Easy Bread Machine Sandwich Bread. This recipe makes a light, tender loaf of bread.
During the month of March, everyone made sourdough. Except me.
Never one to follow the crowd, I pulled out of my bread machine and made loaf after loaf of white sandwich bread.
It’s not that I don’t love sourdough or that I don’t know how to make it. I just…wasn’t in the mood to deal with it.
Sourdough is a delight but it requires an amount of labor that I didn’t have in me during the early days of the quarantine. It needs feeding and care and, well, I wanted something easy. Something reliable. My needs were simple: I wanted a loaf of bread that tasted great toasted and spread thick with butter and jam. (The fact that I couldn’t find any whole wheat flour also influenced my choice, to be honest.)
A friend had been made a loaf of King Arthur’s Easy Sandwich Bread. Her original loaves had turned out too dense and a bit dry.
So she texted me. I looked at the recipe and suggested she replace the water with milk. It’s a simple swap but milk adds a bit of fat, which makes for a tender loaf of bread and the proteins and sugar help the loaf brown.
She tried it and texted me that she loved the bread. So I decided to give it a whirl.
I hadn’t used my bread machine for years. In fact, I considered it cheating. I used it when testing and developing gluten-free recipes but for wheat-based baking? I’d never used the machine.
No time like the present, right?
The loaf turned out as promised: high with a tender, soft crumb.
At this point, I’ve lost count of how many loaves I’ve made. Each one has come out perfectly. Which, at this time in life, is a gift.
Ingredients for Bread Machine Sandwich Bread
- Flour. Your best bet is to use bread flour. I like King Arthur’s bread flour but I’ve also made this loaf with Gold Medal. Both flours performed really well. Happily, this loaf can also be made with all-purpose flour. The difference is the bread doesn’t rise quite as high and the crumb is slightly softer, which is actually fine for sandwich bread.
- Yeast. Use instant or active dry. Both work. I prefer instant yeast because it’s more reliable than active dry yeast.
- Salt. Salt does two important things in bread baking: it adds flavor and controls yeast growth. Use table salt, not Kosher salt.
- Sugar. There’s a little sugar in this bread. It adds a bit of sweetness, of course, but also helps the loaf to brown and enhances the shelf life of the bread.
- Milk and Half and Half. While this isn’t Japanese milk bread, it does remind me of it a little. It’s soft and creamy. The combination of milk and half and half are responsible for this texture and flavor.
- Butter. As you can see, this is a dairy-forward sandwich bread. The butter adds fat, which not only brings flavor to the loaf, it also makes for a soft, tender loaf of bread.
How to Make Sandwich Bread in a Bread Machine.
My bread machine is fairly fancy, if there’s such a thing for bread machines. It’s a Zojirushi and the thing works like a champ. I put the milk, half and half, and butter in. Then the dry ingredients, and I sprinkle the yeast on top.
I don’t even need to heat the milk and half and half because the machine goes through a preheat cycle.
If your machine doesn’t heat the ingredients, warm the liquids slightly before using.
What You’ll Love About This Bread
- It’s easy. You dump the ingredients into a bread machine, push a button, and three hours later, you’ve got bread. Even when there was little I could do, I was able to make this bread.
- It’s soft and tender. The loaf contains milk, half and half and butter, which gives us a soft, tender loaf of bread.
- It makes a perfect loaf. Seriously. The loaf comes out high and tender. It reminds me of the bread emoji. It’s a cartoon bread!
- It makes wonderful toast. If you love a good piece of toast, this is the bread for you.
FAQs: Bread Machine Sandwich Bread
Can I use all milk?
Yes. If you don’t have half and half in the house, replace the amount called for with an equal amount of milk.
Can I use water?
You can but the loaf won’t be as soft or tasty.
Can I use oil instead of butter?
Yes. Bread made with oil lacks the buttery flavor that I find delightful but oil works.
I don’t have yeast. Can I use a combination of baking powder and lemon juice?
No. Sorry. This bread requires yeast.
Tips for Storage
Store in a plastic container or bread bag on your counter for up to four days.
Once it’s cool, cut the loaf with a serrated knife into slices and freeze.
Other Recipes for Comfort Baking
Bread Machine Sandwich Bread
- 1 cup (225 grams) milk, see note
- ⅓ cup (75 grams ) half and half, see note
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) softened butter, salted or unsalted
- 3 ¾ cups (450 grams) bread flour, see note
- 3 tablespoons (35g) sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons instant yeast or active dry
Place the ingredients into the pan of a 1 ½ to 2 pound bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer.
Select the program for basic white bread. Press Start.
When the baking completes, remove the pan from the machine. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes. Remove the bread from the pan, sometimes this requires a shake to get the bread out of the pan. Set the loaf on a wire rack to cool.
Store, in a bread box, bread bag or well wrapped on the counter for 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Milk and Half and Half
Use lukewarm milk and half and half if your bread machine does not have a preheat cycle.