Perfect Sandwich Bread

Perfect Sandwich Bread (makes 4 loaves)

4 cups warm water
2 TBSP (heaping) dry active yeast
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup molasses
1 TBSP lemon juice

6 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
6 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
4 tsp. salt

Add dry active yeast to warm water and allow yeast to proof for 5 minutes. While yeast is proofing, add oil, molasses and lemon juice to water and yeast mixture. Set aside. Mix dry ingredients together, then slowly add wet ingredients in mixer and mix until well combined (if mixing by hand, add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients as it will be easier to mix).

Add more flour or more water until you get a nice, soft dough. Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes at this stage, then knead until the dough reaches the "window pane" test. In my Bosch mixer it takes 8 minutes to fully knead this dough to the “window pane” stage.

Cover the bowl with saran wrap and allow to rise for one hour. Punch down gently and allow it to rise again until doubled in volume. Divide the dough into four sections being careful not to fully flatten the dough. Shape into sandwich loaves and allow the bread to proof in bread pans (about 15 minutes). Once the bread has risen above the sides of the pans, place them in a preheated oven to 375 F for 30-35 minutes (33 minutes is perfect is my oven).

This is our weekly go to sandwich bread recipe. I have modified this recipe so many times and in so many ways from the original recipe, I feel confident calling it my own recipe. I’ve made this recipe once a week for the past year as we use this bread for all our breakfast toast and lunch sandwiches. It’s perfect. I have made over 30 different sandwich bread recipes trying to convert my husband to want homemade bread for his work lunches but he stood firm. He has loved every other bread I have made but didn’t care for homemade bread with a peanut butter sandwich- it was just too dry a combination for him.

But after several years and literally 30+ attempts, it was this creation that converted him. We no longer buy bread at the grocery store- ever. For the past year all of his lunches he uses this bread and raves about how amazing his sandwiches now taste. :) Plus its dairy free, egg free, soy free for my daughter and uses all shelf stable ingredients.


Maureen said...

Thanks, can't wait to try it! How do you get the perfect slices? I never seem to be able to get the right thickness w/o the bread squashing...I have a moderately-priced bread knife, maybe I need a better one???

Erica said...

Question: How long does this bread keep? Do you think it would do well frozen? I'd like to start making my own, but we don't need 4 loaves a week. More like 1, really.

Emily said...

Hi Erica, I personally freeze all bread that we don't eat the day of baking because I don't care for the taste of day old bread. This bread freezes really well.

Here is a link to a post on how I freeze our bread. It works great for us and makes it easy for my husband to make his lunch sandwiches each evening and for me to pull bread out for toast for breakfast.

As this bread doesn't have any preservatives, I assume the bread would keep on the counter in a bag for two days.

If you aren't up for baking 4 loaves at a time, you can cut this recipe in half and just make 2 loaves. Happy baking. :)

Emily said...

Hi Maureen,
Perfect slices? Practice, practice, practice. :)

A professional chef taught me to:

1. Be patient and wait for the bread to fully cool until slicing.

2. Use an offset 9" knife like this one . I have one like this one, not this brand but I only paid $15.00 but it has made all the difference having the offset handle and the longer blade. You don't need to spend more than this on a bread knife.

3. Don't force the knife into the bread, let the knife drop through the bread gently. If you find you are using a lot of force your slices will get sloppy and uneven.

Hope this helps! Emily

Holly said...

Wow, you are a determined woman. Love it. I am encouraged to attempt to make bread again. If you can do it for so long to get it right, I can try making bread for the 3rd time right? ha ha I think I will invite my bread making friend over to help me with my kneeding questions.

Anonymous said...

Do you mind sharing the recipe for a 10" loaf? I like baking bread for the kids/family and use a healthy version of white bread. But your recipe looks much better and want to see if you could share this for 1 loaf bread.

Emily said...

Hello, thanks for stopping by. Would you mind clarifying what you mean by a 10" loaf recipe? If you are wanting to make this recipe for just one loaf of bread instead of four, it should cut down just fine- just reduce all measurements to a quarter (1 cup of water instead of 4 cups). Good luck!

LinnOrganized said...

Thank you SO much for your comment on my blog! I am so excited to find your blog and can't wait to take a look at it more. The bread recipe is fabulous--thank you!

Elisabeth said...

Love your blog! Just curious if honey could be substituted for the molasses? Thanks!

Emily said...

Hi Elisabeth, thanks for stopping by. Yes, you can substitute honey for molasses. However, I prefer the richer flavor the molasses gives. If you can eat molasses, I'd suggest making two different batches (one with molasses and one with honey) to see which one you prefer. Good luck!

Jess said...

I just baked some this morning, and it is amazing. I was on the phone with mom who was teasing me about not having any bread left for sandwiches since I was on my second piece. I did force myself to stop eating it LOL, but it is very yummy! My 3 year old also loved it!

Liz said...

Hi Emily. I saw a link to your blog on my friend Marcy's blog. I made your bread and love it!! Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will be featuring you on our blog

Sandy said...

Thanks for this bread recipe - it is a winner! I, too, keep trying different sandwich bread recipes b/c the one I was using for several years was getting a little old for my family. These loaves have great texture and flavor!

Bonnie said...

Hi.. Its Bonnie again... I have perfected the pizza!!yeah!!! It was so very yummy and we loved the garlic chicken pizza also (i have made 10 pizza's in the last week) I have now moved on to this bread. Here are my questions My bread was DELICIOUS... BUT it stuck to the pan.. broke when i tried to get it out... and the top was all over the place not nice and uniform like yours. I want to use this for sandwich bread like you do but my husband, although he loved the taste, wants his sandwich bread uniform like yours is (he's so piky..hehe) Shoule i have cooled the bread before i removed it from the pans? or oiled the pans? Maybe shaped the loaves better (i was so afraid to mess with them to much i didnt want to flatten the dough) thank you so much for your time.

