In my particular section of the world, it is currently easier to acquire freshly-baked boules and baguettes than it is to find flour, so I buy baguettes and boules. The baguettes and boules I make will never be as good as the ones I can buy for three or four dollars, and I simply don’t enjoy the process of baking that much. Sandwich bread, however, is the exception.
Not only is sandwich bread one of the easiest and most rewarding breads to make, it’s one of the few breads the average novice baker can make that will actually taste better than the something they can buy. Even my favourite brand of pre-sliced, bagged sandwich bread is always just a little dry—eating it is like eating a cheap, flimsy sponge—whereas homemade sandwich bread is tender, soft and fluffy. (If your local bakery makes a good white sandwich bread, then by all means buy it; mine does not.)
Homemade sandwich bread is also fairly quick, as far as breads go. Unless you are using a sourdough starter—which will add a day—sandwich bread can be made in an afternoon. It’s mixed in a bowl and baked in a simple loaf pan, no stand mixer required.
It’s also a practical, versatile bread. It’s (obviously) perfect for sandwiches and French toast (as well as toast of other national origins), but its homemade-ness means it’s also suitable for fancier applications. Grill it severely and serve with nice cheeses, tear it off in chunks and dunk it in peppery olive oil or slather it with butter and roasted garlic for an extremely dank garlic bread.
As far as recipes, I usually use this Amish White Bread recipe by Peg, which I have made with AP flour to fine results; it can also be halved to make a single loaf. If you are out of yeast but have a sourdough starter, King Arthur Flour has a good sourdough sandwich bread recipe. If you want to experience the Cadillac of white sandwich bread, invest in a little dairy and make Japanese milk bread.
Finally, there are the mental rewards: Making sandwich bread makes you feel like an accomplished baker because—unlike the first time you make a baguette—your first loaf of white sandwich bread will look like it’s supposed to look. You’ll have an immediate win. A success! A feather in your chef’s hat. Homemade sandwich bread really is worth your time and effort. It rewards you with a superior product, and wouldn’t it be nice to feel superior right now?