American Sandwich Bread

I have a fair amount of experience making bread now, but my success with any recipe involving yeast never fails to amaze me.  I think it is just so cool to make dough, see it rise, etc.  I’ve made a lot of great bread recipes but had only made one white bread recipe and was just not crazy about it.  When I saw that my good friend Chelle had made this fantastic white bread recipe, and that she recommended it over the other two she has tried, I was sold.  I must say, this bread really delivered.  It really is a wonderful homemade sandwich bread.  One of my major gripes about other loaves I have made in the past is that, while delicious, they do not have the height that I am looking for in a sandwich bread.  However, this loaf has great height.  The dough was just beautiful to work with and it rose easily.  I also appreciate how quick the whole process was.  I started in the morning and before lunch we had fresh bread for sandwiches.  Fabulous!

American Sandwich Bread


3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. salt

1 cup warm whole milk (about 110°)

1/3 cup warm water (about 110°)

2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

3 tbsp. honey

1 envelope (about 2 ¼ tsp.) instant yeast



Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 200°.  Once the oven temperature reaches 200°, maintain the heat for 10 minutes, then turn off the oven.


Mix 3 ½ cups of the flour and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.  Mix the milk, water, butter, honey and yeast in a 4-cup liquid measuring cup.  Turn the machine to low and slowly add the liquid.  When the dough comes together, increase the speed to medium and mix until the dough is smooth and satiny, stopping the machine two or three times to scrape dough from the hook, if necessary, about 10 minutes.  (After 5 minutes of kneading, if the dough is still sticking to the sides of the bowl, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time and up to ¼ cup total, until the dough is no longer sticky.)  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface; knead to form a smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds.


Place the dough in a very lightly oiled large bowl, rubbing the dough around the bowl to coat lightly.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the warmed oven until the dough has doubled in size, about 40-50 minutes. 


On a floured work surface, gently press the dough into a rectangle 1 inch thick and no longer than 9 inches.  With a long side facing you, roll the dough firmly into a cylinder, pressing with your fingers to make sure the dough sticks to itself.  Turn the dough seam-side up and pinch it closed.  Place the dough seam-side down in a greased 9×5-inch loaf pan and press it gently so it touches all four sides of the pan.  Cover with plastic wrap; set aside in a warm spot until the dough almost doubles in size, 20-30 minutes. 


Keep one oven rack at the lowest position and place the other at the middle position and heat the oven to 350°.  Place an empty baking pan on the bottom rack.  Bring two cups of water to boil in a small saucepan.  Pour the boiling water into the empty pan on the bottom rack and set the loaf onto the middle rack.  Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted at an angle from the short end just above the pan rim into the center of the loaf reads 195°, 40-50 minutes.  Remove the bread from the pan, transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.  Slice and serve.

Source: Brown Eyed Baker, originally from Baking Illustrated

30 Responses

  1. I’ve been on the search for a good sandwich bread and I think I’ll have to give this a try. It looks delicious and I love the height on it- perfect for sandwiches!

  2. What a perfect-looking loaf of bread!

  3. Looks great and hopefully I can overcome my issues with yeast so I can give this a try…

  4. That is a beautiful looking loaf. The slices look fabulous!

  5. Mmmm this bread is awesome! So glad that you liked it! It looks wonderful!

  6. Sweet, I share your feelings about bread…..I’m a new food blogger but will shortly be sharing my recipes for bread, calzones, pizza crust, Holiday breads, all homemade….

    So please link up with my blog if you would like.

  7. I can’t wait to try this. Can you please tell me, is instant yeast the same as active dry yeast? The only thing I have found in packets is the active dry. Thanks.

  8. Hi Jessi,
    Instant yeast is not the same as active dry yeast. It is also known as rapid rise yeast, and is available wherever you can find active dry yeast. I have bought it in packets many times but now just use a jar because I use it so often. Instant or rapid rise yeast is different than active dry yeast in that it can simply be mixed in with all the dough ingredients rather than needing to sit in the wet ingredients for a period of time as with active dry yeast. Take another look next time you’re at the store, I’m confident you will find it!
    🙂 Annie

  9. Well, I feel stupid. I happen to have some rapid rise in the cupboard. I didn’t realize they were the same. Thanks

  10. My breadmaker arrived today. I came on the intenet looking for a recipe -now Ive found it!!

  11. This loaf turned out fantastic Annie! Homemade bread is so amazing. Great job.

  12. Very good bread!!! I think it was a bit heavy for my taste to be a sandwich bread but it was delicious for french toast.

