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Sweet-Milk Soft White Bread Recipe (+Video)

Sweet-Milk Soft White Bread is a finely-textured sandwich loaf. The recipe calls for mixing, kneading, and proofing in a bread machine. After that, things get interesting. The dough is shaped by hand, allowed to rise again, then baked in a conventional oven. It’s the best of both worlds and definitely worth the splurge.

No worries if you don’t have a bread machine. Follow the directions in the notes to make this loaf by hand or with a stand mixer.

Sliced loaf of Sweet Milk Soft White Bread

Who counts white bread as one of their guilty pleasures? Me. me. me.

If you’re with me, you will love this soft white bread made in a bread machine but baked in a conventional oven. The close texture makes it an excellent choice for sandwiches.

Sweet Milk Soft White Bread

FAQ about making Sweet Milk-Soft White Bread:


Can I freeze sweetened condensed milk?

Once you make this recipe, you will quickly see why we’re talking about this. Only 1/2 cup of sweetened condensed milk is needed for one recipe. That means you’ll have a lot leftover.

Yes, you can freeze sweetened condensed milk in the freezer for up to three months.

You can leave it in the refrigerator if you think you can use it within 3 weeks.

Comment from a reader: “Your sweet milk soft white bread has been my go-to bread for years.  It’s delicious and makes wonderful gifts.  People always ask for more….  I solved the left-over condensed milk problem:  I just make two loaves and freeze one!”


I don’t have the exact size bread pan specified in the recipe.

That’s OK. Don’t go any smaller than noted in the recipe, but you can go a little bigger. However, pay attention and don’t let your bread rise more than double its original size.

Actually, you can use a smaller pan. Pull out some of the dough and make rolls with it, instead.

sweet milk soft white bread--sliced in a basket


My bread got too brown on top before it got done in the middle.

I recommend you set your timer for halfway through the cooking time. Check the bread. Most likely it is already golden brown on top but a long way from completely baked. Shield the loaf by draping foil loosely over the dome.

How do you tell if your bread is ready to take out of the oven? Check it with a quick-read thermometer. The temperature in the middle of the loaf should read 190 degrees F. You run the risk of the loaf falling or caving in on the sides if it is still doughy.


If I go ahead and bake this bread in my bread machine, will it turn out OK?

Maybe. It depends on so many different factors (e.g. the brand of the bread machine, humidity, type and brand of flour, temperature in the room, etc.), but you might get lucky and get a decent loaf of bread.

Most of the recipes on this blog were originally written for baking the dough in a bread machine. However, because of the variability of the previously mentioned factors, I find it much more reliable to bake the bread in my oven. I want perfection in exchange for all those calories.

How to make Sweet-Milk Soft White Bread in a bread machine

ingredients in bread machine pan
Place all ingredients in bread machine in the order listed in the recipe.

mixing dough in bread machine
Choose the dough cycle. Check dough periodically to make sure the texture is not too wet or too dry.
dough mixed in bread machine is ready to shape
When the dough cycle is complete, remove the dough onto a floured surface to shape.
forming ball
Form into a smooth ball.
rolling out dough
Roll out dough into a rectangle shape with the long side approximately 2 inches longer than the length of your pan. Be sure to “smoosh” out the air bubbles around the edges.
dough rolled up with ends tucked
Roll up starting with the long edge. Tuck the ends under so your loaf looks rounded.
pan holding shaped dough covered with a cheap shower cap
Place dough into your bread pan and cover. (I like to use a cheap shower cap.) When doubled in size, place into a preheated oven and bake at 375 degrees F for 35-40 minutes. Cover with foil halfway through if the top is getting too brown.

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Sweet Milk White Bread

Sweet-Milk Soft White Bread

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

A finely-textured loaf of soft white bread--mixed, kneaded, and proofed in a bread machine, but shaped by hand and baked in a conventional oven for the best of both worlds.


