Homemade Classic White Sandwich Bread

I've been baking since before I met my husband ten years ago.  He eats gluten but appreciates my baking efforts and gives me feedback on texture compared to gluten products, which he consumes regularly on his lunch break at work in the form of sandwiches.  I'm a photographer too but he graces the wall of his office with blown-up cell phone shots of half-eaten sandwiches and burritos from his favorite shops.  He likes my baked goods, sure, but who can blame him for going for gluten? This last few weeks as I was testing this recipe, however, something shifted.  I finally heard these words: "you can make me this every weekend for the rest of my life."


I know my husband likes a bread I made when he immediately plans what sandwich to make from it.  Well, he's done that for every test loaf I've made for this bread.  A few days ago, in fact, he ate a breakfast sandwich with this bread, got catered burgers for lunch at work, then came home and requested a steak sandwich on the fresh loaf of bread I made. I mean, I knew he liked sandwiches, but now I have a sandwich bread he will consume multiple times daily.

I have not attempted a vegan version of this recipe yet, but I will work on it.  There is something about the pure protein of eggs that's difficult to replicate.  Also, I'm finding that the egg and the milk are a big part of what make this bread white.  So the vegan version might end up being a different recipe altogether, once I attempt it.

Classic White Sandwich Bread Recipe

Contains dairy and egg. Gum free, rice free, soy free.

Mix time: 10-20 minutes

Rest & Remix time: 30 minutes

Rise time: 45-90 minutes

Bake time: 60 minutes

Total time: 2 hours 45 minutes +

Mix in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer: 

450g Rustic White Bread Flour Blend:

    150g tapioca starch

    150g potato starch

    100g sorghum flour

    50g millet flour

25g roughly ground psyllium husk OR psyllium powder (I grind my own in a whirly blade coffee grinder) 

24g baking sugar (2Tbsp) (this is a fine granulated sugar - regular granulated is likely okay)

8.5g salt (1.5tsp)

3g active dry yeast (1 tsp)

When the dry ingredients are well blended, pour into the bowl:

100g egg whites (for me this is the whites of three eggs)

450g whole milk, warmed to 100°f/38°c

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until smooth by hand or with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer.  Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

While waiting, prep a sandwich loaf pan by buttering it thoroughly.  I use a 4x4x9 inch pullman pan for this recipe to get a high rise.

Once rested, the batter will have stiffened into a dough.  Mix again with a stand mixer or mix by hand until it relaxes a bit.  Add:

12g unsalted butter (1 Tbsp), softened but not melted (optional)

12g apple cider vinegar (1 Tbsp) (optional, or sub lemon juice)

Mix until a shaggy, loose dough forms.  Turn out the dough into your greased pullman or loaf pan.  Smooth down the dough to flatten and distribute evenly to the edges.  Cover and let rise at room temperature (68-70°f/20-21°c).  Mark the side of the pan with some dough so you can see what a 50% rise (by dough volume) will look like.

Check the dough at 40 minutes.  It should be rising by now, and if so preheat the oven to 425°f/220°c.  Mine will usually be at about a 20-30% rise at this point.

Let rise about 50%, anywhere from 45minutes to an hour and a half.  

Brush over the top of the dough:

Melted butter (or an egg wash with one of the egg yolks whisked with a splash of milk)

Bake, covered, at 425°f/220°c for 15 minutes. (The best way to cover a loaf pan is by inverting another loaf pan on top of it.  But tin foil or a pan cover can work just as well.)

Take the cover off and turn down the heat to 375°f/190°c and bake anther 40 minutes, uncovered.

When the bread is baked and golden, carefully tip it out of the hot tin and bake another 5 minutes directly on the oven rack.  It's done if it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom and sides. (If not then bake another 5 minutes straight on the rack.) Place on a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing.



Shari Shaw said…
Gina, thank you SO much for this lovely recipe! I can finally make GF bread from my daughter. Question: I am using a Pullman loaf pan with lid for this bread, removing the lid after the 15 minutes at high temp. When I do this, the bread has crowded against the lid. I have made sure to limit rising time to 50% lift as you suggest so that I don't over-rise, but I'm still getting shrinking upon cooling at the sides and top. Do you have any suggestions? I know this is only an aesthetic issue, but I like to make beautiful bread, as your photo illustrates.

