This pillowy white bread recipe will be your new favorite! Straightforward & easy to make, and it bakes up so soft & fluffy! A perfect sandwich bread.

Homemade loaf of soft white bread on a wooden board.

It’s a brand new year!

And I’m kicking it off with a basic recipe that you’ll love having in your back pocket: white bread!

I don’t know about you, but in my family, we go through A LOT of bread. It gets toasted at breakfast time, and made into sandwiches for lunch. We even eat it with our dinner a lot, buttered and served as sort of a side dish or appetizer.

We have several favorites, such as this soft whole wheat bread, this crusty French baguette, and this brioche. They are all so good, but nothing is more versatile than a simple white loaf.

This one has a soft, fluffy texture and a flavor that’s perfectly balanced. It really is the best sandwich bread.

And best of all, the recipe couldn’t be easier to make! With just a handful of ingredients and a method that’s simple as can be, this white bread recipe is sure to be on heavy rotation in your kitchen.

Loaf of homemade white bread on a wooden board with a text overlay above reading "Soft White Bread."

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE WHITE BREAD

To make this easy recipe, start by proofing the yeast.

Dissolve a little sugar in some warm water, and then sprinkle active dry yeast all over the surface.

Dissolving dry active yeast in warm water

The water should be warm but not hot. Think of the temperature you’d make a baby’s bath- just a little warmer than body temp. If the water is too hot it could kill the yeast, and then your bread won’t rise.

After about 5 minutes, the yeast will have dissolved, and the mixture will look kinda foamy. This is how you know your yeast is working!

Proofed yeast in a bowl of warm water.

Mix in about 2 cups of the flour, along with the butter.

Adding flour to dissolved yeast for white bread.

Once that’s all incorporated, knead in another 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 cups of flour, along with the salt. You should start to see the dough gathering itself into a ball, and pulling away from the sides of the bowl cleanly.

White bread dough gathering itself into a ball and pulling away cleanly from the sides of the mixing bowl.

Work in another 1/2 cup or so of flour, kneading until the bread feels very smooth and stretchy. Give it a good long knead (around 10 minutes) to really develop the structure of the bread.

Now mist the bowl with a little non-stick spray, and pop the dough back in. Cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm place until it’s doubled in size. This will typically take anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes.

White bread dough that has risen to double it's original volume.

Once the dough has grown, punch it back down and knead it a few times, creating an elongated loaf shape.

Forming white bread dough into a loaf shape.

Place the unbaked dough in a loaf pan and cover it with a sheet of plastic wrap that’s been misted with non-stick spray.

Unbaked loaf of white bread in a pan.

This will need another 30 to 45 minutes to rise a second time, and then it can go into the oven until golden brown and puffed.

You’ll know your bread is done baking when it makes a hollow sound when tapped.

CAN YOU LEAVE OUT THE SUGAR?

I personally really like the flavor of this bread with the amount of sugar and salt stated in the recipe card below. It’s not sweet, it just has a nice, balanced flavor.

But if you want to leave the sugar out, you can. Just be aware that the bread will need more time to rise because the yeast won’t have as much to feed off of.

And you might also notice that the shelf life of the bread will be cut short. Breads made without sugar tend to go stale more quickly.

CAN THIS BE MADE GLUTEN-FREE?

This recipe is not gluten-free and I have not tested it as such, but if you have a gluten-free flour blend that subs 1:1 for regular flour, I would think that would work well as a replacement for the all-purpose flour.

Here are a few good options:

Sandwich bread sliced and stacked on a white plate.

CAN YOU MAKE THIS IN A BREAD MACHINE

I use my stand mixer for almost everything, including bread making.

But if you prefer to use a bread machine, it should work well with this recipe.

If you don’t have either, that’s fine too! You can totally mix this white bread up and knead it by hand. It’s very easy to do!

CAN THE DOUGH BE MADE AHEAD?

Making bread dough ahead can really be a great way to save time.

OVERNIGHT WHITE BREAD

Follow the recipe all the way through to shaping the loaf, then cover it tightly with greased plastic wrap and stash it in the fridge for 24 to 36 hours.

When you’re ready to bake it, take it out and allow it to come up to room temperature. Then give it 30 to 45 minutes to rise to twice its original size, and bake it as usual.

CAN YOU FREEZE THE DOUGH?

The unbaked dough can also be frozen after its first rise.

Punch it down and place it in an airtight container. It will keep in the freezer for about a month. (Any longer than that can kill the yeast.)

Then thaw it to room temp, shape it, allow it to rise a second time, and bake it off.

HOW LONG DOES HOMEMADE WHITE BREAD LAST?

This white bread will keep at room temperature for up to a week. Just be sure to keep it tightly wrapped so it doesn’t dry out.

In the fridge, it will last around 2 weeks, and in the freezer for 1 to 2 months.

Overhead image of sliced white sandwich bread on a wooden cutting board with soft butter.

A few more yeast bread recipes you might enjoy:

  • Soft Homemade Dinner Rolls
  • Soft Italian Breadsticks
  • Easy Homemade Croissant Recipe
  • Homemade Cinnamon Bread

As an amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


White bread closeup shot with text overlay.

White bread closeup shot with text overlay.

White bread closeup shot with text overlay.

5 from 4 votes
Homemade loaf of soft white bread on a wooden board.
Soft White Bread
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Proofing Time
1 hr
Total Time
2 hrs
 

This pillowy white bread recipe will be your new favorite! Straightforward & easy to make, and it bakes up so soft & fluffy! A perfect sandwich bread.

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sandwich bread, sandwich bread recipe, white bread, white bread recipe
Servings: 12
Calories: 181 kcal
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place the warm water and sugar in a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast on top. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow the yeast to proof.

  2. Add the butter and 2 cups of the flour, and beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.

  3. Stir in an additional 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 cups of flour, along with the salt, mixing until the dough gathers itself into a ball and pulls away cleanly from the sides of the bowl.

  4. Continue to knead, adding an additional 1/2 to 3/4 cup flour, until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes).

  5. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Allow it to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (30 to 45 minutes).

  6. Lightly mist a 5 cup loaf pan with non-stick spray.

  7. Punch down the dough and shape it into a loaf.

  8. Place the dough in the prepared pan, cover it loosely with greased plastic wrap, and allow it to rise in a warm place until doubled in size (30 to 45 minutes).

  9. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  10. Uncover the dough and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the loaf sounds hollow when lightly tapped.

Nutrition Facts
Soft White Bread
Amount Per Serving
Calories 181 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 8mg3%
Sodium 148mg6%
Potassium 47mg1%
Carbohydrates 33g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 87IU2%
Calcium 8mg1%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.