  13. Amazing! I made this today and it is great for sandwiches! You can slice it thin enough and it holds together. Thanks for sharing!

  14. I’ve had this book marked for a while and tried it yesterday. It made a great loaf of bread. The kids couldn’t get enough! Now to solve my challenge of slicing a loaf of soft bread.


  15. Annie….can this recipe be used in a bread machine? If so…in what order should I put the ingredients in the machine?

  16. I just made this bread last night and it turned out perfect and it was really easy to make in my book. Thanks so much for this recipe. It’s a keeper ;o)

  17. I’m new to bread making. I don’t have the mixer you described. Is that a problem? I also don’t have a machine. How warm of an oven to let rise in? Sorry for the beginner questions. Thanks.

  18. Do you think it would hurt to substitute buttermilk for the milk? I have some thawed for my usual bread recipe but I want to try this instead!

    • Hi Joy,
      I don’t know for sure, but I don’t think it would hurt anything. I hope it turns out well!
      🙂 Annie

  19. Oh my goodness gracious, this bread is sinfully fantastic!!! I just made my first loaf, and two things are happening: 1, I’m thinking about everything I can do with bread like this (so many options!), and 2, I’m thinking about the next loaf I’m going to be making XD I’m boycotting store bought bread and recommending this stuff to everyone I know 😀
    Thank you for re-inventing my sandwich making! LOL.

  20. […] American Sandwich bread – this is what I want for our lunches […]

  21. […] there was better bread to be had.  And, oh my, was I right.  I tried baking a loaf of the American Sandwich Bread last week and it was pretty good.  A tiny bit dense, but I think I may have just about killed […]

  22. Hi Annie: I made this bread over the weekend and it lasted a day and a half! My family loved it! I have an in home daycare and my daycare kiddies loved it so much they made me promise to make it again. Thanks so much for your recipes. Your site has become a frequently visited favorite for me.


  23. I made this yesterday and it turned out great, even with active dry yeast. It rose lovely, golden and very tall. Perfect for the grilled cheese sandwiches with caramelized onion that accompanied a summer borscht last night. Great! Thanks for another grand bread recipe. I am also a big fan of your potato rolls.

  24. I made this again this week (and probably will for many many more) but this time substituted 1/3 wheat flour and 2/3 AP flour. It worked just as well as the original recipe, but gives me the feeling that it is a bit healthier. We adore this recipe.

  25. Annie, I just wanted to tell you I made this bread two weeks ago, and today again because my husband loved it! it really is great for sandwiches. I am from Argentina and my cousin Melanie passed your site on to me and I just loved it. I enjoy cooking very much and am so glad my mum tought me how to. Since I got married four months ago I have been enjoying cooking so much. I´ve tried a few or your recipe´s and they are great. Congratulations on your cooking and lovely family.

  26. This is the recipe I always use for bread. I got it from the Baking Illustrated cookbook. The only thing I do differently from the original is not use a water bath in the oven. I don’t like a real crisp crust on sandwich bread. I often use it when teaching others how to make bread for the first time. Glad to see it on here so others can enjoy!!!

  27. Does the honey serve as another purpose other than flavoring? I ask because I’d like to leave it out since I plan on feeding this bread to my 11 month old son.

    • It provides nutrition for the yeast as it proofs, as well as sweetness and additional liquid. 3 tablespoons is too much to omit altogether. I know agave nectar is commonly used in place of honey, though I am not aware of whether or not that is an acceptable ingredient for babies. I would definitely find some kind of substitution or just make a different bread.

  28. Thanks so much for answering my question so fast. I guess I’ll just try your ‘light wheat bread’ recipe instead to be on the safe side. It looks like I can use sugar instead of honey for that recipe. Thanks again!

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