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Baking Homemade Sandwich Bread

Baking Homemade Sandwich Bread

The process of preparing and baking homemade bread can be intimidating if you don’t have much experience working with dough and yeast. However, the joys of baking bread far outweigh the few mishaps you may have when you’re just getting started (and, of course, even your first loaf may turn out beautifully!).

Some of those joys include saving a bundle on your grocery bill over time, filling your home with the classic, comforting aroma of freshly baked bread, and walking away from every loaf with a newfound self-confidence and do-it-yourself attitude.

One of the most common types of bread consumed at home is sandwich bread, so here’s a recipe for simple sandwich bread.

Ingredients and Supplies: 

3 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1 tbsp softened butter
1 egg, preferably from a pastured chicken for the rich color and nutrition the yolk provides, beaten
1 tsp salt
2 1⁄4 tsp dried yeast
1 1⁄4 cups milk at room temperature
1 bread tin, buttered
1 egg, beaten and thinned with water, for brushing (optional)

Note: If rehydrating yeast with water, subtract the amount of water you added to the yeast from the 1 1⁄4 cups of milk.


Put flour in a mixing bowl along with the softened butter. Use your fingers to work the butter into the flour until no large pieces remain. Next, add the beaten egg, salt and yeast. Holding the bowl with one hand, stir in enough warm milk to form a dough. At this point, the dough should be raggedy and rough.

Turn onto a lightly floured board, wash your hands of dough, and with wet hands knead a few times to be sure the dough is well-mixed, then place in a clean, lightly buttered bowl and let the dough rise, covered, in a warm place. After it has doubled in bulk (about 1 1/2 hours), turn onto a lightly floured board. Gently press out the gas and form dough into a rectangle to fit into a buttered bread tin. Cover, set in as warm a place as you have, and let rise until nearly doubled. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

When the bread is ready, brush the top of the loaf with a beaten egg thinned with a little water (this step is optional). Bake until crust is golden, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven, turn out of the tin, and let cool on its side for at least 3 hours before cutting.

For an interesting and inspirational outlook on the free-form process of bread-making, plus recipes for Crusty White Bread and a Multi-Grain Opulent Farmers’ Bread, check out Homemade Bread: Truly Easy and Delicious.

Photo by Jim MacKenzie

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Shelley Stonebrook

Shelley Stonebrook is an Associate Editor at Mother Earth News—North America’s most popular magazine about sustainable, self-reliant living—where she works on exciting projects such as Organic Gardening content and the Vegetable Garden Planner. Shelley is particularly interested in organic gardening, small-scale, local food production, waste reduction, food preservation and cooking. In her spare time, she posts in her personal blog, The Rowdy Radish.


+ add your own
9:23PM PST on Feb 12, 2013

Thank you

10:49AM PDT on Jul 18, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

2:31AM PST on Jan 8, 2012

I love homemade bread - especially sour dough - any chance of a recipe for that

5:04PM PST on Jan 4, 2012


1:54PM PST on Dec 27, 2011

thank you

2:07PM PST on Dec 16, 2011

My mom always made home baked bread. I didn't know it was all that easy!

10:03AM PST on Dec 15, 2011

i love baking bread but ive never tried sandwich bread before. i think ill have to now, especially since the store costs keep going up and its getting harder and harder to find good bread without a bunch of icky stuff in it.

2:11AM PST on Dec 15, 2011

Thank you. Homemade bread is much tastier. At least you know what you are consuming.

11:21PM PST on Dec 14, 2011

I've been baking bread for 30 years and you can make it easier by using a stand mixer. Put your warm water or milk in the mixer, add the yeast and wait 5 or so minutes to proof it, add the remaining ingredients and mix. A dough ball will form and clean the sides of the mixing bowl if you have enough flour (sometimes it takes a little less or a little more depending on the humidity in your area that day). Then let the mixer do the kneading until the dough is elastic.

Let it rest for 10-15 minutes in a buttered or olive oiled bowl. Then form your loaf and either use a loaf pan or a sheet pan for a free form loaf. Cover, let rise, do the egg wash for beautiful color and shine on the loaf, bake in a 350 degree oven but only for about 35 minutes or you'll be baking a brick. If the insides are 190 degrees F. it is done.


8:45PM PST on Dec 14, 2011

I've always preferred homemade bread, but miss the stuff with gluten. It's much easier and behaves the way bread should.

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