Shoe Box Sandwich Bread Tutorial {Freezer style}





Seriously simple sandwich bread awaits you. If you’ve ever made homemade bread and mixed, waited, watched it rise, punched, kneaded, shaped, waited, baked and waited for just one loaf, you probably don’t make it frequently. It’s my hope that this 5 ingredient recipe made in a shoe box will change your lifestyle of eating bread in convenience form. It has changed mine.


I first started following the method of the Artisan Bread in 5 minutes website when it first launched about five years ago. I was intrigued by the way you could mix ingredients and have enough bread dough to last a whole week. Perhaps it was the fact that we were having our third child and it was another step toward eating whole foods in a much easier fashion.

Through the years, I’ve made it countless times and taught many women how to make this very simple bread either in free loaf form or in a loaf pan. The method I’m sharing today is using a loaf pan so you can bake three loaves at one time and always have bread in the freezer. It’s just like if you bought a loaf from the store and saved it in your freezer when you need it. Only this is better because it’s fresh, tastes delicious, made in whole form with simple ingredients.

Five simple ingredients: water, oil, white whole wheat flour, kosher salt and yeast go into a plastic shoe box. I add the liquid ingredients first which helps the mixture stir easier.


Stir well and be prepared for a sticky dough. This help it have a moist tender crumb without being dry. It’s essential to mix very well with a sturdy kitchen spoon, making sure there are no dry patches in the corner or any where. That’s why I like the curved  corner shoe boxes rather than the squared corner.  But use what you have on hand. Be sure to wash with hot soapy water if you’re recyling a household shoe box.


The dough rises for 2 hours on the counter with the lid. It will puff up almost to the top of the lid and look like the photo. I dust the entire dough with lots of flour before I divide the dough into three equal pieces. Then I dust again on a floured dough board or wax paper. Don’t be afraid to be generous with the flour because it’s sticky.


Shape each dough piece into a log shape trying to pinch or smooth any wrinkles and moving it toward the bottom. The less you handle the dough the better and make sure you’re using floured hands. Drop each piece into a buttered or sprayed loaf pan. I have three different ones as you can tell, but I get the same results.


It’s okay if the bread is not perfect on the bottom. You can see the wrinkles on the bottom of  mine below. I’ve also used a connected 4-mini loaf pan to make small loaves for the kids. I bake these about 5 minutes less than the others. After baking, I brush with softened honey butter, optional but really tasty.

IMG_1218The baked bread goes on cooling racks until completely cool to the touch, about 2 hours. It’s easiest to slice with an electric knife with an attached guide, but use what you have and go for a serrated bread knife which gives you even slices without tearing. Warm bread will tear and not slice well for the freezer. Warm bread is delicious buttered with honey or freezer jam and should be eaten right away. Pick your method :)


Place cooled bread into gallon size freezer bags and remove air using the DIY straw method. Wrap in foil before slinding into freezer bags for long term storage. This bread will thaw quickly at room temperature or you can thaw several slices at 50% microwave power.

Shoe box Sandwich Bread


  • 3 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup healthy oil {canola, olive or melted coconut}
  • 1  1/2 tablespoons yeast {I purchase in bulk at Sams}
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt {do not use regular}
  • 7 cups white whole wheat flour*{We love King Arthur before I started grinding my own}



Mix the all the ingredients together in a shoe box until well combined without any dry patches. *Scooping flour into a measuring spoon and then sweeping off the excess ensures the correct amount of flour. Place lid on top and allow to rise for two hours on the counter or in the microwave in cooler weather. Prepare for baking or refrigerate until ready to use {up to 5 days}. Liberally flour entire surface and divide dough into three equal portions. Shape into logs and drop into three buttered loaf pans. Let fresh dough sit for thirty minutes and refrigerated dough sit for 1 1/2 hours {dough needs to be room temperature} before baking. Bake at 350 degrees for about forty-five minutes. The loaf should be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Let stand for 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing and freezing.

Now you know my secret to having homemade sandwich bread at all times for our family of six. It’s this ridiculously easy recipe that makes three loaves and my trusty freezer. I know most of us would love to have hot fresh baked bread right out of the oven, but it’s a whole lot easier for me to make all three or *six {double recipe} loaves at one time to save time, money and energy.

*I just bought another loaf pan for .50 at a garage sale this weekend. I need one more loaf pan for a double recipe.


What’s stopping you from making homemade sandwich bread?


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