Growing up, Marius spent a lot of time at a friends house, whose mom, Elaine, made all sorts of things. Fast forward to us having kids in the house and Elaine has become a weekly fixture for us as well. We enjoy trading different homemade or homegrown food (she makes the BEST wine with homegrown fruit...) and swapping recipes. This recipe is one she gave me after my kids couldn't get enough of the loaf of "fluffy white CRUSTLESS" bread she brought us one day. After 15 years of making bread, I'm happy to tell you I've found the holy grail of sandwich bread and hamburger buns I have been looking for.
A note about the milk- we save some buttermilk when we make butter to make this bread. This buttermilk is different that the thick cultured buttermilk you buy in the store. If you happen to make your own butter, you're in luck. If you make cheese or strain yogurt, as long as the whey isnt salted, save some back for this bread! Otherwise, swap for milk or water. Water will give you a little different outcome but its still great bread.
Elaine's Crustless Sandwich Bread
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups milk, whey, buttermilk (not cultured, but the buttermilk you get when you make butter) OR Water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons active dry OR instant yeast
- 4-4.5 cups all purpose white flour
- Melt together the butter and water/milk until the butter is just melted and the milk isnt too hot (it will kill yeast if its too hot for you to hold your finger in)
- In a mixer with the dough hooks on, mix salt, sugar, yeast and 2.5 cups flour.
- Add in milk/butter to flour mix and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Add in 1.5 cups flour, knead until well combined. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the bowl, NOT stick to it, and be "soft as a babys bottom". If its not there yet, add in flour a couple tablespoons at a time.
- Once its the right consistency, let machine knead for 3-5 minutes until bread hits windowpane. Whats window pane? If you pull out a golf ball sized piece of dough and gently flatten it/stretch it like youre making a tiny pizza, and hold it up to the light, you should be able to see through it. If it starts to bust holes before you can get it that thin, knead it another minute or two.
- Cover mixer bowl and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
- When doubled, dump dough onto a lightly floured counter, divide in two, and shape your loaves.
- Get your loaf pans ready- I prefer to line with parchment vs greasing and flouring. Its less work for me. I prefer a smaller sized loaf pan for tall loaves, but two 8"x4" pans work well.
- To shape loaves, use your hands to push the dough into a rectangle about as big as your two hands with fingers spread out. Then roll it up "like a hot dog", tuck in the ends and pop into your bread pans.
- Put your bread pans inside of a plastic bag. I reuse a turkey roaster bag for this but you can even use a grocery bag. Make sure its inflated with air and tie it off so it stays blown up like a balloon. This creates an excellent "proofing chamber" for your bread to rise well.
- Look at how your dough is now, maybe "measure" how tall up the pan the dough is with your fingers like you were measuring 2 fingers of whiskey. For me, it was 3 fingers. This helps me so I can know when the bread is doubled. Letting your bread truly fully double before baking is the trick to this bread being as light and fluffy as can be. It takes about 30-60 min depending on your house temperature.
- Before the dough is quite doubled, preheat the oven to 350F, with the rack in the middle. NOT CONVECTION. Convection setting actually inhibits your bread from springing up well when baked!
- When dough is sufficiently doubled, slide into the oven and set timer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn pans around. Bake another 5-10 minutes more. (If your oven runs hot, check after 5 minutes)
- Because ovens vary, I always suggest taking your breads internal temperature with an instant read thermometer. It should be over 180F, usually in the area of 190F. If its over 180F you're good, it will continue to rise a bit after you take it out of the oven.
- When the internal temperature is right, take it out of the oven, leave the loaves in the pans, and set a timer for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, take the bread out of the pans. This 10 minute rest helps the sides and bottom of the loaves stay softer.
- If you really want to do this right, take a stick of butter and rub it all over the tops of the bread while its still warm for the ultimate soft top crust.
- If you plan to eat the whole loaf in one sitting, you can cut into it while its still hot. Otherwise let it sit at least an hour, ideally until room temp, until you cut into it. The "crumb" of the bread is still setting up and if you cut into it, it releases the steam thats doing so, and causes your bread to get a bit gummier as its cools.
- Store in a container on bag on the counter, stays cold sandwich worthy for a good 3 days in our 20C/70F house.
- We always double this, one loaf immediately disappears.
- You can also make this into buns! Instead of shaping into loaves, shape into golf ball sized buns for dinner buns or double that, and flattened out a bit for hamburger buns.
- A note about the milk- we save some buttermilk when we make butter to make this bread. This buttermilk is different that the thick cultured buttermilk you buy in the store. If you happen to make your own butter, you're in luck. If you make cheese or strain yogurt, as long as the whey isnt salted, save some back for this bread! Otherwise, swap for milk or water. Water will give you a little different outcome but its still great bread
- A few baking "hacks" i use when bread calls for milk and I'm low or out- You could mix a few tablespoons of yogurt combined with water to get your 2 cups of liquid if thats what you have. Or you can water down some cream thats needing to be used up.
Ingrid from Texas
You're so freaking smart! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.
Fabulous white bread! My whole family loves it!
I made this recipe for the first time today and it came out perfect. I used graniteware loaf pans because they are my favorite. I’m used to cutting into sourdough so I couldn’t believe how soft and light the bread was when I was slicing it. We will be making this again and again!
I'm about to go make this bread; I've been a bread baker for 35 years, but the way you rave about this recipe, I HAVE to try it! I love how you describe the feel and height of the dough. ???
Can you mix this in a bread machine....using the dough setting....would bake in loaf pans
Yes I just asked Elaine and she does that.
