Evan and I spend the summer at the lake every year. I love being near the water and the feeling of being “away”. I don’t always love being 20 minutes from the nearest store (that I don’t love) and further from a store that I actually like. I have figured out that being far from the store isn’t always a bad thing. This summer I have learned a great homemade sandwich bread recipe and it has made all the difference. The entire family loves having homemade bread and it really isn’t that hard just a bit time consuming (but most of the time is spent without you needing to do anything).
The recipe I use was published by the Pioneer Woman on Food.com. It isn’t rocket science so I am going to republish it here with my own instructions. I have figured out a few tricks that make your bread turn out every time. Often, I find that recipes leave these out because they assume people know. Well, guess what….they don’t and then the recipe doesn’t turn out. It’s not user error…it’s user lack of knowledge. I want you to be successful in your homemade bread making! Hopefully this tutorial will gibe you the confidence and knowledge to easily make homemade bread that your family will love (and can be totally used for sandwiches!).
Homemade Sandwich Bread Recipe & Tutorial
Individual Pack of Instant Yeast or 2 1/4 tsps of yeast
2 cups of warm water
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 cup of butter, melted
2 tsp salt
5 1/4 cups of all purpose flour
Tip: I prefer to use individual packets of yeast. I find that they stay fresher than an open jar of yeast. The price isn’t that much of a difference and you are much more likely to be successful.
In a large bowl, combine yeast and warm water. Stir until mixed and all lumps are gone. Add sugar, stir and set aside for 5 minutes.
Melt butter in the microwave. Tip: I like to melt the butter until almost (but not all) is melted. Then stir so that it all melts. This keeps it from getting too hot. If you put really hot butter into your yeast/water mixture, you could kill your yeast. Add butter and salt to water mixture and stir.
Measure your 5 1/4 cups of flour into a bowl. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup and level off with a knife. Do NOT scoop the flour out with your measuring cup.
Add 1/3 of the flour to your water mixture and mix well. Add another third (maybe a bit more) and stir again.
Pour the remaining flour on your counter and spread it out (but leave a thick layer of flour). Pour your bread dough onto the flour.
Set timer for 15 mnutes. This is VERY important because though you think you will know when it is that long, you won’t. Kneading dough is harder than you think and I guarantee that you will think it is done before it is. Set a timer. Just do it.
Knead dough for 15 minutes, incorporating the remaining flour. If your dough is still super sticky, you can add a little additional. Be careful, though, because you do not want your dough to be too dry. As you knead, it will come together into a stretchy dough that will make a nice ball. Picture above is after kneading for 15 minutes.
Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and add your dough ball. Cover with plastic wrap that you have also sprayed. Let rise for 1 hour.
Lightly flour your counter and knead dough for 5 minutes (set a timer). Put back in your rising bowl and let rise for another hour. (After an hour, it should look like the picture above again).
Split dough in half and place in two buttered loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake loaves for 25 minutes and check. They should be golden brown on top and sound hollow when you tap them.
Turn the loaves out onto a wire cooling rack and cool completely. We keep one out for eating (store in a ziplock bag) and I wrap the other in waxed paper and aluminum foil and freeze for later. When you are ready to use it, just take it out of the freezer and allow to thaw on the counter. It will be just like a fresh loaf once thawed.
Looking for another great bread recipe? Check these out!
Cheddar Garlic Beer Bread