Thanks for any help you can provide, and again, I am so very grateful for all you do! Shari Shaw
Anonymous said…
Can you give the flour measurements in cups instead of grams? You did for the rest. Please and thank you.
Gina said…
I started out baking using volume measures, but I quickly learned that I couldn’t replicate my results consistently, especially for bread recipes. I started using a scale over a decade ago. While some of my early recipes were written in volume measures, I recommend using weight in grams for accuracy in this and all bread recipes. You could save the cost of a new scale by weighing your ingredients accurately.
Beth said…
This is a fantastic recipe. I adapted it into a brioche/sweet dough. With credit for your flour blend are you ok with me sharing it.
Gina said…
I’m glad that worked for you! Yes, please share your adaptation. I look forward to seeing it.
Anna C said…
Curious if you think I could substitute coconut milk/coconut oil for the dairy in this recipe. I have sensitivity to dairy so I need to avoid it if possible.
Anna C said…
Would coconut milk and coconut oil be acceptable substitutes for the dairy in this recipe? I realize that it probably would have an affect on the outcome, but I need to avoid dairy.
Gina said…
Hi Anna, as long as you can do the egg whites, the recipe should work. The dairy isn’t as important for function and I think that coconut sounds great. I’m using coconut oil in a vegan version of another bread I’m working in and it’s been tasty and fluffy. Give it a try, there’s no reason it shouldn’t work!
Kim said…
Hello Gina. I'm new to GF baking and have tried a few different types of GF sandwich loaves and have had uneven results although your white sandwich bread recipe has been my favourite – although both attempts have resulted in a ⅔" band of pronounced gumminess along the bottom of the loaves. For the first loaf, I followed your recipe as written both for ingredients and method, and the interior temp was 206ºF but still was gummy at the bottom. For the second attempt (yesterday), my only change was that after the recommended baking time, I removed the loaf from the pan and placed it directly on the oven rack for an additional five minutes of cooking time and it got to 208ºC, but was still gummy. I'd love to have a nice loaf for Christmas so any advice would be appreciated very much. Thanks.
Kim said…
P.S. to my comment from a couple of hours ago..sorry!
I just went to slice the white sandwich loaf and it is *also gummy on each side of the loaf* although not quite as wide a band as along the bottom. The top is perfect. The sides caved in a little bit (less this time than with the first loaf). I wish I'd taken a photo. I'd love to nail this loaf! Thanks.
Gina said…
Hi Kim, it sounds like it didn’t bake long enough. The instructions are to bake for 55 minutes in the pan, then take it out and bake another 5 minutes directly on the rack. At this point there are several tests you can do to see if it’s done: knock on the bottom of the loaf with your knuckles. It should sound very hollow. Temp will depend on your elevation. At sea level it might get up to 211, or the boiling point of water. After that it still might need to bake until it sounds hollow inside. So temp is not my favorite indicator of doneness. Browness of the crust is another indicator. It should be very brown like the photos. If it’s still pale that means it hasn’t come up to temp yeast and the excess water has not boiled off yet since browning can only happen once the bread is relatively dry inside. If you’re baking it for 60 minutes, or even 65 minutes, and all these indicators are not present then keep baking until they are. Then the next time you make the recipe reduce the milk by 20g and that might solve the issue and allow the bread to bake off in one hour.
Gina said…
Kim, the hydration needs of the recipe can change depending on your environment. The recipe is just a starting point and adjustments might have to be made for the grind of flour, the moisture in the air, and other factors. If you haven't checked your oven temp lately that might also be a factor. I had to get my oven calibrated because it was 50 degrees low! If your oven isn't baking at the proper temp it might also delay doneness. The crucial thing for most GF baking is to get all the moisture baked off, as GF recipes are very high in hydration. It can be a problem to bake all that extra moisture off. However, the egg in this recipe is intended to help with that as egg white starts out as moisture and becomes solid and dry as it bakes. That is what makes this recipe successful for most. I'm sorry you're having problems with it, I hope you are able to resolve it!
Kim said…
Thank you so much, Gina, for your speedy and detailed reply! You have no idea how appreciative I am of you taking the time to reply and give me some very welcome advice. I shall attempt another loaf tomorrow following your suggestions.
Gina said…
No problem! I hope it turns out next time.
Unknown said…
What would you do to turn this into a raisin bread? I’m so hungry for a raisin bread!
Trish said…
Are you using the paddle attachment or dough hook to mix the dough in the stand mixer? Just about to make this loaf for the first time. Thanks!
Sarah said…
Hi Gina, thank you for this recipe. I would be grateful if you could help with a bit of troubleshooting ...

