Soft and Fluffy Sandwich Bread

I realized I didn’t have a recipe for classic sandwich bread on my site.

Not that I eat that many sandwiches, but I may start after tasting this bread.

Soft and Fluffy Sandwich Bread averiecooks.com

It’s soft, fluffy, and light.  It’s made with a secret ingredient that keeps it moist and fluffy: a cup of oatmeal is kneaded into the dough, which also lends a bit of chewiness and texture. When you bite into the finished bread, you definitely don’t think, oh there’s oatmeal in here. It’s a stealth operator ingredient.

It’s the homemade, healthier, vegan version of white Wonder bread. I’ve never been a crusty baguette person. Give me soft and tender over jaw-ripping crustiness any day.

Soft and Fluffy Sandwich Bread averiecooks.com

The recipe makes one modest loaf, perfect for our family, and uses just two cups of flour for the entire loaf. Sometimes I read bread and roll recipes and they start off with ‘Add 5 to 6 cups of flour’. Gulp. We don’t need that much bread at once.

Begin by boiling water, pouring it over oats, and let the mixture come to room temperature, about 15 minutes. I urge you to use a thermometer. You don’t want to add overly hot oatmeal to the yeast because you’ll kill it. Yet it has to be warm enough so the yeast activates. For me, this is in the 130F range because I used Red Star Platinum yeast. The brand of yeast used dictates the temperature.

Soft and Fluffy Sandwich Bread averiecooks.com

Add the warm oatmeal to a mixing bowl containing all-purpose flour, yeast, brown sugar, oil, and a splash of water. I allowed my stand mixer to knead it for about 6 minutes, and if you’re kneading by hand, knead for 10 minutes, or until it comes together, adding as little additional flour as possible.

This is a fairly moist and sticky dough, but manageable. With bread-making, the less flour added, and the more you tolerate sticky dough, the lighter and fluffier the bread will be. Sure, I could have added another half-cup or more of flour, but refrained and dealt with the stickiness. And I have a light, fluffy loaf in return.

Soft and Fluffy Sandwich Bread averiecooks.com

I used all-purpose flour because I wanted really soft bread. Bread flour will produce a loaf that’s chewier. I don’t know how whole wheat flour would work. If you try it, I suggest not using more than 1 cup (50% of the total amount). I fear it won’t rise well and could get very heavy and dense.

After kneading, place the dough into a greased bowl, cover it, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 90 minutes, or until doubled in size. Create a warm environment by preheating your oven for 1 to 2 minutes to 400F, then shutting it off. This creates a 90F-ish warm spot. Slide the bowl in and wait while the yeast works. Just make sure your oven is off.

Soft and Fluffy Sandwich Bread averiecooks.com

After the dough has doubled, punch it down, turn it out onto a floured surface or Silpat and knead it for about 3 minutes. With your fingers, shape it into a 10-inch by 6-inch rectangle, just eyeball it. It’s being baked in an 8-by-4-inch pan and you want the long side slightly longer than the pan, about 10 inches.

Fold the short sides in so the dough is about 8 inches in length, and roll to form a tight cylinder. There’s not much to roll, about 3 turns. Place the cylinder in the pan, cover it, and allow it to rise until doubled, 60 to 75 minutes. Optionally, when rolling it, sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger. Or go savory with dill, chives, or thyme.

Soft and Fluffy Sandwich Bread averiecooks.com

Bake it for about 30 minutes or until domed, golden, and puffy. When tapped, it should sound hollow. Technically, the internal temperature should reach 210F, but I have issues stabbing my beautiful bread with the long, dagger-like spear of the thermometer, so I rarely do this unless I’m very uncertain and rely on visual cues and tapping.

Because the cooling process is actually part of the cooking process with bread-making, let the bread cool completely before slicing into it, tempting as it is to tear into it asap.

Soft and Fluffy Sandwich Bread averiecooks.com

It’s so soft and fluffy, with a slight chewiness, thanks to the oatmeal. You’d never know oatmeal was the secret ingredient and even when mixing the dough, you’ll think there’s no way this whole cup of sloppy oatmeal is going to just disappear, but it magically does.

It would make great French toast or Grilled Cheese. It’s wonderful toasted and with butter, jam, or honey. I made BLT’s minus the bacon and used cheese, and they were met with rave reviews.

Soft and Fluffy Sandwich Bread averiecooks.com

My husband told me this was the singular best toast he’s ever had in his entire life, and he’s a bread freak. He can plow down a bread basket at a restaurant, by himself. Bread is his thing. He loves it. Him telling me thatt this was the best toast of his life, and that he could eat the entire loaf at once if he let himself, means I now have my go-to sandwich bread recipe, and can check that off my bucket list.

Up next, using it for a Honey Roasted Butterscotch White Chocolate Peanut Butter and jelly sandwich.

