Better than Cake: Homemade White Sandwich Bread (or Rolls)

We usually make and eat 100% whole wheat bread, but occasionally I make white bread for a special treat. We use it for French toast, for "buns" for black bean burgers, for grilled cheese and other sandwiches. Straight out of the oven with butter it is better than a slice of cake. I'm also including how to make rolls. Who knew it was so easy to make fresh rolls using a bread recipe? Probably everyone but me.

I got this recipe from a friend at church. She brought me dinner and a fresh loaf of bread after my third baby. I think it is just wonderful to bring new moms or anyone who needs a little extra TLC homemade bread. I have made a few alterations to her recipe (cut the sugar) and also filled in a few details (kneading time, etc.) by consulting my tried-and-true America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.

After making 100% whole wheat bread for years, I have to say, white bread is downright easy. So forgiving and no need to worry about getting a decent rise. If you find the thought of baking your own bread a little daunting, try making the rolls. They're quite forgiving.

White Sandwich Bread (or Rolls)

2 1/2 c warm water
2 T active dry yeast
1/4 cup oil (I use organic canola) 
1/4 cup honey (use the same measuring cup as the oil)
1 T salt
7 to 8 cups unbleached white flour

Risen and ready to put in the oven.

  1. Combine water, yeast, oil, honey, salt, and about 6 cups of flour and mix (I use a Kitchenaid standing mixer). 
  2. Add in a cup or more of additional flour until the dough is thick and less sticky but not so firm your mixer's motor is laboring. 
  3. Knead in mixer for 10 minutes (I use level 2, same as whole wheat). 
  4. Add additional flour a tablespoon or two at a time until the dough holds together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl (it may still stick to the bottom of the bowl). 
  5. Remove the kneading hook, cover bowl and allow to rise until about double (an hour or two depending on how warm your kitchen is).
  6. Turn dough onto floured surface. Knead very briefly to press out air bubbles and divide in two. 
  7. If making loaves, press each half into a 5" by 8" rectangle. Starting at one end, roll tightly into a log. Pinch closed the end, and place in the buttered loaf pan seam side down. See photos in this post
  8. Cover with lightweight towel and allow to rise 1-2 more hours, until dough crests an inch or two over the edge of the pan.  
  9. Bake for about 40 minutes at 350 degrees, until center is about 190 degrees. I cover with foil for the last 20 minutes so the top doesn't get too brown.
  10. Allow to cool about 10 minutes in the pan, then dump out onto rack. Do not slice (if possible) until fully cooled.

It's hard to wait for deliciousness. Cinnamon raisin variation (loaf on the right) coming soon!


If making rolls, divide each half of dough into two 18" strips (four strips total). Then cut each strip into 10 to 12 rolls. You can roll them into nice balls or make a knot or whatever, but I don't. At this point, you can freeze the dough (on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat works well) if you wish. Or, place rolls on greased or lined sheet, allow to rise 1 to 2 hours until about double in size. Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes until bottoms and tops are lightly browned. 

If baking frozen rolls, place on buttered or lined sheet, allow to rise until double (will take 2 to 3 hours to defrost and rise), and then bake 15 to 20 minutes at 350 until bottoms and tops are lightly browned. 

These were my first set of rolls, so I made a modicum of effort to shape them into balls. I
 also spaced them farther apart on the sheet so that they would not touch.

If you try this recipe, I would love to hear about it! Or share your favorite bread/ roll recipe below.

Related Posts

How to Turn Your Bread Loaf Recipe into a Roll Recipe: 100% Whole Wheat Honey Rolls
100% Whole Wheat Honey Bread Recipe
How to Make a Beautifully Risen Loaf of 100% Whole Wheat Bread
Lazy Person's Guide to Homemade Bread (Part 1) -- 5 Easy Steps to Get Started
Top 10 Reasons to Make Your Own Bread

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  1. Fresh bread out of the oven & butter really is the best food on earth. Your bread looks so fluffy and light!

    1. Thank you! That's one reason I like this recipe. Dense bread has it's place, but it's nice to have something that approximates store-bought bread. I sometimes make a buttermilk bread that's much denser, but it doesn't work well for French toast, etc.

  2. I am coming for dinner. That bread looks delish. And the pic of your child sniffing it is PRICELESS!


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