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
- 1/3 cup (75 grams ) half and half, see note
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) softened butter, salted or unsalted
- 3 3/4 cups (450 grams) bread flour, see note
- 3 tablespoons (35g) sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast or active dry
Place the ingredients into the pan of a 1 1/2 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.