Soft and Fluffy Sandwich Bread averiecooks.com

Print Print Recipe

Soft and Fluffy Sandwich Bread (vegan)

The bread is soft, fluffy, light, and moist. It’s made with a secret ingredient that keeps it moist and fluffy: a cup of oatmeal is kneaded into the dough, which also lends a bit of chewiness and texture. The bread is versatile for anything from sandwiches to grilled cheese to French toast. It's an easy recipe, even for bread-making novices. My husband, a bread lover extraordinaire, said this bread makes the best toast he's ever had in his entire life. Total time from start to finish is ~3.5 hours, most of which is downtime.

Yield: one 8-by-4-inch loaf

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Ingredients:

1 cup boiling water
1 cup old-fashioned whole rolled oats (not quick cook or instant)
2 cups all-purpose flour (bread flour may be used and will create a heartier, chewier bread)
1/4 cup water (from the tap, not hot and not cold)
2 to 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
2 1/4 teaspoons instant dry yeast (one 1/4-ounce packet, I use Red Star Platinum)
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, pour boiling water over oatmeal, stir to combine. Set aside and let cool until temperature reaches about 130F, about 15 minutes. (I use Red Star Platinum Yeast which necessitates this temperature; allow mixture to cool to the ~100F range for other types of instant dry yeast, or to package directions).
  2. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook (or a large mixing bowl and knead by hand for about 10 minutes), combine flour, 1/4 cup water, oil, brown sugar, instant dry yeast, salt, and cooled oatmeal. Knead for 5 to 7 minutes on low speed, or until a moist, shaggy dough forms. The dough is fairly moist and sticky, but resist the temptation to add additional flour, unless it's so moist that it won't combine. Conversely, if it's too dry, add up to one-quarter cup water. Erring on the side of too moist is always preferable to dry in bread-making.
  3. After kneading, turn the dough out into a large, greased bowl, cover with plasticwrap, and let it rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 90 minutes, or until doubled in size. Create a warm environment by preheating your oven for 1 to 2 minutes to 400F, then shutting it off. This creates a 90F-ish warm spot. Slide the bowl in and wait while the yeast works. Just make sure your oven is off.
  4. After the dough has doubled, punch it down, turn it out onto a floured surface or Silpat and knead it for about 3 minutes. With your fingers, shape it into a 10-inch by 6-inch rectangle, just eyeball it. The long side should be slightly longer than the baking pan. Then, fold the short sides in so that dough is about 8 inches in length. Roll to form a tight cylinder. There's not much to roll, about 3 turns. Optionally, when rolling, sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger. Or go savory with dill, chives, or thyme.
  5. Spray an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with floured cooking spray (or grease and flour the pan) and place the cylinder in the pan, seam side down. Cover with plasticwrap, and allow dough to rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled, about 60 to 75 minutes.
  6. In the last minutes of rising, preheat oven to 350F. (If you were using your oven as a warm, draft-free place for rising, take bread out while oven preheats). Bake for about 30 minutes or until domed, golden, and puffy. When tapped, it should sound hollow. The internal temperature should reach 210F. Let bread cool in pan for 5 to 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
  7. I store bread by wrapping a fully cooled loaf in plasticwrap, and place it inside a gallon-size Ziplock, where it stays fresh for about 5 days. Bread freezes very well and can be made from start to finish, cooled, and placed in a freezer-safe airtight container or a ziplock for up to 3 months. I like this bread toasted and with butter and a sprinkle of cinnamon-sugar or Cinnamon-Sugar Butter. It makes great Grilled Cheese, French Toast, and Homemade Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches.

Recipe from Averie Cooks. All images and content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or simply link back to this post for the recipe. Thank you.

Related Recipes:

Healthy Oatmeal Raisin Rolls – Hearty oats, chewy raisins, cinnamon-and-sugar combine to create these texture-filled, chewy and hearty rolls

Raisin Bread for Raisin Lovers – A soft, slightly sweet bread that’s packed to the brim with raisins. Made entirely by hand, no mixer

Cinnamon Swirl Bread – As close to cinnamon buns as bread gets. Filled with a sweet cinnamon-sugar butter mixture that’s swirled throughout, this is a tender, buttery, sweet loaf that novice bread-makers can successfully tackle

Overnight Buttermilk Soft and Fluffy Cinnamon Rolls – They give Cinnabon a run for their money and are the best cinnamon rolls I’ve ever had. With the handy make-ahead suggestions, you don’t even have to get up at the crack of dawn to enjoy soft, fluffy, buttery, rich rolls

Cinnamon Raisin English Muffin Bread with Cinnamon Sugar Butter – If you’ve never made bread before, this is a goofproof, foolproof, no-knead recipe that’s perfect for first-timers. You’ll never have a need for storebought English muffins again, especially because this bread is spiked with cinnamon-sugar and raisins

Honey Dinner Rolls – My favorite dinner roll recipe, lightly sweetened with honey, soft and chewy. A family favorite and a very goof-proof yeast recipe because this dough loves to rise

Challah – Light, fluffy, soft, tender, crossiant-like, and the best challah I’ve ever had and extremely easy to make. Made using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking principles, this is a no-knead, goofproof, and effortless method to making bread and dough can be made in advance and stored for up to five days prior to baking it

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Do you have a favorite bread recipe?

