Milk and Honey Bread Recipe

A soft and tender sandwich bread made with milk and honey.

It consistently turns out a soft and tender, slightly sweet loaf that is perfect for sandwiches. This one is my kids’ favorite bread recipe.

cut loaf of white milk and honey bread

Milk and Honey Bread Recipe

A soft and tender white bread that’s perfect for sandwiches .  One of the best white bread recipes ever.
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Serving Size 10 slices

Ingredients 

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • teaspoons instant yeast

Instructions 

  • Mix. Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.  (If using a bread machine, put everything in the bucket and select the dough cycle.).  Stir for a minute and evaluate the consistency of the dough.  It should form a ball and clear the sides of the bowl.   If it is crumbly and not coming together, add a bit more milk.  If it is sticking to the bowl, add a bit more flour. (If using a bread machine, skip to step 4.)
  • Knead. Knead the dough until it is smooth, bouncy, and elastic.  To see if the gluten is developed, take a golf ball sized piece of dough and stretch it out to see if if translucent areas form.  If these areas are visible, the dough is sufficiently kneaded. 
    bread dough kneaded into smooth ball.
  • First rise. Shape the dough into a ball and place into a lightly oiled bowl.  Cover with a clean damp tea towel and place in a slightly warm place to rise.  Allow it to double in bulk, about 45 to 60 minutes.
  • Shape. Shape the dough into a loaf by spreading it out into a rectangle.  The short side of the rectangle should be roughly as long as the loaf pan.  Tuck the corners in and roll up into a cylinder, then tuck the ends in.  
  • Second rise.  Place into a greased loaf pan and lightly cover with oiled plastic wrap.  Place the dough in a warm place and allow to rise until very puffy and the top of the dough has risen 1 inch over the top of the loaf pan.  Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven 350 degrees.
    fully risen loaf
  • Bake. Remove the plastic wrap and brush the bread with milk.  Bake for 40 minutes, until very golden brown.  Remove from the loaf pan and allow to cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.   Store leftovers tightly wrapped for up to 2 days. 

Notes

A slightly warmed but turned off oven in a great place to have your dough rise.  Turn it on for a minute, then turn it off.  Make sure you don’t preheat it with the dough still inside!
Calories: 199kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 271mg | Potassium: 107mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 0.04mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg

What you’ll need for milk and honey bread

wooden board with bowl of flour and salt, honey, butter, milk, and yeast

Ingredients

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup milk (add a few more tablespoons if necessary)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast (SAF brand is the best and can be purchased in bulk and frozen)
  • Non-stick cooking spray

Tools

  • A “standard sized” loaf pan: 8 1/2 inches x 4 1/2. inches x 2 1/2 inches. (Goldtouch brand is my favorite.)
  • A stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or a basic bread machine. (I love this model, which is affordable and mixes and rises the dough beautifully.)
  • A pastry brush for brushing the top of the loaf with milk.

Let’s make it together

Making the dough

grid of 4 images: honey, butter and flour in bowl, ingredients being mixed, smooth dough, dough in ball ready to rise

There is no need to be fussy about combining the ingredients, especially when you are using instant yeast. Just toss everything in together and mix. If you are using a bread machine, just hit the dough cycle. Keep an eye on the dough for a while. You are looking for dough that stays as a ball. It should not be so dry that it won’t come together, but it should also not be so wet that it sticks to the sides of the bowl. If it seems off, just add a bit more flour or milk as needed.

Once the consistency is right, start kneading. I recommend ten minutes of kneading in the stand mixer, with short breaks every few minutes so you don’t burn out the motor.

To check for readiness in the dough, take a golf-ball sized ball of dough and attempt to stretch it out. If it tears easily, the dough is not ready. If translucent “windows” appear in the dough, its ready to go!

Rising and shaping the loaf

grid of 4 images- dough risen in bowl, dough stretched out to rectangle, rolling bowl into loaf, placing loaf in bread pan to rise

Shape the dough into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl to rise. Cover with a clean, damp tea towel or greased plastic wrap and place into a warm place to rise. The best temperature for bread rising is about 80-90 degrees. If you don’t have a suitable place, turn your oven on for a minute or two, turn it off, and place the dough inside.

After an hour or so, check on your dough. It should be very puffy and have doubled in size. Now we shape! Lay your loaf pan on the counter and use it help guide you. You want to gently stretch the dough out into a rectangle when the short side of the rectangle is the same length as the long side of the loaf pan. Tuck in the top two corners and start rolling down. “Shoulder in, head down.”

Tuck the sides under and pinch the seams the best you can to close. Don’t get upset if this doesn’t go perfectly. Your loaf will still be fine!

Final rise and bake

4 images- risen dough in loaf pan, baked loaf of milk and honey bread, sliced loaf

Spray your loaf pan with non stick spray and gently place the loaf of bread inside. Cover it with heavily sprayed plastic wrap and put back in a warm spot to rise again. This rise will be around 45-60 minutes, until the loaf is an inch over the top of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees with the rack in the center. Brush the top with milk if you want a beautifully browned crust.

Bake the loaf for 40-45 minutes, until the top is very golden brown. When you take it out of the oven, feel free to brush it with melted butter to help it shine.

Remove the bread from the pan and place it on a wire rack to cool for at least an hour or two before slicing.

Homemade bread in general only keeps a few days at room temperature. But it freezes very well if allowed to cool completely and then tightly wrapped.

more sandwich bread recipes?

sliced homemade white bread.
Milk and Honey Bread Recipe

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Recipe Rating




13 Comments

  1. I was not able to get this dough to rise very well by just following the recipe, but I just ended up baking it anyway because I am out of bread lol I let it rise for 60 mins both times, and it didn’t rise much at all. any suggestions to help the rise would be amazing!! thank you!!!!

    1. hey adrian milk breads often rise a little slower. next time try warming up your oven just a little (a VERY little, turning it off and having the bread rise in there. if your yeast is good, the bread WILl rise… it just might take longer. if you aren’t using SAF instant yeast, get some, it’s much less finicky about temperature but otherwise works exactly the same 🙂

      1. thank you for your reply!! I did heat my oven very little and let the bread rise in it, I always do lol! I think maybe it was the yeast I used, im going to double the recipe and make 2 loaves today so fingers crossed it works out! I love this recipe, btw! thank you again!

      2. another think you could try is using veg oil instead of butter. or a splash of water. sometimes a slightly dry dough rises suuuuuper slow and this time of year our flour is dry and could u se a tad more liquid!

  2. 5 stars
    Did you heat the scold the milk first? Seems like many suggest cooking the milk so it does not hinder the yeast. I did not and this is the slowest rise/proof time Ive ever had but its my first time using milk.

  3. 5 stars
    I changed it just a tad, cause I wanted to use my sourdough starter I made,… so I did proof if the same time, but I used instant yeast aswell. It turned out super delicious! Thanks!

  4. 5 stars
    This recipe produces by far the best white bread I’ve ever tasted! I’m obsessed with peanut butter and jam sandwiches made from this fluffy, flavorful and high rising bread. I bake one, sometimes two, loaves a week!

  5. 5 stars
    This loaf turned out so good! Going to definitely be making it again soon, especially because it’s almost already gone! Yummy!!

    1. heather I’m so sorry! it’s between 1 cup and 1 1/8 cup (start with 1 cup and add a bit more if the dough doesn’t come together.). adding it now 🙂