Excellent White Bread Recipe (2024)

By Melissa Clark

Excellent White Bread Recipe (1)

Total Time
4 hours 15 minutes
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This straightforward loaf is the white bread of your dreams, and its fluffy slices make for evenly browned toast. The ⅓-cup of sugar makes this mildly sweet and perfect for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but you can cut it down to 2 tablespoons if you’d rather have something more neutral in flavor. You do need some sugar, however, to feed the yeast and ensure a lofty rise. This recipe makes two loaves, one for now, and one for the freezer or to share with a lucky friend.

Featured in: White Bread That’s Beyond the Ordinary

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Yield:2 loaves

  • teaspoons/7 grams active dry yeast (1 package)
  • cups/355 milliliters lukewarm milk
  • cup/67 grams granulated sugar
  • 1tablespoon/15 grams kosher salt
  • 3tablespoons/43 grams butter, melted, more for greasing bowl and pans and for brushing the tops of the loaves
  • 2eggs
  • 5 to 6cups/625 grams to 750 grams all-purpose flour

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (12 servings)

275 calories; 5 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 1 gram polyunsaturated fat; 48 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams dietary fiber; 7 grams sugars; 8 grams protein; 237 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Excellent White Bread Recipe (2)


  1. Step


    In a large electric mixer bowl, dissolve yeast in ¼ cup warm milk. Add the remaining warm milk, the sugar, the salt, the butter and the eggs. Add 5 cups flour and mix with paddle attachment until smooth, about 2 minutes. Switch to hook attachment and knead on low speed, adding more flour if necessary until dough is stiff and slightly tacky, about 10 minutes.

  2. Step


    Grease a large bowl with butter and turn dough out into the bowl. Flip over dough so greased side is up, cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and set in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled in size, about 1½ to 2 hours. Generously butter two 9-x-5 loaf pans.

  3. When dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto floured surface and knead for 3 minutes. Return to greased bowl, cover and let rise again for 30 minutes.

  4. Step


    Press down dough with your hand to expel the air. Divide dough in half and place each half into a loaf pan. Brush tops of loaves with remaining melted butter.

  5. Step


    Cover and let rise until dough is just above the tops of pans, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

  6. Step


    Heat oven to 400 degrees. Bake bread for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped, the tops are brown and the internal temperatures are 200 degrees. Remove loaves from pans and let cool on wire racks.



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Cooking Notes


Changes & Tweaks:

- Halve the sugar for sure, tastes weird with anything savory, even a sandwich other than PB&J
- I had leftover flour, don't be afraid to drop below the 5c
- Rise times were very short with fresh yeast, final loaf came close to over-rising

I made this loaf without any appliances and it was a remarkably easy recipe to mix by hand, kneading up quickly and with little mess or adjustment. Will definitely make again!

Chris Indianapolis

This is my mother's recipe! I add two tablespoons of vinegar to make sure it does not mold in the 4 days it is being eaten.


The last time I posted a comment for this recipe was 16 days ago. I have made this bread at least 7 times since. I can't recommend this recipe enough and have emailed it to everyone I know who bakes.
I was making ciabattas and Kindred Milk Bread prior to this regularly, but this is my go to now. I have baked it a different temp's, I only have a single oven, comes out perfect every time.
If you have never baked bread, try this recipe, it's indestructible.


For those who care about such things, yeast DOESN'T need added sugar to rise; the yeast's own enzymes will make all the sugar it needs from the flour during the dough's fermentation period. Adding a small amount of sugar will cause a faster rise, but many experienced bakers actually prefer a slower rise because the yeast have time to produce more flavor. You can make bread without adding sugar; just give it a little more time to raise!


Tip for rising the dough if your house is cold and/or breezy: Turn on the oven to it's lowest temp (for mine that is 200 F). Turn it off, and when you can put your arm in and keep it there, but in the dough (in whatever receptacle the recipe calls for) and close the door. Leave it in for as long as the recipe tells you to. Works perfectly!!


Excellent! I made the dough using the exact recipe quantities...I made one loaf of bread using half the dough and managed to squeeze out 12 beautiful cinnamon buns with the other half...Both turned out great! For the cinnamon buns I just rolled out the dough, and spread a mixture of melted butter-brown sugar-cinnamon/spices on top, rolled, and shaped into buns... I let them rise as directed for the bread and baked at 350 for about 25 mins...will make again...


I bake a lot of bread, but never sandwich white bread. I thought I woulf try it because I trust Melisssa Clark. True to her word, it was delicious. I wouldn't change a thing on this recipe.


