Buttermilk Sandwich Bread

This buttermilk sandwich bread is a classic recipe that turns out tender bread, perfect for toast, sandwiches, bread pudding, and beyond.

A partially sliced loaf of buttermilk sandwich bread on a wooden cutting board with a bread knife lying beside it.

This buttermilk sandwich bread has an ever so slight tang and an almost cake-like in texture and toasts amazingly. It’s also ideal for, natch, sandwiches of any sort.–Renee Schettler

Buttermilk Sandwich Bread

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 15 M
  • 1 H, 30 M
  • Makes 1 large loaf
5/5 - 1 reviews
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Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan.

In a small saucepan, heat the buttermilk and butter over medium heat until it registers about 130ºF(54°C) on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat.

In a stand mixer fit with the flat beater, mix together 1 1/2 cups of the flour, the sugar, wheat bran (if using), salt, and yeast on low speed just until combined. Add the warm buttermilk mixture and mix until all the ingredients are smooth and combined. Add the egg and continue beating for 1 minute.

Add the remaining 1 3/4 cups flour and continue mixing for 5 minutes. The dough will be sticky and will not come away from the sides of the bowl. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan and brush the top with the melted butter.

Cover the pan loosely with waxed paper and let the dough rise to within 1 inch of the top of the pan, about 25 minutes. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 375ºF (190°C).

Bake the loaf until the top feels firm and is lightly browned, about 40 minutes.

Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto the rack and let cool completely before slicing into roughly hewn hunks or slender sandwich slices. Originally published September 8, 2011.

Print RecipeBuy the Fast Breads cookbook

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Recipe Testers Reviews

Wow. This may become my new basic bread recipe. I’m terrible with yeast breads, so I tend to stay away from them. I’ve made no-knead breads, but sometimes you want a soft, tender sandwich loaf. This is that loaf! It’s like the love child of a traditional sandwich bread and a no-knead bread—no kneading but also no waiting all day for the rising and proofing stages.

Mixing the dough for 5 minutes is crucial to its success. I could visibly see the difference in the dough from when I started compared to after the 5-minute period. The recipe says you’ll have a batter but mine was more like a very soft dough. I think with some practice, you could shape it or form little buns.

Also, watch your dough during the first rise! I left my first loaf alone for 40 minutes and came back to find the dough billowing out of the pan (I poked it back to deflate it a little and then baked it and it was no worse for wear). I also started checking the loaf after 30 minutes of baking and found 35 minutes to be my sweet spot.

It made great toast. I love this bread—the crust is soft, the crumb is tender, and the flavor has a hint of tanginess from the buttermilk.

I love the idea of making homemade sandwich bread but it always seem to involve too much time and then the bread disappears so quickly. Luckily this recipe comes together easily and in the blink of an eye. The results are delicious.

The buttermilk adds a nice tang that give it much more flavor than store-bought white bread. I can see myself making this all the time.

This buttermilk sandwich bread is very easy to prepare and can be made even by people who consider themselves “yeast phobic.” It’s a nice white bread prepared in no time and looks like the real thing.

I prepared it for the weekend, but it was finished by 6 pm on Friday. The bread is very light and easy to cut it into nice slices a few hours after baking. I’ll try to make another batch during the week for morning toasts.

This is a very nice everyday bread. You can mix up the dough in the morning and have fresh bread for lunch. It’s a little richer than most breads because of the addition of the egg. It makes very nice toast.

The flavor is good. The texture on the inside is perfectly soft and the crust allows for a good crunch without being too hard. I didn’t use the bran. I followed the directions but if I made it again, I might try to deal with smoothing the top a little or something. It wasn’t perfectly rounded.

It was almost cake-like when sliced. Very quick and easy. Will do this one again—can do it on a weeknight. Makes great toast!

I used low-fat buttermilk for this recipe as it was all I had. I did add the wheat bran for a little extra fiber—it wasn’t very noticeable in the finished product, so I will probably use more next time. Ended up baking it for an extra five minutes to get a nice brown color on top.


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  1. This bread is so good! I love to bake but breads have never been my expertise. This recipe really is no-fail. It was so easy to make and fast (for bread) – enough so that I can’t imagine buying bread again. I highly recommend trying this – especially if you’re intimidated by bread making.

  2. If I use dry active yeast for this recipe would the single 25 minute rise give the bread sufficient rise?, if i combine the active yeast with the sugar, warm buttermilk & butter 1st to activate?

  3. Found your website and just died! JUST DIED OF EXCITEMENT, THAT IS! I made my first Italian loaf and well…died, it was soooo good! One of my dogs thought so too, she ate the heel of the loaf I was about to eat but stepped away from the coffee table, came back it was gone, and I was so UNFULFILLED!!!! It was like getting dressed with out one pant leg UGH!!!! I’m still upset. Anyway the reason why I am writing you, how can I store some of the sandwich breads for more than two days. My parents go through bread like AIR and I would like to knock out a few loafs a day and store them for a week or so, like I do with store-bought. ‘Cause I’m telling you, $60 a month just on bread is nuts! Did I say how much I love this site! Ciao bello!

