Basic White Bread Without a Bread Machine

This bread was inspired by a situation that occurred a few weeks ago. Fuzz had a friend over for an all-day visit, and when lunch time rolled around, I wasn’t able to make this friend what she wanted — a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I had tons of good peanut butter and some grape jelly, but the only bread on hand was a bag of high fiber English muffins.

Basic White Bread

By that point it was too late to make white bread from scratch (I ended up having to take the girls out), but over the next couple of days I tried a few recipes and settled on this one.  We’ve been making it ever since.

White Bread

Now we just need to invite Fuzz’s peanut butter & jelly loving friend over for a taste test. I think she’ll approve.

Basic White Bread

Basic White Bread Without a Bread Machine
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A basic white bread perfect for sandwiches and toast.
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 5 teaspoons of unsalted butter
  • 3 to 3 ½ cups of (about 13.5 oz plus more if needed) bread flour
  • 5 teaspoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon salt, Morton Kosher**
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon of yeast (half a packet) active dry yeast
  1. In a microwave-safe liquid measuring cup, combine the water, milk and butter. Microwave for 1 minute, and then stick a thermometer in the mixture. It should be about 125 degrees or hotter. If it’s hotter, let it cool down to about 125 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1 cup of the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Gradually add the 125 degree liquid mixture to the flour mixture and stir well. Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time until you have a dough that is not too dry, nor too sticky.
  3. Attach the dough hook to the mixer and knead with the mixer for about 8 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.
  4. Rub a second bowl with butter. Put the dough in the greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Press it down and pat it into a rectangle. Roll into a cylinder and put the cylinder in a greased and floured 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pan.
  5. Put the loaf pan in a warm place and let it rise for 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 45 minutes or until loaf is browned and feels hollow when tapped. Let cool completely, then remove from the pan and slice.

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  1. Darlene says

    The finished loaf looks beautiful – I bet it would be delicious in French toast.

  2. Allie B. says

    Have you tried the America’s Test Kitchen American sandwich loaf? It’s WONDERFUL – and 2 hours from start to finish with no bread machine.

  3. June C says

    Looks like a really wonderful loaf of bread. I wonder why the botton looks more dense than the top of the loaf (less air bubbles)

  4. says

    It wasn’t really that noticeable in the actual bread, but you can see it in the photo. I guess the dough on the bottom had less room to expand, while the dough on the top was able to rise more freely and air bubbles got bigger. It wasn’t an issue for us, but it reminded me of the existence of those covered loaf pans they sell at Williams Sonoma called Pullman Loaf Pans which make a perfectly square loaf. Using something like that might help make a really dense, even, crumb.

  5. June C says

    Anna, thanks for the reply. I liked the open texture of the top of the loaf. I use a bread machine and I make a very wet dough so that I will get the large holes, I like it that way

  6. says

    This is like a no-knead recipe I have other than the punching down. It looks delicious. How do you keep from eating the whole loaf right out of the oven???

  7. says

    I can’t get bread flour here so I used regular and got a smaller loaf. Still, I loved the buttery taste and it sliced beautifully. I was surprised to get that nice texture without the use of an egg in the recipe. Thanks for sharing this.

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