  • 8 ounces water
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 cups (+) bread flour (360 grams)
  • 2 scant teaspoons instant yeast


  1. Add ingredients to the bread pan in the order listed.
  2. Select the Dough Cycle and start.
  3. Raise the lid and check dough after about 10 minutes. Add flour one tablespoon at a time, if necessary, until dough reaches the correct consistency. It should come together in a ball that sticks to the side of the pan, then pulls away cleanly. If dough thumps against the side of the pan, add warm water 1 tablespoon at a time. If the dough is sticky and doesn't pull away from the side, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough starts to form a slightly sticky ball.
  4. Remove dough from the pan at the end of the dough cycle and place onto a lightly floured board. Knead by hand a little bit to press out any large air bubbles.
  5. Roll into a rectangle approximately 9 x 11 inches. Roll up starting from the long end, and tuck ends to fit into greased 9 x 4-inch loaf pan. Let rise until the dough is doubled from its original size. Because this dough is a "high-riser," be careful not to let the dough rise too much or it will cave in on the sides and/or the top.
  6. Preheat oven 15 minutes before you estimate your loaf will be ready.
  7. Bake at 375˚F for 35-45 minutes. The Interior should reach 190 degrees. (My favorite quick-read thermometer for the task.)Place a foil tent over bread halfway through baking to protect from over-browning.
  8. Allow cooling for 15 minutes before turning out to cool completely. It's best if you wait at least two hours before slicing so the loaf will hold its shape without squishing under the pressure of a knife.


If your loaf has a tendency to rise too much before baking, decrease the yeast by 1/2 teaspoon.

Alternate Mixing Instructions:

Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand: 

  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer, add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on low to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Using a dough hook, turn speed to 2 or 3 and continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • If making by hand, combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead with your hands until dough becomes smooth and elastic, a process that will likely take 10-20 minutes depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: You can substitute active dry yeast for instant or bread machine yeast. There is no longer any need to dissolve it. Be aware that it may be a little slower acting than instant yeast, but it'll get there.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 servings Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 175Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 202mgCarbohydrates: 32gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Sweet Milk White Bread was first posted in 2009, then updated in March 2019. The recipe is slightly adapted from The Bread Machine Magic Book of Helpful Hints by Linda Rehberg & Lois Conway.

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Wednesday 13th of May 2020

Hi Paula,

Can I add the TangZhong method here? Similar to your soft roll recipe, I'll mix 3tbsp bread flour with half the water here?

Thank you! Wei


Wednesday 13th of May 2020

I would think that would work great. You should be able to reduce the flour some but would have to experiment to know how much.


Monday 13th of April 2020

I made the Sweet Milk-Soft white bread. My husband hasn't liked any loaf I have made before this one. After I gave him a slice of this one he said that it was so bad that I should not subject the rest of the family to it. He would make the ultimate sacrifice and finish the loaf by himself. Then he asked when I would make another one. I guess I made a good loaf.


Wednesday 15th of April 2020

How generous of him to help out the rest of the family. Glad he liked it!

Lorie johnso

Monday 23rd of March 2020

I am wondering about high altitude adjustment, do you have any recommendations for this? I am at just a little over 7000ft in New Mexico and I have used your recipe while I was in Las Vegas, NM , and I would love to try it here. Also may I get the honey wheat recipe? Thank you so much. D


Monday 23rd of March 2020

Hi Lorie,

I have never cooked in a high altitude. But here is an excellent article from King Arthur that might help. Here is the Honey Wheat Bread. Hope it works for you.


Saturday 15th of February 2020

Can this not be made in the machine if hand formed and put back in the breadmachine for final rise and bake?


Saturday 15th of February 2020

Hi Donna,

I'm not 100% sure I understand what you are asking. Are you saying you want to mix and knead it by hand but use the bread machine to bake it?


Monday 16th of December 2019

Because of this recipe I now make a loaf of bread every weekend. With the weather now cold, almost all of the meals we are making are best accompanied by a toasted piece of bread with some butter. Not to mention: sandwiches taste amazing again! PB&J Sandwiches taste like a childhood memory. I can't say enough good things about this recipe. I'm so glad I found this site. Such great recipes - check out the pizza dough recipe, too! It is also our go-to now for homemade pizza night (which we do whenever family comes to visit - which is pretty often).


Tuesday 17th of December 2019

Thanks so much, Jenni. This is a great time of the year to enjoy homemade bread.