White Bread recipe is made with basic ingredients & detailed instructions showing how to make bread! Done in just over an hour this recipe is one of the best soft white sandwich bread recipes.
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I began experimenting with bread recipes years and years ago and I get SO excited when I find a new one I love! It always amazed me how tiny shifts in ingredients come together and yield such a different result.
Soft White Bread Recipe
This white bread recipe can be used for literally anything. It makes great toast, great sandwich bread, anything! It’s tremendously soft and has the best texture. It’s even fabulous DAYS later, which is tough to achieve with homemade bread.
What makes bread soft and fluffy?
Ingredients and preparation method combine in this bread recipe to give the bread a super soft and fluffy texture. Don’t leave out or replace the egg and oil in the recipe. They are imperative to the chewy, feathery texture of this white bread. Also, be sure to knead for the full 5 minutes. Giving the dough enough time in both the first and second rise will also help the overall texture.
White Bread Recipe Ingredients
- Warm Water
- Granulated Sugar
- Instant/Active dry yeast
- Canola oil – you can also use vegetable oil or light olive oil
- 1 egg
How to Make White Bread
If you’ve never made bread before, here is the basic formula for making your own at home. It really is an easy process and you’ll be thrilled with the results. Plus your entire house will smell like freshly baked bread which is amazing.
Step 1: Assemble Bread Ingredients
You’ll need warm water, granulated sugar, instant OR active dry yeast, 1 egg, canola oil, salt and flour. That’s it!
Step 2: Dissolve the yeast and activate it by Proofing
This is a simple process that takes about 5 minutes. You can watch the video above to see what yeast looks like when it’s proofed. It’s possible to kill yeast if you use too hot of water, so aim for slightly warmer than luke-warm, or about 105°F. Combine warm water and the sugar, then stir to dissolve. Add in the yeast, give it a quick stir and then let it sit for 5 minutes. You’ll begin to see the yeast puff up until it covers the entire surface of the water.
Step 3: Add remaining ingredients and mix
Add the egg, the oil, salt and flour, then mix using an electric stand mixer until it’s well combined, about 2 minutes. You can mix by hand but it will take longer.
Step 4: Knead the Bread
Trust me, taking an extra 5 minutes to let your mixer knead the bread is worth it! Going through the process of kneading bread dough is crucial for bread with great texture. Kneading dough allows gluten to form which enables dough to rise better, be lighter and fluffier. You can knead by hand or with a mixer. I use the dough hook on my mixer to knead bread dough. If you knead by hand, you’ll want to knead for 7-8 minutes, depending on how consistent you are.
Step 5: First Rise
Place your lovely smooth, elastic bread dough in an oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or a clean towel. I think plastic wrap works better because it traps hot air inside and thus, my dough requires a shorter first rise. Be sure to spray the side of the plastic wrap that will touch the dough, so that it doesn’t stick.
If your house is cool, your bread will take longer to rise. In the wintertime when my house is cooler than normal, I like to turn the oven on for 2-3 minutes, then turn it off and let the bowl of dough rise in there. The oven traps the heat for a longtime and it’s the perfect atmosphere for rising dough.
This White Bread recipe only needs to rise for 15 minutes.
Step 6: Punch Dough and Shape it
Punching the dough down quickly releases any air pockets that have developed and helps your bread have a more consistent texture.
Shape dough by rolling it gently into a ball and rolling it 2 or 3 times on the counter top so that the ball is more oblong. Tuck the ends underneath so that the loaf looks smooth.
Place in the pan. It doesn’t need to be touching the sides of the pan.
I like to brush an egg wash on the top of this bread to give it that smooth, shiny crust. It’s still soft and it ends up having incredible flavor. Just whisk together 1 whole egg and 1 TBSP water, then brush all over the outside of the dough, making sure to cover the entire surface of the dough.
Step 7: Second Rise
This White Bread only has a 10 minute second rise. I just place the pan on the stove near the oven while it preheats.
