In this post I have lots of tips and tricks for turning out this perfect sandwich bread. If you’d like to skip to the recipe and read the tips later, click here.
Over the holidays, I bought myself a bread machine. I had one years ago, a little cheapie model, and enjoyed using it. As technology has changed so much on these wonderful little appliances I was able to get a drastically better model, with a convection oven feature, for the same price I paid for my cheapie one all those years ago (around $100).
Why I love this model:
- It’s not an eyesore. This has been sitting on my kitchen counter for about a month now. It isn’t in the way and looks nice in my kitchen.
- It is REALLY easy to clean. Most of the time I just wipe the pan out and I’m good, but I try to use a little dish liquid and actually wash it from time to time. I’ve never had to scrub it though, it’s as simple as a quick wipe either way.
- The bread never sticks. I don’t even have to spray the pan with cooking spray.
- No paddle indenting in the bread. There is a beep that sounds right before the last rising to give me time to remove the paddle inside if I want. I like my bread without the big paddle opening in the bottom.
- It has a dough cycle in case I want to make rolls. I just put in all of my ingredients and select the dough cycle. When the rolls are ready to be shaped the machine alerts me, I take them out and shape them in my pan, then let them rise in the pan before baking. P.S. This bread recipe makes amazing rolls.
- It’s convection. Bread can be done, start to finish, in a little under three hours.
- It is really easy to figure out. Once I read the manual (skimmed it, really) and made a loaf or two of bread, I am confident I know all the ins and outs of getting this machine to do exactly what I want it to do.
I didn’t stress too much over which bread machine to use because this seemed like my best option for the amount of money I wanted to pay. I’m really happy with my decision and would definitely buy this one again.
I immediately tried a classic bread recipe and it was wonderful, but it wasn’t the soft loaf bread we so often think of when we want to make sandwiches. I happened to have a package of Hawaiian rolls on the table because that is Katy’s favorite bread and thought to myself “I wonder if it is possible to make a bread like that in a bread machine?”. Thus began my quest!
I came across a recipe online and used it as my starting point, but altered some of the ingredients and measurements in order to yield better results. The starting point recipe can be found here but I want to make it clear that I have not tested that recipe, but used it as a starting point for developing this one. Ever since developing this recipe, my family has gone through a loaf a day of this bread. And we’re going on a month now! As of today, I’ve made bread using this recipe at least 30 times. Brady asked me to make an extra loaf today so he could take it to some friends and Katy and I have even used the dough to make rolls for Christmas dinner with great success.
This bread is soft, fluffy, slices like a dream, and makes excellent sandwich bread or dinner bread, as is or toasted.
This has ended up being our favorite all purpose bread and I have to admit my favorite part is that my entire family, including both kids, get excited when they smell it baking.
To make this, you’ll need: Pineapple juice, Olive Oil, Bread Flour, Milk, Egg, Quick Rise Yeast, Salt, and a little Sugar. Important things to note:
- This makes a 2 pound loaf. Make sure you don’t add any extra yeast, measure it on the light side if anything, or it will rise too much.
- I use the light crust setting on my machine and tell the machine it is making a 1 pound loaf to prevent over browning. This is something specific to my machine.
- Your ingredients are best if they are room temp, rather than cold. I store my pineapple juice in the fridge so make up for this by measuring it out, microwaving it for thirty seconds (just to take the chill off) and then testing the temp to make sure it is just warm and not hot.
- I can’t speak to warming ingredients without offering a little warning: you don’t ever want anything to be too hot when adding it to yeast as it will kill the yeast. So heating my pineapple juice is truly just enough to take the chill off. I do use an egg straight from the fridge. You could easily skip heating the pineapple juice if you like, it’s just something that I do.
- Yeast is important. I have a personal preference just through experience. I have had a 50/50 success rate with Fleischmann’s (the yellow packet) but I have yet, in all of my years of baking, to have any problem whatsoever with Red Star. So that is the brand I go for and I use the Red Star Quick Rise yeast in this recipe – and suggest you do the same in order to have the same results. I prefer the jar rather than the packets because it is easier to measure out and store in my fridge. Plus, when you use as much as I do it just makes more sense and is more cost effective. Having said that, there are all sorts of variables that can affect yeast and it may be that Fleischmann’s is the be all end all at your house and works like a charm every time – if so go for it. Get what is familiar to you and whatever you have the most confidence in. For me, that is Red Star.
When you have a bread machine, making this bread is simply a matter of measuring the ingredients.
All you do is measure out your ingredients and place them in the bread pan in the order that they are listed in the recipe.
Then, let the machine do it’s stuff. On my machine, for this two pound loaf of bread, I select light crust and one pound loaf because that lessens the cooking time and gives me the color I want on my crust. On your bread machine, you will likely choose light crust and two pound loaf. I’ve just learned how to make this puppy accommodate me by manipulating it a little bit. 🙂
The machine mixes everything up until it forms a dough ball, like this.
Now that dough ball is going to rise, then your machine will knead it again and let it rise again. After the last kneading, my machine beeps to let me know that I can remove the stirring paddle inside if I would like and then it rises a final time and bakes, beeping when there is a loaf of bread ready for me.
After the bread is finished, I immediately remove the bread from the pan and allow it to cool completely on my countertop.
Tips for pretty slices:
Once your bread is done there are a few tips to having pretty slices like you see pictured here. First of all, don’t cut the bread while it is warm. This is easier said than done and I will happily confess that there have been more than a few suppers where my kids were excited about having warm bread and we just tore into the loaf as part of our meal – it was delicious. BUT, if you want this for a sandwich bread or to have nice, pretty slices, you have to let it cool at least two hours before cutting. I prefer to let my bread cool and then put it in a bread bag or container to cut the following day, so I tend to have one loaf that is cut and one that is going to be cut the following day most of the time. This is also handy if you son wants to take bread to someone since you can always just whip up another loaf later on in the day.
What knife do I use? I tried a few bread knives, even ordered some special just for this, but I have found that if I want perfectly uniform, straight, beautiful slices like the ones pictured, the only way to get those is by using an electric knife. I spent about $20 on one years and years ago and it’s just brilliant. The blades are dishwasher safe but I usually just give it a quick wipe down each day and then wash them fully once a week or so as long as I’m only cutting bread.
So at last, for me, an easy and soft homemade bread perfectly suited for sandwiches, dinner bread, or anything else I can come up with is now just a matter of measuring out the ingredients. If you have a bread machine, I hope you’ll try this one soon. If you have been thinking about getting a bread machine, maybe this will push you over the edge. Click here to look at the one I have on Amazon.
If you don’t have a bread machine and decide to adapt this recipe please report back and let us know what you did and how it worked out. I am only offering the instructions on how to make it in a bread machine because I have never made this recipe any other way. If you would like to try your hand at homemade yeast bread without a bread machine, check out my Jordan Rolls recipe by clicking here.
Printable recipe below!
- 3/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1 egg
- 2.5 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 level tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt I use Kosher
- 3 level cups bread flour I use Pilsbury Bread Flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 level teaspoons quick rise yeast
- Place ingredients in bread pan in order listed.
- Insert bread pan into bread machine and set to light crust, two pound loaf.*
- Check after a minute or two and see if dough looks too dry. If so, add another tablespoon of milk. If dough looks too wet, add a tablespoon or two of flour.
- Allow bread machine to work. As soon as bread is done remove and allow to cool completely before cutting. Store in airtight container or bag. See post for helpful tips on baking and cutting bread.