Bread-baking is all the rage right now. Is it out of necessity? For some, yes, but most of us are cranking out loaf after loaf of freshly baked bread because it’s a fabulous stress-reliever. It’s almost magical to be able to create something so practical and comforting with nothing more than your hands and some spare ingredients. No need to board the sourdough train, either. This recipe makes basic sandwich bread with virtually no planning – just a little bit of love and attention.

Short on ingredients? Good news! Sandwich bread is very forgiving, so adjust your ingredients as needed. If you don’t have enough milk, add extra water to make up the difference. And all-purpose flour works just as well as bread flour here.

Remember: As with everything in life, practice makes perfect, so repeat this process until you have it just the way you like it. Soon you won’t even need to look at the recipe.

What you’ll need:

  • Stand mixer (or large mixing bowl and strong arms)
  • Large glass bowl
  • Large metal loaf pan

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup milk, warm
  • ⅔ cup water, warm
  • 1 to 2 Tbsp granulated sugar or honey
  • 1 packet (2¼ tsp) active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup vegetable or grapeseed oil or butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 3 cups bread or all-purpose flour
  • 1½ to 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp, plus 2 tsp, olive oil, divided

Shannon Weber is the creator, author and photographer behind the award-winning blogaperiodictableblog.com, and her work has appeared on websites such as Bon Appétit, Serious Eats and America’s Test Kitchen.