I cut the recipe in half but accidentally used the full amount of yeast. I love the ethereally light crumb, but unfortunately the loaf sunk dramatically in the middle once out of the oven and compressed the bottom.

I did cut it when slightly warm, but it had already sunk quite a lot, and was wobbly when cutting - it didn't have the structure to hold itself up.

I subbed amaranth flour for millet. Marked the 50% proof line with dough so I don't think it was overproofed. Baked in a toaster oven in a small Pullman pan, initially covered with foil.

Would love to make this again with a few tweaks. Thanks for your help.
Unknown said…
Thanks Gina. I love this recipe and have made this bread successfully many times and have even made a 14" loaf by increasing the quantities. No gummines! Is there a reason for using unbloomed "active dry yeast" as opposed to "instant yeast"?
Gina said…
I mix this with the paddle attachment. I’ll update the post to reflect that!

A for cinnamon/raisin bread, I have heard that this is tricky due to cinnamon spring down the rise. So if you try it, I’d say incorporate the cinnamon and raisins on the second mix and just be patient with the rising.
Gina said…
Sarah, there are a few things going on here. Amaranth is much less structured than millet. It might give the bread more flex but it might hold up the bread a little less. Also, what size pan did you use, or why did you cut the recipe in half? The rise amount is a proportion of the dough volume not the pan size. I’ve edited the post to clarify this. If the recipe was halved but the pan size was the same it will be very short. It shouldn’t rise halfway up the pan, just get 50%bigger than it was. Next up is when it sank. If it sank in the oven it was over proofed. If it sank after taking it out it was probably either a little too much liquid or it wasn’t baked long enough. The eggs will solidify while baking and hold up the structure when it’s baked long enough.
Sarah said…
Hi Gina, thanks for your quick reply! I forgot to mention I also used 50g of whole beaten egg in place of egg whites, and 225g oat milk instead of dairy milk. I used a 9 x 4 x 4 in. Pullman pan without the lid.

I halved the recipe because I've had so many GF bread failures that I didn't want to waste the full amount of ingredients. :(

I'm sure there is something wrong on my end, because in most of the (many) recipes I've tried from GF blogs and cookbooks the dough has been too wet when compared to photos, shaping instructions etc.

However, since this was my first time making this recipe, I used the full amount of liquid. How much would you recommend cutting it back by?

Appreciate your help!
Gina said…
Hi Sarah,

The oat milk should not be a problem. However, if you want to use whole eggs it's not as strong as just the egg white. Adding the yolk actually softens the bread and doesn't contribute as much to the structure. Since this bread is so high in starches it needs the full amount of egg white - I tested it with less egg, and with 100g whole egg, and it didn't hold up.

If the dough is always too wet for you, are you in a humid climate by any chance? That can affect how much moisture to add to the recipe. I had someone try the recipe and they were in Virginia at 70% humidity. They reduced the milk by about 20g and that was about right. I developed this recipe in Oregon and the average humidity here is about 30%.

