Walter Sands' Basic White Bread

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Yield: 2 loaves, 32 slices

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Walter Sands made this bread faithfully once a week for years. Walter was the father of Frank E. Sands, King Arthur Flour's current chairman of the board. Because of his arthritic hands, Walter used a bread bucket with a crank, which kneaded hundreds of loaves of this fragrant, soft sandwich bread with all its happy associations. The recipe makes two loaves, and we'll show you how to turn the second into a raisin-cinnamon swirl variation for an extra treat.

Walter Sands' Basic White Bread

star rating (32) rate this recipe »
Hands-on time:
Baking time:
Total time:
Yield: 2 loaves, 32 slices
Published: 01/01/2010



Cinnamon-Raisin Swirl

  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Tips from our bakers

  • You can make this bread with milk instead of water; just bring 2 cups of milk to a simmer, then cool to lukewarm before using.
  • For cinnamon-swirl bread, roll each piece of dough into a rough 9" x 15" rectangle. Spread each piece with half the melted butter, then sprinkle with half the raisins, sugar, and cinnamon. Starting with a short edge, roll into a cylinder. Place the loaves in the pans, seam-side down, and let rise and bake as directed at right.
  • Want to make this bread using a mixer, or a bread machine set on the dough cycle? Combine all of the ingredients except 1/2 cup of the flour. Mix and knead, using your machine of choice, and adding just enough of the remaining 1/2 cup flour (if necessary) to make a soft, slightly sticky dough. Continue at step 5, letting the dough rise in a bowl, then finishing the bread as directed.


1) Pour the warm water into a mixing bowl. Add and let dissolve the sugar or honey and then the yeast.

2) When the yeast is bubbling, add the butter, 3 cups of flour, the dry milk, and salt. Mix together.

3) Stir in another 2 1/2 cups of flour, keeping the last 1/2 cup in reserve. Knead the dough for 3 to 4 minutes, until it begins to behave as if it belongs together. Cover and let the dough rest while you clean and grease the mixing bowl.

4) Continue kneading for 3 or 4 more minutes, until the dough feels smooth and springy. Use up to 1/2 cup of the reserved flour, if necessary, to keep the dough from sticking to the kneading surface.

5) Place the dough in the greased bowl, turn it over to coat both sides, and cover the bowl. Let it rise in a draft-free place until doubled, 1 to 2 hours. Deflate the dough, and divide it in half. Form into loaves (or make into cinnamon-raisin bread as described in tips, below), and place in greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" pans. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise until the dough domes an inch above the rim of the pans.

After the dough has been rising for 20 minutes, preheat the oven to 350°F. When the loaves are sufficiently risen, bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until nicely browned and the center of the loaves reads 190°F when measured with an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the oven and tip the breads out of their pans. Place on a rack to cool completely before slicing.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: 1 slice, 41g Servings Per Batch: 32 Amount Per Serving: Calories: 94 Calories from Fat: 9 Total Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 2mg Sodium: 153mg Total Carbohydrate: 18g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 2g Protein: 3g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.


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  • star rating 04/29/2015
  • ellymay from PA
  • I made this last week and found it really easy - I am a novice baker. After the first rise, I split the dough in two - and made half cinnamon bread. Rolled it out, added the butter and cinnamon, rolled it then cut that loaf in half and put into mini loaf pans. These rose beautifully. The other half of the dough I really didn't mess with much - formed it a little and put it into my Hearth Bread Pan I got from King Arthur last year (I no longer see it listed for sale). This loaf rose VERY little, turned out more like a thick flat bread. Still ate it - and it was tasty. So my question - why did that happen? Did I not knead it enough after the first rise OR was my pan too big? Thanks for your feedback!

    Ellymay, if both loaves came from the exact same dough then the difference in the amount they rose must have been from the way you shaped it or how long you left the dough to rest before baking. If you prepped your cinnamon bread and the other half sat the whole time, it may have over proofed which would have caused it to collapse during the baking process. Next time, try to make sure to tighten the gluten structure by folding the dough and creating a nice seal before putting it in the Hearth Bread Pan. Good luck next time! Happy baking! Kye@KAF

  • star rating 03/25/2015
  • Kelly from St. Augustine, Florida
  • I have made a lot of different white bread recipes and I think I found my keeper. Nice texture easy to follow directions.I brushed with butter straight out the oven. Mmmm! My family is very pleased with the results. Thanks a million for this great recipe.
  • star rating 03/21/2015
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  • star rating 03/13/2015
  • Rocampo from KAF Community
  • I've never baked bread before so I had no expectations whatsoever. I watched the videos about bread making and followed the directions to a T. My loaves looked and tasted delicious! My husband thanks you, King Arthur!
  • star rating 02/24/2015
  • Jo from Greenville SC
  • Wonderful recipe. Wouldn't change a thing. It took longer to rise in the pan almost an hour more but everything came out perfect.
  • star rating 01/18/2015
  • Arun from Milwaukee, WI
  • Hi, I have made this recipe several times; it has worked out very well each time. I use scalded and cooled milk instead of water, and I found I would always end up using much less flour than the recipe called for. This confused me, until I realized that I was directly substituting milk for water by weight. In doing this, I was actually using less water than you call for in the recipe, because milk has about 13% solids content; in effect, adding 454 grams of milk is the same as adding 395 grams of water and 59 grams of milk powder. The reason my bread worked out well was because I was holding flour in reserve and only adding as much as needed, instead of blindly following the recipe. I would suggest making a note to your comment about using 2 cups of milk instead of the milk powder that when doing this, you should either use less flour (629 gms instead of 723), or more milk (529 grams or about 2 1/4 cups) if using the larger quantity of flour.
  • star rating 01/17/2015
  • frivolas from KAF Community
  • What do you mean when you say to wait until the loaves are "sufficiently risen"? I just let them become really puffy. As a personal note, I should pay more attention to the hydration of the dough. In other recipe you say that the dough should not be "gnarly", could you elaborate more on how a gnarly dough would look like after kneading? The bread came out delicious! This is the first time I try this recipe. I usually bake the other white breads you have in your collection but the addition of the honey gives this bread a delicious fragrance!
  • star rating 01/15/2015
  • from KAF Community
  • Thanks a lot for the recipe It came out like a professional bakers bread in my kitchen. I was really happy. We're happy about your results and proud of your efforts as well. May the bread baking journey continue! Happy baking - Irene@KAF
  • star rating 12/31/2014
  • Arun from Milwaukee, WI
  • Nice recipe; worked perfectly the first time -used scalded and cooled milk in place of milk powder. Crumb looked just like in the video. Made half a loaf and ended up using 50g less flour than called for. Good idea to start with less and add flour as needed to avoid making a brick!
    That's sage advice - to listen to the dough or recognize how much flour the dough can take so your resulting dough stays soft and supple - no matter how much flour you've used. Happy Baking! Irene@KAF
  • star rating 12/12/2014
  • Debbie Taylor from Southeast Georgia
  • The best bread I have made to date. I made one loaf plain and one cinnamon swirl. The texture was wonderful and the flavor of both loaves was heavenly. The only recipe I care to use.
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