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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (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.
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
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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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!