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Homemade sandwich bread has an unfair reputation for being complicated and time-consuming. Learn how to make a loaf of bread the old-fashioned way without any machines or fuss.

There is something about the smell of fresh bread baking that brings people together. Whether it’s childhood memories or a favorite restaurant, negativity is never attached.

Making homemade bread takes practice. My husband can vouch for me when I say I’ve had my fair share of bread failures.

As I gained experience kneading, stretching, and folding, I learned which factors caused unfavorable outcomes.

Unfavorable” is the kitchen code for a dry, crumbly, 10-pound bread brick.

Homemade Bread Offers Food Security

In our area of Long Island, we have had some nasty Nor’Easter winter storms and summer tropical storms.

Having the knowledge and skills to bake homemade sandwich bread allows me to keep the kitchen running while everyone else is panic buying bread and perishables at the grocery store.

Homemade Sandwich Bread Ingredients

Bread flour: I use King Arthur’s bread flour in the blue and white bag. You can use all-purpose flour if that’s all you have but I’ve found that bread flour exists for a reason.

If you can’t find bread flour at your local store, you can make it yourself by mixing regular all-purpose flour with vital wheat gluten.

Raw honey: I try to only use natural sweeteners in my everyday cooking. Raw honey activates the yeast in this recipe.

Active yeast: Sourdough is wonderful and in a perfect world, all of my bread products would be made from fermented or ancient grains.

HOWEVER – I’m a wife, mom, working nurse, homemaker, house cleaner, and beginning homesteader.

Active yeast allows me to have a loaf of bread on the counter 2 hours later when I forget my grilled cheese toddler promises.

Water: Use warm filtered water around 100-110 degrees F. Anything too hot will kill the yeast and anything too cold will prevent it from activating.

Salt: I use pink Himalayan sea salt at home. Use whatever you have on hand – preferably not iodized.

Egg: Eggs make up part of the liquid element in baking. One egg is equivalent to 1/4 cup of liquid. Egg also helps to add volume, color, and bind the ingredients together.

Salt: Salt helps to regulate the activity of the yeast to produce a consistent, slow rise. Too much salt will stop yeast activity altogether while not enough salt will cause the dough to rise too fast.

My Top Tips for Making Homemade Sandwich Bread

Don’t take it too seriously

Ingredients are cheap and the rising time isn’t long. If you mess up, make bread crumbs and try again.

Only slice what you need to use

Keep the rest of the loaf intact and wrapped well. There are no preservatives included so it will become stale or moldy after a few days. The less contact with air the bread has, the better.

Store it properly

Wrap the loaf twice in plastic wrap – once horizontally and once vertically. I then place the double-wrapped loaf in a gallon-sized Ziploc bag (they’re BPA-free) and store it in the microwave.

Microwaves are airtight and good for bread storage.

Don’t refrigerate

Refrigerating the bread may prolong shelf life by a few days but will kill the fluffy texture. Storing at room temperature is best.

How to Make Homemade Sandwich Bread With a Stand Mixer

Combine the active yeast, raw honey, and warm water. Set aside until it looks bubbly and smells like beer – about 5 minutes.

Add all ingredients to the stand mixer bowl and attach the dough hook.

Run the mixer on the lowest setting until the ingredients are combined. This usually takes about 1 or 2 minutes.

Increase the speed of the mixer to medium and leave it there until a dough ball forms around the hook and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Remove the dough ball and place it into an oiled glass bowl.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in a warm place for about 45 minutes to an hour for the first rise.

Punch the dough down in the center of the bowl once.

Remove the dough and tuck the sides under it to form a dough log. Place the log into the loaf pan.

Cover the loaf pan with a clean dish towel and allow it to go through the second rise.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

When the dough has risen to the top of the loaf pan, put it in the oven to bake for 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let the bread cool in the pan.

When the pan is cool enough to handle, remove the bread and place it on the cooling rack to finish cooling.

Slice when completely cool.

Homemade Breadcrumbs From Failed Loaves of Bread

Cut the loaf of bread into small cubes. Bake on a cookie sheet at 400F until dried out.

Run the dried cubes through a food processor or blender with garlic, salt, and dried herbs.

Store breadcrumbs in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to 10 days.

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