Please share recipe links to your favorites.

Thanks for the entries in the KithenAid 5-Quart Stand Mixer Giveaway!

232 Responses to “Soft and Fluffy Sandwich Bread”

  1. Bohemian — February 17, 2015 at 12:53 am (#
    101
    )

    This bread was a disaster for me. It waaaaaay too sticky to handle after the initial rise (during which it actually doubled, to be fair), it was just sticking everywhere… when I finally got it to the loaf pan, it rose a bit, and then… stopped. (I live practically on the equator & it’s a supremely hot day today!). I think the yeast must have died halfway through as it did not rise in the oven as well. It’s like half the height of the loaf pan. :/ The yeast I used was a brand new packet of SAF instant, which worked extremely well with my usual white bread recipe.

    Really disappointed with this. Maybe next time I will not bother with the punch down for the second rise.

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    It sounds like you live in a very hot and humid climate and therefore you’d likely need more flour and/or less wet ingredients than I would in my climate (dry, San Diego CA). If you are an experienced breadmaker and you know a dough seems too wet, always trust your gut and add more flour! I think that would have done the trick and given it the structure it needed to rise and not be so sticky. Thanks for trying the recipe and bread-making IS climate dependent and given your climate and mine, you’ll need more flour than I will, generally speaking. Thanks for trying the recipe.

    [Reply]

  2. Bohemian — February 18, 2015 at 4:23 am (#
    102
    )

    Averie, thank you for the reply to my comment! I know I got a bit rant-y, I apologise. The heat-wave is getting to me. XD I will keep in mind your note about possibly needing to add more flour in my humid climate. I did do that when I was shaping the flour, because I couldn’t handle it otherwise, lol, but it seems like a good thing to remember regardless.

    Strangely, the bread density ended up not being as much of a problem as the taste. Texture wise, I can imagine it would be great once it can rise to the right volume. But for some reason it turned out very lacking in any taste… maybe I didn’t add enough salt? I’m thinking I might I try it again with fresh herbs and cheese to add some flavour. :)

    [Reply]

  3. Heather — March 2, 2015 at 10:55 am (#
    103
    )

    I wish this worked for me, but I’m filing it in the “pinterest fail” category and won’t be touching it again.

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m sorry it didn’t work for you. Are you an experienced bread baker? If you are, or aren’t, and want to share where you think things may have gone off track or what your finished product looked like or share some more details other than just ‘a Pinterest fail’, I’d be happy to troubleshoot with you since I am not Pinterest. I am actually a real person who writes a blog and am willing to help you.

    [Reply]

  4. Kevin — March 8, 2015 at 10:58 am (#
    104
    )

    since I have become vegan it has been hard to find a good sandwich bread. I thought maybe I could make my own, so today I set out trying to find a recipe and came across yours. for me it worked perfectly. the flavor and texture was very good. it was a sticky dough and it was hard not to want to add more floor, but I didn’t. the issues I had with it were my own. the plastic wrap i used to cover it while it was in the bread pan stuck to the top. when I pulled it off before putting it in the oven it caused it to fall. Before I took it off it looked like a perfect loaf of beard with a nice dome. I tried to let it rise a little longer to see if it would come back but it stayed flat. I will defiantly be making this bread again, I know with perfect results. Many thanks for the recipe!!

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! Tip is to spray your plasticwrap with cooking spray and that won’t happen again :) But other than that, sounds perfect and glad my recipe is a keeper for you and that it works with your dietary needs, too!

    [Reply]

  5. Kevin — March 8, 2015 at 11:02 am (#
    105
    )

    :) flour, not floor

    [Reply]

  6. Sandra — April 20, 2015 at 12:03 pm (#
    106
    )

    I made this bread this morning and it is truly yummy! I did make a couple of slight changes and also used bread flour. If you put a clean dish towel over the freshly turned out loaf ,it will keep the crust soft.

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! Bread flour is always nice to use for that extra boost of gluten and great tip!

    [Reply]

  7. Devona Ellis — May 14, 2015 at 10:55 am (#
    107
    )

    How could I make this with whole wheat flour

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    I’d recommend this recipe which is designed for using 100% whole wheat http://www.averiecooks.com/2013/07/100-whole-wheat-no-knead-make-ahead-dinner-rolls-with-honey-butter.html

    [Reply]

  8. Lisa Atkinson — August 3, 2015 at 10:07 am (#
    108
    )

    Hi Averie I really love this bread and so does my son.  He has some food allergies so finding a good sandwich bread has been tricky.  Your recipe suggests using an 8″ pans, I used the 9″ ones and the loaf was a little smaller than we would like for sandwiches,I  was wondering  if I triple the recipe and divide that dough into two 9″ pans do you think it would work?   

    [Reply]

    Averie Sunshine Reply:

    So glad you love the recipe and I haven’t tried it any other way than what I mentioned so can’t say for sure how it would double, then divide. Normally you can get 8-inch loaf pans at any grocery store for about 4.99 or less in their baking aisle just in case you didn’t know…that may be easier :)

    [Reply]

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