitely leave it if you're on a time crunch, or like your sandwich bread crustier. :)

  7. Your bread looks good! Really soft and fluffy :D

    1. It's excellent, Marie! Definitely let me know if you try it. :)

  8. Indeed. Making your own bread can really help you save a lot of money. This is only good for those who have extra time to spare though because some people have busy schedules. Thanks for sharing this blog. I really learned a lot from it. :)
    - KatzGlutenFree.com

    1. Thanks for your input, Rachel. There are quite a few quicker sandwich bread recipes out there -- many of them very good, I'm sure! I happen to love this recipe. :)

      I also have a pretty busy schedule myself, but we were under a Winter Storm Warning on this particular day, so I chose to use some of my time for a favorite recipe.