Here is the perfect White Sandwich Bread. This soft white bread has milk and butter in the recipe. It’s the perfect loaf for your next BLT or PB&J.
To celebrate the sandwich I’m offering a recipe for quintessential sliced white sandwich bread.
Though I usually prefer a whole wheat or rye bread for the flavor and texture, I think certain sandwiches work best with simple, soft white bread, like a BLT or PB&J.
But just because it’s white bread doesn’t mean it has to have the lackluster taste and squishy texture of a certain “wonderous” bread that many of us ate growing up.
I made this bread last week because the luscious summer tomatoes on my kitchen counter kept whispering “BLT, BLT…” I made a beautiful loaf with my sourdough starter.
By the time the bread was baked and cooled I’d lost the daylight and we were starving. So we just went ahead with dinner and I planned to make another loaf to photograph for the post.
Make White Sandwich Bread with a starter or a sponge
I keep a sourdough starter in my refrigerator and I like to use it for most of my breads. If you don’t have a starter hanging around in your refrigerator you can also make this recipe using a sponge.
So that I could offer alternate directions for those who don’t have a sourdough starter I decided to make two loaves of bread, one with the starter and one with a sponge.
These process photos show you what the sponge looks like and how to tell if the bread is proofed.
The two loaves were a little different. The loaf made with the starter rose dramatically in the oven, mushrooming over the sides of the pan. I loved the way it looked, rustic and homey with a slightly irregular crumb.
The biggest difference was in flavor. Both breads had a nice chewy yet soft texture, due to the milk and butter in the recipe, but the bread made from the sponge had a pronounced yeasty flavor that was not unpleasant, but it did overtake the wheat-y taste a bit.
Contrary to the name, the sourdough bread did not have a sour taste, it had a slightly sweet, nutty, pronounced wheat flavor.
If I didn’t taste them side-by-side I’m sure I would have thoroughly enjoyed either loaf. For my money the more complex flavor of the sourdough loaf is worth the trouble of keeping a starter alive in your refrigerator.
Happy Sandwich month!
If you love this recipe as much as I do, please consider leaving a 5-star review.
- 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) whole milk
- 2 tablespoons (1 oz, 28g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (8 oz, 224g) active sourdough starter (see note if you don't have a starter)
- 1/2 tsp dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 2.5 cups (11oz, 300g) all purpose flour, approximately
- Warm the milk in the microwave to about 100°F. Stir the butter into the warm milk to melt. The temperature of the milk should be about 90°, close to body temp.
- In a mixer bowl, combine the warm milk with the starter, yeast, sugar and salt and stir to combine. Add 1.5 cups of the flour and stir until the batter looks like thick pancake batter. If using a stand mixer, change to the dough hook.
- With the mixer running, slowly add the remaining flour until the dough gathers on the hook and clears the sides of the bowl. If mixing by hand, stir in as much flour as you can then turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead in the remaining flour.
- Remove the dough from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. The dough should be soft and slightly sticky. Knead for about 5 minutes to form a smooth ball. If the dough is very sticky sprinkle a little more flour as you knead.
- Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning once to coat the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm spot to rise for about 1.5-2 hrs hours until doubled in size.
- Grease a 9"x 5" loaf pan with a very light film of vegetable oil.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and without kneading out the air, gently push the dough to a rectangle shape, turn the short side of the rectangle to face you. Starting from the top side, fold the rectangle into thirds, like a letter. Turn the dough so the short side is facing you and tightly roll the dough from top to bottom to form a log shape.
- If the log is shorter than the loaf pan, gently roll and push the log from the center out to the size of the pan. Set the dough into the pan and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Set in a warm place and rise until the dough comes 1" over the top of the pan, about 1-1.5 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Use a sharp knife or razor to cut a 1/2" deep slash down the center of the loaf.
- Bake about 30-35 minutes until golden brown and and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The interior temp should be about 200°F.
- Cool in the pan about 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Finish cooling to room temperature before slicing,
If you don't have a sourdough starter already make a sponge with 1/2 cup of warm water, 1/2 cup of all purpose flour and 1.5 teaspoon of yeast. Combine the ingredients in a mixer bowl and allow to rise for at least 1 hour. Proceed with the recipe from there.
AmazonBasics Nonstick Carbon Steel Bread Pan - 9.5" x 5", 2-Pack
Breadtopia Sourdough Starter (Live)
KitchenAid KSM150PSCU Artisan Series 5-Qt. Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield - Contour Silver
Breadtopia Bread Lame (Dough Scoring Tool)
Ultra Cuisine 100% Stainless Steel Wire Cooling Rack for Baking fits Half Sheet Pan – Cool Cookies, Cakes, Breads - Oven Safe for Cooking, Roasting, Grilling - Heavy Duty Commercial Quality
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