I hope that helps! Good luck!
Gina said…
I use active dry yeast because I can get it easily in a jar at my local grocery store. Other forms of yeast usually come in individual packets at the wrong quantities, so I don't like to use packets. The reason it works to throw it in the dry ingredients without blooming is that there's a second mix after the rest. The rest period is for hydrating the psyllium, but it has the added benefit of hydrating the yeast so that it doesn't need to bloom. The only real reason to bloom in this case is if you're unsure if the yeast is still good. I just find it efficient to cut out all unnecessary steps. I hope that helps!
Sarah said…
Hi Gina, I'm in Wisconsin ... will try reducing the milk next time. I'll also get powdered egg whites because so many recipes call for whites, and there are only so many yolks I can use! Thanks for your help. :)
Sarah said…
Also, according to a GF flours chart I saw, amaranth has 13% protein and 10% fiber, while millet has 10% protein and 13.3% fiber, so I thought based on the protein it would be okay to sub amaranth for millet. Or are there other factors to consider? Thanks.
Gina said…
Hi Sarah, amaranth would sub well for millet as far as hydration is concerned. They both absorb about the same amount of water. In that way it could work. However, there are two other considerations: flavor and structure. Amaranth is very bitter. I don’t like using more than about 5% due to flavor. Then there’s the structural issue. A few posts back I described a series of tests I did with single flours for gf bread. Amaranth is one flour that didn’t work by itself, at least with psyllium as the binder. It was just mushy inside. Millet by itself came out really nice with a great crumb. The protein and fiber amounts in grains are a great starting point but it’s not 100% predictive.
Maya Bernal said…
I got a large Pullman pan for Xmas and I have been trying all kinds of GF bread recipes in it since we have a large family. Have you had success with making this in the large size Pullman loaf pan?
Gina said…
Hello Maya, one of my readers tried this recipe in a 4x13 Pullman pan. She increased all ingredients by 1.5x. That worked out great for her, I hope it works for you too!
Unknown said…
Hi! I want to try this recipe but in my country (Guatemala) can't find millet flour. What is a good substitute for this recipe. Thanks
Sue Knox said…
Thanks Gina. That explains my confusion re active dry vs instant yeast.
Gina said…
Hello! That makes sense that millet would be difficult to source in Guatemala. It doesn’t store well long term and I’m guessing a humid climate would not help. I haven’t tried a substitute for this yet. The first thing I’d try would be to just use more sorghum flour. Another idea is to sub quinoa or amaranth flour or 25g quinoa and the rest sorghum. Light buckwheat flour could also be a good substitute. I hope something works for you!
Ctgal said…
No rice! I ended up with arsenic poisoning from all the rice I was eating. I can't wait to make it!
Anonymous said…
Carolyn said…
Is there a flour mixture that can be purchased like Cup4Cup, instead of having to purchase all of these separately? Just want to try this for my Daughter in Law. thanks My emailis c.garrod@hotmail.com not the g.mail acct. Thanks
Gina said…
Hi Carolyn, each flour blend is a little different, so recipes don’t always translate from one blend to another. I focus on creating my own flour blends because they are exactly what I want. In fact, some of the flour blends on the market are modeled after my recipes. Not everyone wants to blend their own flour and that is fine!
Linda said…
Hi Gina,

Tanks for all your efforts to create and support this awesome website. Your site is helping me navigate baking with new-to-me flour and starch blends. This past summer I tested positive for allergies to wheat, rice and egg.

I would love to try this recipe but I need to know how to best substitute the egg white. Is there a reasonable substitute?
Thanks again for this well-written and supported site.
Linda said…

Not sure if my comment/question is attached to the page I was reading,
I’m interested in trying the Homemade Classic White Sandwich Bread
recipe with an egg white substitute. Thank you!
Gina said…
Hi Linda, thank you for your wonderful comments! This recipe unfortunately is very highly dependent on eggs to work. I’ve tried some vegan subs without success. However, I have several other vegan recipes that do work. They all depend on using a bit less starch and more whole grains to work. Search “vegan” in the search bar and they should come up. There’s a grain free vegan loaf and the other is called the Best Gluten-free Sandwich Bread Recipe. This “Best” bread is the vegan version of this recipe, or closest to it.
Donna said…
Getting ready to try bread making for first time!! Do I follow directions on Fleischmann's Active Dry yeast? 1/4 warm liquid 1 tsp. Sugar to activate yeast?? Thank you Donna Harrell in Kansas
Donna said…
Do I need to activate Fleishman Active dry yeast as directed on back of packaging
Gina said…
Hi Donna, I just put the dry yeast right in with the dry ingredients. It becomes activated when the liquids are added. However, if you’re not sure if the yeast is still alive, you can certainly take a portion of the recipe’s liquid and sugar and proof the yeast separately as the package instructions indicate.
Tejal said…
Hi! I love this bread, but have been having an issue of the sides collapsing while it is cooling on th rack. Any suggestions/thoughts on why it does that and what I can do?
Donna said…
Gina another question, have seen in other bread comments that Bob's Red Mill gluten free 1 to 1 Baking Flour isn't good for bread making and naturally that is the flour I have on hand. Live in small community that carries very few gluten free options but Bob's do have Amazon!!! If you would be kind enough to suggest which brand would be the best or recipe for home made blend greatly would appreciate the advise. First loaf was a little wet, read through the comments AFTER baking going to reduce the milk on next go around!!!! Really appreciate your help and advice. Thank you!!! Donna Harrell

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