Recipe summary

Hands-on time:
15 mins. to 20 mins.
Baking time:
35 mins. to 40 mins.
Total time:
2 hrs 50 mins. to 4 hrs
Yield:
1 large loaf
This signature white sandwich loaf, an updated version of King Arthur's popular Walter Sands Basic White Bread, is the "go-to" bread for breakfast toast, brown-bag PB & Js, or a grilled-cheese-and-soup supper for many of us here at King Arthur Flour. Just like King Arthur Flour itself, this bread is classic, reliable, and your best friend in the kitchen.

And who was Walter Sands? The Sands family became associated with King Arthur Flour in 1820, 30 years after the company's founding. Walter headed up the company from 1943 to 1968, when his son, Frank, took over as president. Frank led an effort that made King Arthur a national brand by the turn of the 21st century; several years ago he and his wife, Brinna, sold the company to us, the employee-owners.

Frank and Brinna are still the inspiration behind King Arthur's long-time quest: to serve our community, do the right thing, and provide Americans with the best flour in the world. We honor their legacy with this bread.
Volume Ounces Grams

  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons to 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water*
  • 1 heaping tablespoon honey
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons soft butter
  • 4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk or 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk granules
  • *Use the lesser amount in summer or humid climates; the greater amount in winter or drier climates.

Directions

  1. 1) Mix all of the ingredients in the order listed, and mix and knead — by hand, or using a stand mixer — to make a smooth dough. It won't be particularly soft nor stiff; it should be smooth and feel bouncy and elastic under your hands.
  2. 2) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or other container. Cover it, and let it rise at room temperature until it's very puffy, 1 to 2 hours.
  3. 3) Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into a fat 9" log. Place it in a lightly greased 9" x 5" loaf pan.
  4. 4) Cover the pan, and let the dough rise for 60 to 90 minutes, till it's crowned 1" to 1 1/2" over the rim of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350F.
  5. 5) Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Tent it lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, till it's golden brown. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will read 195F to 200F.
  6. 6) Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out onto a rack to cool. When completely cool, wrap in plastic, and store at room temperature.
  7. Yield: 1 large loaf, about 18 servings.

Tips from our bakers

  • We call for a fairly wide range of water here due to two variables: how bakers measure their flour, and climate/season. Flour is drier and will absorb more liquid in winter, and/or in a dry climate; in summer or in a humid climate, it's moister and will absorb less. So generally speaking, you'll use more liquid in your bread in winter, less in summer. In addition, some bakers measure their flour by dipping the cup into the bag or canister, tapping the flour to pack it down, and leveling it off. The way we measure flour here at King Arthur Flour is to stir/aerate the flour, sprinkle it gently into the measuring cup, and level it off. If you're of the scoop/tap/level school, which measures a "heavier" cup of flour, you'll need to use more liquid. At any rate, for this recipe, start with a smaller amount of water and move up, if necessary; it's easier to add water than to take it out! Your goal is a dough that starts out a bit sticky, but as you knead becomes soft (but not sticky) and smooth, not "gnarly."
  • Want to make this bread using a bread machine? See our Walter Sands' Favorite Bread — Bread Machine Version.