This recipe was amazing! I made one regular size loaf, 1 mini loaf and 12 dinner buns!
So great! Love that
This bread is so delicious and versatile. I always double it because it doesn't last long in our household.
My most favorite bread recipe!! I’m going to try it for hamburger buns this week, never even crossed my mind to do that until I re-read this recipe today!
I made this over the weekend and everyone loves it! Looks like I have a new bread recipe! Thank you!
This is seriously the best white bread I've ever made!! Thanks so much!
Thank you so much for this feedback!
I’ve been making this bread for my kids since soon after you posted it. They love this bread and I make it a couple times a week because it is the only bread they will eat. Thank you!
This is such a great compliment, I'm flattered! And you're saving so much money making it yourself!!
This is now my go-to yeast bread recipe. I usually make sourdough, but sometimes the kids want "soft bread". This is their favorite. Great for sandwiches or just plain with butter.
I love this Recipe. There was no need to pull the crust of of sandwiches. My kiddos loved it!
Absolutely love this recipe. Easy, kid approved soft comforting bread. I love to jazz it up with some cinnamon and raisins! Also works awesome as buns!
We love this bread so much that we have sold a few loaves of it. We make it into different shapes because it's so flavorful and fluffy.... It has a plastic sheet covering it in my recipe binder, which means it's a keeper ??
Brittany L Wierenga
The first bread recipe I ever mastered and the one that got me to commit to making all our own bread products! Love that it is truly crustless and so rich. Nothing better than a fresh slice with butter and a little bit of brown sugar and cinnamon.?
Best instruction ever for beginners! foolproof recipe ?
Best instruction ever for beginners! foolproof recipe ?
THIS is the recipe that started me on my bread making journey! I used to be so intimidated of yeasted bread, now I make all sorts of bread, including my own sourdough. Thanks Kate!
I made this recipe yesterday for the first time. Actually it was my first time making bread from scratch but I wanted to make bread or dinner rolls from scratch for our Thanksgiving Dinner. I was so nervous that it would not turn out, I just knew I would mess this bread up somehow... but guess what, I didn't and it was the best bread ever!! My family said it was delicious. This was such an easy recipe that I am going to make many loaves for Christmas and give them away with my homemade jam for gifts. <3
This is such an easy recipe and when I am struggling with sourdough I turn to this recipe.
This is now my go to non- sourdough sandwiche loaf! It’s easy and my kids love it!!!
So I do cheat a bit and let it rise in the bread machine... (Drafty farm house problems) BEST bread I've ever made !
We make this every week and love it! So universal, easy to make and our toddlers love it
When I don’t have time to make sourdough bread I make this bread!!! So simple and delicious!
Kids love this so much they’re in charge of making it. Easy!
Simple and easy! A weekly staple at our house and we definitely don’t miss store bought bread ?
So good! My go to recipe, the whole family loves it!
This is my families favourite bread recipe! So thankful Kate shared this one. The bread comes out perfect and consistent, and really is great for sandwiches and freezing.
I have made this often but last Sunday I decided to try making a triple batch in my Bosch mixer and it worked so awesome!! I asked my husband which of the two recipes I have been making he liked best and he picked this one!! It has few ingredients in it but stays so soft and is delicious!
I just made a double batch of this recipe the other day and it was a huge hit with my kids. I tried to save some to freeze for later but all four loaves were eaten within two days. ? This is my new go-to bread recipe!
All time favorite!
Our go to bread recipe! Always turns out, always yummy and easy to make!
I have made this several times before and everyone loves it. I throw everything in the bread maker on the dough setting, then come back, shape it, and bake it. Easy recipe that always turns out great!
This is my go to homemade sandwich loaf! Kiddos love it! It slices well!
my all time FAVORITE bread recipe
The only bread recipe I make now. Turns out amazing every single time and so much easier to make
I love my sourdough but sometimes you just need this bread.....great recipe....I’ve made it so many times. Thanks
Very good white bread! Fluffy, soft, delicious
If you could smell my house right now! Made this bread today, one for me one for a struggling momma neighbor.
Oh my. Since I discovered your recipe about 2 weeks ago I have made this bread at least 8 times. My hubby loves it, it's his new favourite bread, my neighbours LOVE it, I have on rising right now for the oven to deliver to them this afternoon. I cannot thank you enough for sharing this with us, I have passed it on to my sisters too. This is DEFINATELY 5 STARS.
This is so awesome!!
I have to tell you this is my new favorite bread recipe. It’s soft and fluffy and stays that way. My normal bread is only good toasted after the first day. My picky husband loves it! I used 2 % milk. It turned out wonderfull and was very easy to make. Thank you! Annea
I am so glad to hear you love this!!
best quick sandwich loaf. We love to pack this loaf when we are going to be out and about.
I finally got up the courage to make bread. This is the recipe I used and it is wonderful! It worked out so great! I'm definitely going to make this regularly!
I have made this bread so many times now that I have the recipe memorized. I have a loaf rising at this moment. It's a no fail, always delish loaf of bread/buns. It reminds me of my MOM'S bread,,,,,,I always wanted to make MOM's bread and I think this is as close as it gets. Make it! You will not be disappointed. I have also passed this recipe onto my older sister. Thank you.
I love that this recipe reminds you of your Mom's bread. What a sweet connection.
Hi! Have you ever done with recipe with gf flour? Also, if I don't have bed mixer can I still make it? Thanks!
I've not made this recipe gluten free. And you can certainly make it without a mixer!
what will happen if I use store bought buttermilk,
They would work just as well!!