Step 8: Bake the Bread
You’re nearly there! This sandwich bread bakes for about 35-40 minutes. It bakes at a higher temp than other bread recipes- 400° F. Make sure your oven rack is on a lower setting so that the top doesn’t burn! I use a digital cooking thermometer near the end of the baking time to make sure the bread is fully cooked. Fully cooked bread will be 190-200 degrees F. Bread recipes that include milk will need to cook until 200 degrees, but since this one doesn’t, I take it out once it reaches 190 degrees. The top will be golden brown.
Step 9: Cool the Bread
Let the bread cool in the pan it cooked in so it can maintain it’s shape. Once it’s cooled you can transfer it to a cooling rack.
I prefer to cool it for at least 20 minutes. If you try and slice it while it’s too hot, the loaf will get smashed- it’s a soft bread!
AVOID SUNKEN BREAD
The easiest and best way to avoid sunken bread is to use a cooking thermometer to check the inside of the loaf. Fully cooked bread will register 200°F on a thermometer. My all-time favorite thermometer is the Thermapen. It’s super fast and incredibly durable. Another great cooking thermometer is the ThermoPop which is a more basic version that works just as well!
- 1 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 TBSP yeast
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 to 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1 egg whisked with 1 TBSP water to brush on top
- In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Add yeast; let stand for 5 minutes.
- Add the canola oil, egg, salt and enough flour to form a soft dough. Knead for 5 minutes.
- Form dough into a smooth ball. Keeping the dough in the bowl, spray with non-stick spray and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.
- Punch down dough. Knead for 1 minute.
- Form loaf by rolling ball into an oblong shape then tucking and pinching the ends under the loaf.
- Place loaf in a bread pan. Brush thoroughly with egg mixture.
- Let loaf sit while oven is preheating to 400 degrees F, or about 10 minutes. It bakes at a higher temp than other bread recipes. Make sure your oven rack is on a lower setting so that the top doesn't burn!
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, until outside is golden brown and internal temperature of loaf registers 195-200 degrees.
- Let cool. Slice & enjoy with butter!
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Instant or Active Dry Yeast for Making Bread
If you use instant yeast, you can add it directly to your other dry ingredients when making bread. If you use active dry yeast, you’ll need to first dissolve it in warm water before using it in a recipe. I buy my yeast in bulk from Costco and it’s active dry yeast.
BEST BREAD PAN?
I bake a lot of bread and the pans I prefer are either ceramic, glass or cast iron. These pans will bake bread more evenly and release the bread more easily after baking. I don’t like using dark or nonstick pans because the bread cooks unevenly. It darkens on the outside before the bread is cooked on the inside, so the coloring is uneven. Read more about which bread pan is the best here!
How to Store Homemade White Sandwich Bread
Homemade bread needs to be stored in an airtight container. We like to use these bread bags because they’re the perfect size and shape.
White Sandwich Bread Recipe FAQ
There are so many different types of sandwich bread! The two most basic varieties are white and wheat. This is a white loaf, which is a soft, feathery classic bread.
Store-bought white bread can contain trace amounts of benzoyl peroxide which is used to “bleach” the flour white. That’s why we make homemade bread, so that we can have control over the ingredients! So be sure to use “unbleached” white flour.
The egg and oil in this bread heavily contribute to the soft, spongy texture. You can replace canola oil with a light olive oil if you’d like. I find that using any other type of olive oil gives the bread a rather unique, unpleasant flavor.
Many bread recipes use both milk and water. Both are good! Using milk adds additional vitamins and protein. It’s also important to remember that breads that contain milk must be cooked to a full 200°F. That’s one of the reasons I use a cooking thermometer to test my bread for doneness before taking it out of the oven.
More incredible homemade bread recipes:
- Homemade Buttermilk Bread recipe
- Homemade Hawaiian Bread
- Honey Oat Bread recipe
- Cinnamon Raisin Bread
- Parmesan Garlic Dinner Rolls
- Fabulous French Bread
- Sweet Orange Dinner Rolls
- Easy Homemade Cheesy Breadsticks
- Tomato Parmesan Flatbread
- Potato Bread Recipe
- Soft Cornmeal Dinner Rolls
This white bread recipe is the best homemade bread. It’s great for sandwiches, toast, sides, anything! With only six ingredients it’s one of the easiest yeast bread recipes I’ve made!