Country White Sandwich Bread

Learn how to make this beautiful and fluffy country white sandwich bread recipe. No added preservatives, just a good wholesome loaf of bread you will feel good about eating!

Country White Sandwich Bread Recipe -Baker Bettie

I have been thinking a lot about the idea of worthiness lately. I recently heard someone say, “There are no prerequisites for worthiness.” This statement hit me hard. And initially I wasn’t even quite sure why. I just couldn’t quit thinking about it. “There are no prerequisites for worthiness.” It just feels powerful.

We are constantly questioning and trying to prove our worth. If only I was smarter, or skinnier, or more attractive. Even if we aren’t aware of it, the question of our worth effects our life. But I feel we can never fully see the worth in others if we don’t fully see the worth in ourselves.

I do think it is important to figure out the way I want to contribute to the world. In whatever way that may be, believing in a way to contribute can help me to see my worth. Be it big or small.

I am still figuring out my roles in this existence. I know for sure I have a role as a wife, a friend, a sister, and a daughter. These I know, and are important roles to me. But I know there are other things I am meant to contribute. I’m just not exactly sure what yet. But I do hope bread baking is part of it.

Country White Sandwich Bread Recipe -Baker Bettie

I love baking bread on Sundays when I am spending the whole day in relaxing with Mr. BB and doing housework. I can let it rise while I do a few loads of laundry while binge watching Netflix. It feels like multitasking which makes me feel productive while still be super lazy. It is perfection.

This week I made a country white sandwich loaf. It turned out tall, soft, fluffy, and tender. Mr.BB and I ate this as well as the decadent sweet loaf I have coming up for you this week in about 2 1/2 days. That was us trying to restrain ourselves, but, well… bread. I’m going to teach you the process. Let’s get started!

*Sidenote: I am starting to create information pages on basic baking/cooking techniques and ingredients according to what I’m talking about in each post. If you see a link on an ingredient or technique you can click it and find out more information about it. I want this blog to become a space where you can easily find the information you are looking for. If anything is ever unclear or you want more information about something please comment and let me know! I will create a page about it! You will see several of these links below!    Scalded milk

We start by “scalding” the milk. This is done by putting the milk in a saucepan and heating over medium heat until steaming, about 4 minutes, being careful not to boil. The reason for scalding the milk is two fold.  It kills any bacteria or wild yeast in the milk that may be lurking around. These things might prohibit the rise of the bread or change the flavor.

Scalding also serves to “denature” the proteins in the milk and kill the enzymes. All of this is just sciency mumbo jumbo that just means, you should not skip this scalding step if you want a great finished product! The scalded milk is removed from the heat and the butter is added to melt and combine with the milk. Let it sit and cool a little.

rehydrated yeast for bread

While the milk is cooling, combine the active dry yeast and warm water to hydrate the yeast. Active dry yeast is dormant. Adding it to warm water wakes it up and begins activating it. Yeast loooves warm temperatures.

The most important thing to remember here is you don’t want hot water. Yeast begins to die around 130-140 degrees. So you really want your water somewhere between 100-110 degrees.

I never use a thermometer for this, but please do if it makes you feel more comfortable. But then feel the water. Start to learn what 110 should feel like so you can get comfortable with knowing when it is warm enough but not too warm.

bread dough starter

Once the milk/butter mixture has cooled to lukewarm, add 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, the milk/butter mixture, and the salt to the re-hydrated yeast. Mix with the paddle attachment until smooth. Now switch to the dough hook and slowly add in the rest of the flour while mixing on medium speed until the dough forms a ball.

white sandwich bread dough

The dough will be sticky at this point but will be forming into a ball. The rest of the kneading will be done by hand on a clean and lightly floured work surface.

dough after kneading

After 5 minutes of kneading, the dough should be smooth and elastic but still slightly sticky. At this point it is ready for it’s first rise! Put it in a bowl and cover it with a clean towel or loosely with plastic wrap and go watch some Netflix for 2 hours!

bread dough after rising

After 2 hours the dough will be doubled in size and airy. You want to deflate the dough so that it can rise again! I always hesitate so say “punch down the dough.” Because you really don’t want to be forceful here. Just gently press your fist in the center of the dough and then fold the sides into the center.

"punching" down the bread dough

After the dough has been properly deflated cover it again and go watch a few more episodes of Saved by the Bell or some other guilty please show that totally annoys your husband… ahem, Dawson’s Creek…

shaping the bread dough

After the second rise and the second degassing (tee-hee) it’s time to shape the dough! Gently pat it roughly into the shape of a rectangle. Fold one end into the center, then the other end into the center and use the heel of your hand to gently seal the seem in the middle. Then fold the whole thing in half like a book. Take the entire loaf and set it in a greased loaf pan and use the palm of your hand to pat it down to evenly distribute the dough.

And you are going to have time for a little more Netflix binging here because you have to let it rise one more time! I know. It is such a process. But I love it because it is so satisfying to develop this thing and then pull it out of the oven and see how much your work paid off! And most of the time can be spent doing other things so I don’t mind.

After the bread has risen in the pans and should be peaking over top, NOW it’s ready for the oven!

This loaf is cooked at 400F for the first 10 minutes which gives it a rapid rise and then it is finished at 350F for another 40 minutes. You then need to let it cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing it. It is torture, I know, but trust me.