I cut the recipe in half because there are only two of us, and since dw doesn't like her bread sweet, I cut the sugar to 1 teaspoon. There was still plenty of rise to the dough, and it turned out a gorgeous loaf.


I love this recipe so much, I now make all of our sandwich bread -- at least two loaves, every 10 days. When cool, I keep 1/2 loaf unsliced that we enjoy over the next few days. I slice the rest of the bread, wrapping each 1/2 loaf in foil and sealed plastic bag to freeze. Frozen slices pull apart easily for toasting. I made (10) smaller loaves as holiday gifts and two very large braided loaves for pot-luck holiday parties. Every loaf has turned out perfectly.

A.T. Long

Made one loaf and formed the rest into buns for burgers. Baked the buns on a sheet pan with silicon mat. Great recipe for a simple white bread.


5 cups of flour is a lot for a Kitchen Aid to handle!


Use a wooden spoon and bowl to mix the ingredients, then put on a floured surface to kneed the dough.


Made this twice this week, each time a half recipe, used ancient Panasonic bread maker's dough cycle for mix/knead/first rise. First time out of thoughtless habit I made it with bread flour; it came out very tasty, excellent toasted, but a bit fragile and hard to slice, and too sweet for my taste, though not for my daughter. Second time I used 1/3 (105g) white whole wheat flour with 210g all purpose. I like this much better, though it took longer to rise.


I really butchered this bread. I used whey instead of milk for the liquid, because I had some left over from making yogurt. And then I accidentally left the dough proofing on my counter for oh, 14 hours or so before I remembered it... it nearly overflowed the bowl and was crusty and dry on top.... I kneaded, shaped into loaf pans, let it rise about half an hour and threw it in the oven. it still baked up gorgeous and so delicious. What a forgiving recipe. I will definitely make again.


One of the best breads I have ever made. Two beautiful
loaves. Noticed that bread stayed fresh much longer than
most homemade bread. We ate every piece.

lees pound cake

Use 700 g flour. Loves were a little short


I make this bread every weekend. I half or sometimes third the sugar content. I experiment each week with one of the loaves. I've folded in dried cranberries during the final rise, I've used half the dough for cinnamon buns, I've added extra spices and herbs to flavor the bread, I've added flaky salt on top for the bake. None have turned out badly.

C Clark

Can instant yeast be substituted for the active yeast? If so, is the amount of yeast the same?


If I wanted to make this for a 13 x 4 bread pan, do I just cut all ingredients by about 1/8?

Farm Girl

My first loaf of bread! I followed the directions and kneaded at level 2 in my KitchenAid. After 12 minutes (and not adding more than a few TBS of flour to the original 5 cups), the dough was so sticky. I almost threw it in the garbage but decided to try and hand knead for the first time. I kneaded for about 5 minutes and the dough came together beautifully, nice and pliable and came into a ball easily. So delicious - a tiny bit of sweetness and a lovely crumb. Will make again!


Great! I followed the advice of others and used only 1 tbsp of sugar and I didn’t proof for this long. I only proofed until doubled (1.5 hr) and then split the dough into 2, folded and turned the oven on. It takes about 15 minutes for my oven to get up to temperature. Cooked according to instructions.


I made the bread with only 1tbsp of sugar since most the comments said the bread was too sweet. I used AP flour and it turned out great. Great bread recipe


Not sure what I did wrong but my bread didn’t rise. Like, at all. Proofed in the oven with the light on. I hate everything.


Yes Jo Ann, I have made this bread using “King Arthur’s Bread Flour” and it is excellent. The rise is amazing. I would only use “all purpose flour” if that was the only ingredient available in my kitchen.


Anyone try this loaf with buttermilk instead of regular milk?


I used buttermilk and it was beyond delish! Weighed the ingredients... used 630g of King Arthur's bread flour which was the only real variation. Kept salt and sugar as listed.... wouldn't change a thing. I'm dreaming of those loaves slathered with melting butter!

Jo Ann

Did anyone make this with all bread flour? Just because I have a bag to use up!


The amount of flour is changed than the the one in the recipe. I had to add two whole teaspoons of flour


Made with 3 cups AP, generous 1 3/4 cups whole wheat, filling the rest of the cup with wheat germ. Used about 3 tbls brown sugar, rest the same. Only used dough hook, kneaded about 8 minutes


Too fussy for a loaf of white bread. I made it. It was good but I’ll stick with the yeast, flour, water, salt recipes.


It's a very good basic white bread. I would suggest going much heavier on buttering the dough and using salted butter. Otherwise it ends up being a bit sweet.

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Excellent White Bread Recipe (2024)


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