For the last few months I’ve been experimenting with several bread recipes and I finally perfected a recipe that worked for myself and my family. A vegan bread recipe that yields 2 delicious loaves of bread with a soft buttery crust that my little ones love. Many of you have been messaging me on Instagram for my vegan sandwich bread recipe after seeing photos of my loaves in my IG stories, but I wasn’t ready to share my recipe until I knew it was perfect. I wanted to bake multiple successful loaves before sharing so that I knew for certain that my recipe will work for others.
I experimented with several bread recipes along the way and I had a lot of fails. Through those fails I learned a lot and here I will share with you my 5 tips on how to have a successful bread baking experience. If you are a seasoned baker just Jump to Recipe to get started on the most delicious sandwich bread you will ever taste!
So lets get started with my 5 best baking tips for making bread:
Use a spoon to measure your flour
Do not scoop up your flour with a measuring cup. This will cause the flour to pack into the measuring cup which will actually add my flour than needed to your recipe. Instead use a large tablespoon to fill your measuring cup with flour. Next level it off with the straight edge of a butter knife for the proper amount.
Knead your bread for the amount of time stated in the recipe
If you are kneading by hand which is what I highly recommend (dough kneaded by a mixer can get over kneaded), please knead it for the amount of time required. If you under knead your bread you will not build up enough gluten bonds in the bread to allow for a successful rise. Under kneaded bread will result it bread that collapses in the oven or bread that crumbles. A good way to know if your dough is perfectly knead is to press gently on it with a finger. If the dough rises back up (bounces back) it’s ready.
Turn down the AC in your home during your bread rise or rise the bread in the oven
If your home is too cold it may cause your yeast to not rise properly or it will take a lot longer to rise. Putting it in a cool oven (oven is off) can help when your home is cooler.
Allow your yeast to activate
Give the yeast some time to activate prior to adding it to your flour. When the yeast is ready it will create a thin foam on top of your milk and water mixture. I can’t really explain why you should wait for the yeast to activate, but my bread always turns out a lot better when I follow this simple step.
Watch your dough
The prep time in a recipe is just an estimate so don’t think if a recipe says allow to rise for 1 hour that you have to follow that strict guideline. Let your dough guide you in that decision. Sometimes your dough may take more or less time to rise. This is why I not only gave an estimated time, but also a description of how your dough should look during the process.
My Perfect Vegan Sandwich Bread Recipe
- 1 ¼ cup warm water
- 1 cup non-dairy milk any type of milk except full fat coconut milk
- ¼ tsp sugar
- 4 tsp active dry yeast
- 5 ½ cup all-purpose or bread flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp grape seed oil
- 2 tsp vegan butter optional
- Warm water, milk, and 1/4 tsp sugar in a small sauce pan until water mixture is lukewarm. Test the water/milk mixture on your wrist. The mixture should be like bath water you would put an infant in. Add yeast and mix until dissolved. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow yeast to activate.
- Meanwhile mix flour, salt and sugar into a bowl omitting ¼ cup of the flour. Add grape seed oil and yeast mixture. Mix until a ball forms with a spoon. Use your hands to finish mixing the dough once you find it difficult to stir. If the dough seems too wet add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour.
- Knead dough for about 20 minutes on a lightly floured surface until the dough becomes smooth and bounces back when gently pressed.
- Grease a large bowl with grape seed oil and place dough inside the bowl. Brush exposed areas of dough lightly with grape seed oil to prevent it from drying out. Cover bowl with wax paper* that has been lightly oiled and allow to rise for 1 hour or until dough doubles in size.
- Grease 2 standard loaf pans with grape seed oil and set aside.
- Punch down dough to release air and divide dough into 2 equal parts. Shape each dough loaf with hands into 6x8 inch rectangle. Roll dough into a cylinder pinching the seams and tuck seams underneath. Place each loaf into a loaf pan.
- Allow loaves to rise for about 30 minutes to 1 hour or longer. Dough should rise about 1/2 inch to 1 inch above loaf pan. I do not recommend covering the dough during this rise as anything covering it could get stuck and make your dough deflate when you remove the covering.
- Preheat oven to 375° Fahrenheit. Bake loaves for 35 minutes and place on a cooling rack.
- Use a pastry brush to grease both loaves with vegan butter for a softer crust. If you want the crust to be crisp omit this step.
- Cool loaves on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Finally, remove loaves from pans and cool completely before slicing.
- You are welcome to substitute 2 cups of flour with whole wheat flour if you would like a whole wheat version. Keep in mind that whole wheat flour has less gluten in it and may require a longer kneading time. I have tried this with spelt flour and it worked for me.
- *I like using wax paper instead of cling wrap to reduce plastic waste to the environment.
I hope you find my recipe easy to follow and just as delicious as we do! Let me know if you have any questions or concerns in the comments.
Happy Baking! ♥