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Easy Sandwich Bread Recipe with Almond Milk

I love fancy artisan loves, but sometimes a simple, easy to slice loaf of white bread is exactly what a girl needs. I eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all the time, and when I have ‘good’ peanut butter or high-end jellies, I want a tasty but basic bread that won’t dominate the experience. This loaf of bread is exactly that – simple, easy, tasty, but plain. It also makes great free-form dinner rolls that taste divine with melting butter! For a sweater loaf, just add a tablespoon of honey. You can make it with water instead of almond milk, or cow milk instead of almond milk, for that matter, but I like the extra rich, nutty flavor the almond milk adds. This recipe will make one very full loaf in a 9×5 pan, two smaller loaves, or an assortment of smaller, freeform pieces.

easy white sandwich bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of yeast, if it’s a little old, or 3/4 of a teaspoon of yeast, if it’s fresh
  • 1 tablespoon of table sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 2 cups of lukewarm milk
  • 2-3 additional cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon of salt

Recipe

 

1. Combine the 2 cups of flour, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl and stir throughly.

2. Add the warm milk and oil and stir thoroughly to combine.

3. Add one cup of additional flour and combine. Then, add a second cup. Finally, mix in as much additional flour as you need to make a thick, shaggy dough. It should take several minutes of powerful stirring to combine all the flour and reach this point. You’re not just baking – you’re getting an arm workout!

4. Cover your bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let it sit for about 20 minutes. This is a very important step in the bread baking process and will yield a much tastier loaf! This period of rest is known as autolyse. Technically, autolyse is when you just combine the water and flour and let it hang out, so adding the yeast is really a modified autolyse period. Also, using plastic wrap is so much cleaner than using a dish towel. Dish towels tend to get fuzz and who knows what else all over your bread. Why not just use some plastic wrap, or even an old plastic grocery bag?

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5. Stir in the salt, as best you can. Test knead the dough in the bowl and add additional flour if it is too sticky (in other words, if it gloms on to your hands).

6. Turn the bread dough out onto a well floured surface and knead. Add extra flour, as needed, to prevent it from sticking to the surface and your hands. Continue kneading for 8-10 minutes, until the dough is smooth. I get so bored kneading bread, but under-kneaded bread simply isn’t as good. I set up a short playlist of three good songs, enjoy them, and know the bread should be just about finished when the music is!

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7. Next, the bread needs to rise. You can either lightly oil and flour a bowl for the bread, or you can use a straight-sided plastic container. Using a plastic container and marking its side is a really easy way to determine whether the bread has doubled in volume or not! Either way, cover the bread loosely with plastic wrap and set it somewhere warm and out of the way. Let it rise for somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half, depending on the the weather. Either check for the dough roughly doubling in volume, or poke at it with a well-floured finger. Bread that’s ready won’t immediately bounce back from its prodding! Bread takes longer to rise at lower temperatures, so go by how it looks and feels, not the clock.

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8. Put the dough back on your floured work surface and flatten it with your hands to work out any large air bubbles. Then, dividid it, keep it whole, or make it into a bunch of separate balls. The choice is yours! If you use loaf pans, make sure to give them a light oiling to make removing the bread a breeze.

9. Shape your loaves. If you’re doing freeform, this is easy – just make it look however you would like. For loaf pans, the process is a little tricker and I’m honestly not the world’s best loaf-shaper. Essentially, you want to flatten your dough into a rectangle. Fold two corners down to make an envelope shape, fold the envelope point down, and then roll the flat bottom edge up. Press firmly (but don’t squash it) to remove air bubbles, pinch the seam to close it, and tuck/pinch the ends to close them. Hopefully the pictures below help these instructions make sense!

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The bread envelope.

pinched seam

Formed loaf of bread.

 

10. Place the loaves in their pans, if you’re using them, or leave them on the floured surface. Cover again and let rise for an additional 40-60 minutes. The dough should spring back slowly when poked. If you don’t let it rise enough, it will ‘blow it’s top’ in the oven (I was impatient when baking for this post and didn’t let mine rise enough. You may notice the semi-separated top on one of the loaves.). If you let it rise a super long time, it will go flat in the oven. This hasn’t happened to me (knock on wood and all that) and under-proofing loaves is far more common than over-proffing.

11. Preheat your oven to 375.

12. Once the loaves are ready, place them in the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for 3o minutes in the pan before turning them out.

13. Enjoy your delicious, homemade bread!

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To store, wait until the bread is completely cool and place in a bread box or ziplock bag. Because it lacks preservatives, it does need to be eaten fairly quickly. It does freeze well, though. I like to freeze one loaf whenever I bake two! Wrap it tightly in aluminum foil and seal it inside a freezer bag. Well-sealed frozen bread keeps for a couple of months.

Do you enjoy baking bread? It has a reputation for being difficult, and bread does kind of have a mind of its own. This recipe is super simple, though, and I know people who can’t cook but are fabulous bakers. Go ahead, give this loaf a try!

Natasha Hoover

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Linking up with the amazing Made by Joey and The Owl’s Skull!

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{ 14 comments… add one }

  • Kathryn Stratford May 16, 2013, 7:40 pm

    This looks great! I like baking bread. I have never tried it with almond milk, but that sounds like an interesting idea!
    I also like that the yeast amount depends on the freshness. I didn’t realize it’s good to add a little more if it is not fresh. That is a very handy thing to know.
    Thanks for sharing this with us! Love the photos. They make me want a fresh slice now 🙂
    ~ Kathryn

    • natashalh May 17, 2013, 1:02 pm

      If it’s old, it may not be as active. Even with the extra yeast, my bread struggled a little!

  • Deezy May 17, 2013, 11:16 am

    Thank you for stopping by Deezy Does It this week!! I hope you signed up for the giveaway.
    Thanks!
    xx xo
    Deezy
    http://deezydoesiteezy.blogspot.com

    • natashalh May 17, 2013, 1:01 pm

      I think I did – maybe I should check to be sure! Thanks for stopping by.

  • Ashley @ Downsizing May 17, 2013, 11:29 am

    I found your blog on the showcase and started following on Bloglovin’. I’m trying to learn how to cook, but bread is something I would be terrified to try. It looks delicious, though!

    Ashley @ http://downsizingashley.blogspot.com/

    • natashalh May 17, 2013, 1:02 pm

      Bread seems scary, but this one is a great place to start! Thanks for following.

  • Alice (@mumsmakelists) May 17, 2013, 9:41 pm

    Looks so yummy – have pinned it, Alice @ Mums Make Lists

    • natashalh May 17, 2013, 9:41 pm

      Awesome! Thanks much!

  • Sarah May 20, 2013, 11:23 am

    There’s something so comforting about the smell of home baked bread.

    Thanks for linking up!

    Sarah @ A Cat-Like Curiosity

    • natashalh May 20, 2013, 11:55 am

      Baking bread has to be in the top 10 best smells in the world!

  • Alice @ The Owl's Skull May 20, 2013, 7:05 pm

    This post is so beautiful!! I love a good bread:). Thanks for linking up at The Owl’s Skull! J

    • natashalh May 20, 2013, 7:41 pm

      Thanks for hosting! The smell of fresh bread is so amazing.

  • Splendid Little Stars May 21, 2013, 11:50 pm

    I do love making bread! I will have to try this recipe. We always have almond milk around.
    Your bread looks fabulous!

    • natashalh May 22, 2013, 5:08 am

      Thank you! Cow milk doesn’t get along with me anymore, so I was pleased to learn almond will works in bread!

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