Come in and Stay Safe! --Sue

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Honey White Sandwich Bread


Everyone needs a basic white bread recipe that is reliably delicious. Here is my recipe.

I've tried a lot of white bread recipes over the years, and usually the results have been disappointing. Either the loaf was too dry, too bland, too heavy, or just unappealing in some way. Because of this, I made many batches freestyle, with no recipe, just relying on my experience and senses. This was great most of the time, but the results were of course inconsistent. I decided to develop a recipe that was just moist enough, just light enough, with great texture and a hint of sweetness from honey. And, it would use exact measurements, so that I could make it again and again successfully. 

That's a tall order. Sandwich bread is very different from the sourdough breads I've been working on, and the desired characteristics fall into a narrow range. Go too far off on any one of them and suddenly the bread is.... just wrong. First, consider hydration. This is the amount of water in the batch as a percentage of the flour weight. This recipe is 62% hydration. That is in the desired range for sandwich range, a bit above the midpoint. 
(For nerds only, here is the calculation: 950 g water plus 34 g as the water portion of the honey, which is 20% water is 984 g. That, divided by 1587.6 g, the weight of the flour, gives 62% as the hydration)
Next, oil. I use cottonseed oil, in an amount that I've found adds tenderness to the crumb, without weighing down the bread.

Similarly, honey is a matter of personal preference, but I like a faint sweetness to the bread. Not so sweet that it seems like dessert, but just enough to enhance the meats, vegetables and cheeses that we'll use with it. It shouldn't clash with mustard or mayo. It should taste good toasted.

Other items: I use instant yeast, but you can use regular dry yeast, rehydrating it first in a quarter cup of water. I use Fruit Fresh because of its ascorbic acid content, which promotes even hole distribution and oven spring. If you have powdered ascorbic acid you could use that instead, but Fruit Fresh is easy to get and works well for me. Diastatic Malt is an optional ingredient that gives a little more food to the yeast, and promotes good flavor.

Equipment notes: This recipe makes four loaves in regular loaf pans. I use a Cuisinart mixer, but I believe this will also work in a Kitchen Aid mixer. You need a kitchen scale because most of the ingredients are given in gram weights. (This is because I have found that my various measuring cups are very inconsistent with each other. Weights work much better and are scalable.)   

So with no further ado,

Honey White Sandwich Bread

Makes four loaves, approximately 1 lb 8 oz each.

Note: Use a kitchen scale to weigh out the ingredients. Tare the scale (put the container on the scale and set it to 0) before weighing each ingredient.


Dry Ingredients:

1587 grams of bread flour (I use King Arthur Sir Galahad Artisan Flour, other similar flour will work) 
8 grams instant yeast

1/4 tsp Fruit Fresh (optional but very helpful)

1 1/2 tsp Diastatic Malt (optional)

Wet Ingredients:

120 grams vegetable oil (I use cottonseed oil, others can be used) This is 1/2 cup of oil

170 grams honey (I use rather generic honey for this, as it will be baked) This is 1/2 cup of honey

950 grams water 


  1. Combine dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. With paddle attachment, stir to combine briefly.

  2. Add wet ingredients; mix on low speed until well combined. Let this sit for 10 minutes; this is the Autolyze, when the flour will hydrate, allowing better mixing at the next step.

  3. Set the timer and with the dough hook attachment, knead on medium speed for 7 minutes. Leave on the machine, cover with plastic and leave this for 45 minutes.

  4. After 45 minutes, turn on the mixer on LOW speed for 5 seconds. This gives the dough a stretch. Cover with plastic and leave this for another 45 minutes.

  5. Again, turn on the mixer on LOW speed for 5 seconds to stretch the dough. Let this sit for 20 minutes.

  6.  Dump out the dough on a floured board. Cut in four pieces, checking with the scale for even sizing. You should have pieces that weigh between 1 lb 8 oz  and 1 lb 9 oz.

  7.  Take each piece of dough, flatten slightly on the board so that it is a rectangle as long as the loaf pan. Don't crush all the air out of the dough. Gently roll up the rectangle and place in loaf pan which has been sprayed with Pam or other cooking spray. Make sure the seam from rolling is on the bottom. Optionally spray lightly with Pam before allowing to rise.

  8. Allow to rise in proofing oven or other warm place for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the dough is rounding slightly over the top of the pan. 

  9. Bake in 375 F oven for 40 minutes, cool on rack. If desired, butter loaf tops while still hot.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your feedback matters! So please leave a comment. I will do my best to answer all comments! Cheers, Sue