Pandemic Bread

I’m calling this my “Pandemic Bread” because I have made countless loaves of this during the COVID-19 pandemic. I love spreading a bit of Earth Balance over the top of the loaf right after pulling it out of the oven for a nice buttery, crispy crust. We make ourselves feel better about devouring this bread within a day of making it by using a combination of white and whole wheat flour.

This recipe has been adapted from Epicurious.


  • 3/4 cup soy milk
  • 4 1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 tbsp earth balance
  • 2 1/4 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water (105o to 115o)
  • 7 1/2 – 9 cups all purpose flour*

Yield: 2 loaves in 9” pans

Heat milk, sugar, salt, and Earth balance in small saucepan over low heat until Earth balance melts and sugar dissolves. Cool to lukewarm (98o -105o).

In your mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add lukewarm milk mixture and 6 cups flour. Attach bowl and dough hook to mixer. Turn to Speed 2 and mix about 1 minute.

Continuing on Speed 2, add remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, and mix about 2 minutes, or until dough clings to hook and cleans sides of bowl. At this point, I usually pull the dough out and knead by hand to get a feel for whether I’ve reached the right texture. The dough will be slightly sticky to the touch but still pull away from your fingers.

Place dough in a large greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 45 minutes, or until doubled in bulk. This may take longer with older yeast or in winter (as it does in my house).

Punch dough down gently and divide in half. Shape into loaves and place in greased baking pans. Cover. Let rise in warm place, free from draft, about 45 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.

Preheat oven to 400o in the last 10-15 minutes of the bread rising.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown and internal temperature is approx. 190o. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks. Try to wait at least 30 minutes before slicing.

*For whole wheat bread:

Substitute 1/3 – 1/2 of the white flour for whole wheat flour. Please note, whole wheat flour may also cause longer rising times for the dough.

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