If you want this to stay as a fluffy sandwich loaf, do not cut the bread while hot and make sure you use a serrated knife. This recipe makes enough for two large loaves. You can use them both for sandwich bread or save half for an awesome cinnamon sugar braided bread recipe I have coming up for you this week!

sliced fresh bread

Recipe adapted from Wood Fired Kitchen’s Amish Country White Bread

Yields 2

Country White Bread

4 hrPrep Time

50 minCook Time

4 hr, 50 Total Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups of milk
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, but into pieces
3/4 cup water, about 105°
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 package)
3 Tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
4 1/2 cups of unbleached bread flour
1/2 cup of flour for kneading

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan heat the milk over medium heat for about 4 minutes to scald. When the milk is steaming remove it from the heat and add the butter. Set aside to cool.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the yeast and warm water. Set aside while the milk cools to lukewarm.
  3. The the mixing bowl with the yeast, add 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, salt and cooled milk mixture and beat with the paddle attachment until smooth.
  4. Switch to the dough hook and gradually add 21/2 cups more of flour while mixing on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, until the dough forms into a ball. This should take about 2 minutes of mixing.
  5. Turn the dough ball out onto a clean and lightly floured work space and knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 2 hours, until doubled in size.
  6. Gently press all of the gas out of the dough pull the edges over to the center to form a ball, and cover and let rise a second time for an hour.
  7. Grease two standard loaf pans (8.5 X 4.5 X 2.5) pans on the sides and bottoms. Turn the dough out onto the lightly floured surface again, and lightly push the air out of the dough. Cut the dough into two equal pieces. (If you only want to use half of the dough you can put the rest in the refrigerator for up to 2 days covered. Allow it to sit at room temp for 1 hour before using). Gently plat each piece of dough into a rectangle (about the shape of the loaf pan). Bring one end into the center and then the other end into the center so the ends are touching. Use the heel of your hand to press down and seal. Fold the loaf in half and gently move it into the loaf pan. Use the palm of your hand to gently press down the dough and evenly distribute it in the pan.
  8. Spray or brush the loaves with a bit of water and let them rise for about an hour again in a warm place. They should begin popping over the top of the pan. (my pan was taller than most and so my bread didn't come over top like I had hoped)
  9. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake loaves on the center rack for 10 minutes, and then turn down the oven temperature to 350°F. Bake for a further 40 minutes until golden brown. If the loafs are getting too dark, loosely place a piece of foil over top of them for the last part of baking.
  10. Let cool on baking racks for 30 minutes before slicing with a serrated knife.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Wood Fired Kitchen's Amish Country White Bread

7.6.4
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http://bakerbettie.com/country-white-bread/

 

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12 comments on “Country White Sandwich Bread”

  1. Hiya Bettie, love that this recipe is egg free and really want to try this but have a couple of questions, I only use powdered milk mixed in water; do I scald this too? If yes, how? Also, I use instant yeast and not active dry and usually add to the flour. Can I still do the same with this recipe and get the same results? Thanks
    • Hi there, thanks for the questions. You can reconstitute your powdered milk and then scald it. Most bakers believe that even with powdered milk you will get a better rise from the bread if you scald it, however it wouldn't ruin the bread not to. Just reconstitute it and then scald it like you would regular milk. These days, instant yeast and active dry yeast aren't really that different. You don't technically need to "bloom" the instant yeast by putting it in the water but I always do just to make sure it isn't a bad batch. If it doesn't turn frothy then I know it won't be active in the bread. Just use the instant yeast exactly as I have told you to use the active dry yeast. The rise time for your bread may be a bit shorter with the instant yeast, so just check on it.
  2. Thank you for those instructions! When it comes to making anything that requires yeast, I am...shall we say?....challenged. This looks so delicious. I can almost smell it! Usually I throw everything in my bread maker and call myself a genius, but I cannot wait to try this!
    • Lol! I mean I don't knock bread machines. They can do a heck of a good job! But I just love to touch and work with the dough. It's therapeutic and I think it feels so much more rewarding. Let me know if you do try it and how you like it!
  3. I am always in awe of you. I feel like I'm drowning and don't have enough time for anything right now and I know you're busier than I am, yet you somehow still manage to do amazing things like bake this bread and blog it! It looks SO perfect. Classic, comforting, and I know I'd eat that whole darned loaf lickity split!
    • Girrrrrrl. You are planning a wedding. Trust me, I know what that's like. Sooo much to do! I have a problem with letting myself relax. As soon as 1 project is over I look for a new one. It's actually probably not the best trait. I probably always have more on my plate than I should.
  4. I keep coming back to your site for recipes. Your basic sweet yeast dough makes my, and my husband's, favorite cinnamon rolls. This bread, too, is amazing. It's currently filling the house with a wonderful aroma. Thank you, Bettie!
  5. Was curious if you have ever made this using all purpose flour and how we're the results?
  6. I have to I am super excited about your site. I have always wanted to be a better baker, because I love love love to cook for my family. Cakes and desserts always seem to meet the standards of my family and others around although I can be super critical of myself so it never seems to quite be what I imagine. Recently I have been exploring bread again and have found a recipe that has helped me gained a little confidence. Your sites Baking school topics have me super excited, maybe I can finally put some of my problems to rest... and enjoy the process more. I think this will be my first recipe here. Its great that it creates two loaves, it's great for sandwiches so my boys will love it, and it freezes which means I can try one and not worry about both going bad. Thanks so much for the recipe, and I love the idea of the site and all the extras to explain if you need it! Very cool!
  7. Oh my I should have started this a few hours ago... it's 9:00pm now and I'm waiting on my yeast to rehydrate. But that's ok, my husband will be going to bed soon and I'll fire up Netflix and enjoy a movie he would never watch with me... lol! This bread sounds like it will taste so good! (I'll keep you posted)
  8. This looks amazing, my husband loves his fresh bread for breakfast, can I leave this bread overnight to rise?
    • Hi Agata! If you want to make this the day before and bake it the next day, you can refrigerate it after it is shaped. Cover it with plastic wrap and put the loaf in the refrigerator.This will allow it to slowly rise over night. Let it come back to room temperature for about an hour before baking it. Hope that helps!
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