Bonnie said...

Oh i forgot to ask you if you had a good speghetti sauce/lasagna sauce recipe (i noticed in your freezer tips area you mentined speghetti sauce. i am still searching for a good recipe for that. Thank You, once again, for your time!!! Bonnie

Mary @ A Simple Twist Of Faith said...

I am going try this recipe next week, I just need to buy some molasses!

Emily said...

Hi Bonnie,
If you are using metal or glass bread pans they need to be well greased for all breads. Lots of people use Crisco to make sure their breads come out. I use Silicone bread pans so I never have to grease them and the bread always slides right out.

Everyone shapes their loaves differently, but here is a video clip similar to how I shape mine. I don't punch the dough down as aggressive as her (I just lightly shape into a flat rectangle). After rolling the dough into a jelly roll I seal the edge of the dough by lightly squishing it against the other dough. I hope this makes sense.

Good luck!

Oh, I don't have an awesome spaghetti sauce recipe, just a basic one. Tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, ground beef or ground homemade sausage. You'll have to let me know if you find a great recipe.

Bonnie said...

Hi.. me again... I am now on the hunt for silicone bread pans which brand would you recommend?

Emily said...

Hello Bonnie, try the Wilton brand at Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Bonnie said...

My first batch of bread (in which I halved the recipe and made two loaves)last weekend went fine except for the problms we already discussed. Today i mixed up my second two loaves and guess what? i burned out the motor in my kitchenaid mixer while kneading. Soooo now i am on the hunt for a new stand mixer that can handle not only a half batch (which is what i made both times) but a full batch (4 loaves) what kind do you recommend? i need something good since I am going to start making this every weekend.
PS my husband is so funny... each time I encounter a new problem I respond by saying "well let me message Emily" he has started calling you my imaginary stalker friend (me stalking you of course!!). AHHhhHaHaHa

Emily said...

Hi Bonnie,
I loved your husbands comments, I'm happy to help. I burned through 6 Kitchen Aid mixers in just over 6 years and finally converted over to something with a lot more power that can handle kneading large batches of dough.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my Bosch 800w universal plus mixer. It can handle mixing and kneading 6 loaves of bread dough at a time but I prefer to work with 4 loaves at a time. It can also knead the bread 100%, which the Kitchen Aid can't do. It has a ton of power and does an amazing job with working with all kinds of dough. It also does a great job with cookie dough, frostings, etc.

I also have the blender attachment and it's the best blender I've used. But to keep costs down, I'd start with the mixer and add a blender if you want down the road.

If you have a Bosch store, you can check there for specials (attending a free cooking class there can get you a discount on any products they use during the class including their mixers).

Amazon also has a decent price at $359.00 with free shipping (link below). I know it's more expensive than a Kitchen Aid but it has a great warranty and has saved me hours in the kitchen from not needing to hand knead my dough each week (I use mine a few times a week). Good luck!

Bonnie said...

Just recieved my new Bosch!!! Im absolutely GIDDY!!! Like a kid in a candy store!!! i am going to make my first batch of 4 Loaves of bread and i was wondering?? you said 8 minutes it took to mix in your mixer....what speed was that on? Then do you put it in another bigger bowl for it to rise? I am assuming you would need to but thought i may b wrong again... this has been such a learning process for me!! I also ordered spices from savory spice shop. I got their arrowroot (i have never used this before) chili powder and white pepper. Cant wait to try that arrowroot out!!! from what i understand their ancho chili powder does not have fillers etc... would this be what i would use for your two chicken recipies? i cant find the McCormick light you talked of in our stores in Oklahoma and the origional McCormick has "spices" so thats "bad" for me. Once again THANK YOU for all your help!!!

Emily said...

Yeah, a new Bosch!!! Yes, combine all of your ingredients in your mixer until you are happy with the texture of the dough. Once you get the right amount of flour and you like the dough texture, mix on speed 2 for 8 minutes. Then transfer to a large bowl to rise. Good luck!

You'll love the spices from the Savory spice shop!

Ramsey said...

I just found this recipe and I'm at the very last step before I put them in the oven and I had a question. Do you bake them all at the same time or one at a time?

Emily said...

I bake all 4 loaves at the same time. Good luck!

Ramsey said...

I just wanted to come back and say this is the best bread recipe I've ever tried! I have since passed it along to anyone who will listen. Thank you so much for posting it! I love love love this bread!

Emily said...

You are too kind. Thank you so much for the feedback. Have a nice day.

Sheikkila said...

Hi Emily, I really like this sandwich bread recipe, Thank You for sharing it. I got a bread machine for Christmas and I was wondering if you had any tips for using this recipe in the bread machine. I think I'm going to have to cut the recipe in fourths also, is that a major problem? Thanks.

Emily said...

Hi Sara, Thank you for your feedback, I'm glad to hear you like the recipe.

Cutting it down to fourths for your bread machine won't be a problem. Just look for a recipe in the booklet that came with your bread machine and add this recipes ingredients in the order it recommends in the book (generally all the dry ingredients first, followed by a well of the wet ingredients).

I used a bread machine for a few years and was never happy with the results. I prefer to mix the dough in a Bosch, then bake in the oven. But I know of many others that are happy with the results from their bread machine. Keep experimenting until you find a set up that you are happy with. Good luck!

organicpatchwork said...

This recipe sounds really good. I was wondering if you've ever tried it with all whole wheat?