    1. Hah! I know that pain of having the dog snitch the last of what you expected to savor. Lisa, welcome to Leite’s! And what a lovely message, many thanks for taking the time to let us know how helpful this bread recipe is for you!

  4. Very little work and time – big reward! The bread made great sandwich bread with a nice, tight crumb. The buttermilk is a must – don’t substitute.

  5. I was reading the Buttermilk Sandwich Loaf recipe hoping some one tried it in a bread machine…someone did mix it it one but baked it in the oven. Was wondering if there’s someone who has done so and how were the results.

    1. Let’s ask, Kathleen. Anyone baked this in a bread machine? If you go ahead and try it, Kathleen, we’d love to hear how it turned out. We’ve no reason to think it’d be any less stellar…

  6. I know I’m being a total PITA, but what’s the deal with no-knead? Don’t people realize that generations of housewives worked out their aggressions and destressed by kneading bread? How many husbands lives have been saved by homemade bread??? ;)

    I’m not up for breadmaking just at the mo, but when my kitchen is back in trim, I think I’ll give this a try, as written, and doing it the old fashioned way, i.e., proofing the yeast, kneading it by hand and two rises. See which I like better and which seems like a better bread — flavor, crumb, crust etc. — to me.

    1. PITA, you, Ruthie? Nah. I kinda have that dept. covered.

      Before all this, you couldn’t get me in the kitchen to make regular kneaded bread unless you dragged me by my very stylist and, for an old man, voluminous hair. Then I started in on the no-knead breads. I liked some others I didn’t others. But I’m mad, positively made for the concept. It’s easy, fast, and with some recipes, I’ve gotten results that a hardcore, hippish, braided-hair-covered-with-a-purple-bandana baker friend couldn’t believe was no-knead.

      I’ll be writing a post or two about my journey into the no-knead bowl soon.

      1. ruthie, listen to David, he’s telling the truth when he says he has the PITA department covered. (“Kinda,” David?!) And I am so with you on the kneading, ruthie. Cathartic. I guess it’s a he said, she said sorta situation. I’ll be waiting to hear all about your kneading trials, although I dare say you and I already know what to expect…

        1. Diane, I would freeze the loaf whole, wrapped in plastic and then foil. When you want to use it, remove it from its wrapping and let it defrost. Then slice it. For DIY buttermilk, for every cup of whole or 2-percent milk, add one tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar. Let it stand for 15 minutes.

  7. This bread is fabulous. Bread rose so high, and the taste was unbelievable. Have been eating it with peanut butter and blackberry jam. Yum!

  8. This is a lovely recipe. Although everyone loved it as is, I just had to try it using a portion of white whole-wheat flour. I used 1 1/4 cups white whole-wheat flour, 2 cups all-purpose flour, and did not add the optional wheat bran. I also reduced the sugar to 1 teaspoon, and it worked for me. The dough came together very quickly using the flat beater on my KitchenAid, much sooner than the 5 minutes but I let it continue. Then, since the dough came off all together from the beater, I could handle it and gave it a twist to even it out in the loaf pan. Love how quick this all happened, yet it had real bread taste and nice dense texture. I would make a loaf of this just for bread pudding futures! The buttermilk lends a great taste and texture, and I hovered over the pan with my temperature gun and just as it hit 134F the butter had completely melted. This is a winner—I can see making this as a quicker alternative to my usual no-knead breads.

    1. Irene..So pleased you love this, and thank you for sharing your tweaks with us.
      Hope it graces your Easter table.

  9. Yo David; I like this recipe very much. It was easy to make, and turned out so good I will keep on making this loaf. No more let it rise, punch it down, kneed it, let it rise again, cut it in two, put it in pans, then let it rise again, then bake. This was so easy I was surprised at how well it turned out. I had the recipe for about a month but did not belive it was that easy, so what the heck I tried it. Man, what a loaf it came out so well I will be using this recipe for at least the next 26 years.

  10. Can you give me directions for making the dough in a bread machine? I like to use my machine on the “dough” cycle and then form and bake the bread myself.

    1. Betsy, I decided to try to make the dough in the bread machine and here were my steps. I first added the heated buttermilk, then the flour, bread machine yeast, salt, and the egg. I programmed it to dough (1h30m). I checked to see if it needed more flour at all, but there was no need for such. I noticed the dough was not as sticky as the recipe says. I then added the dough onto the pan and followed the rest of the instructions. Compared to the comments from other testers, it seems that the final result was very much the same. A nice loaf for sandwiches or just plain with some butter. It took exactly 40 minutes in the oven. The crust was golden yet not too hard and the inside was perfect. This is a recipe i will actually make more often. Also I did taste the tanginess others described.

  11. Just took my loaf out of the oven. It came together easy, looks good and smells fantastic. Can’t wait to eat it.

  12. Can’t wait to try this bread. I’m a “yeast-killer,” so the short rising time means less opportunity for me to destroy it.

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