Homemade Subway Bread Recipe

I’ve been subjecting myself to a crazy thing that I saw Kim over at The Kim Six Fix (the blog formerly known as The Money Pit) do. I don’t know if she made it up, or saw it somewhere and wanted to do it, but either way, it’s crazy. She vowed to only spend $20 a week for a whole month. $20 for food, gas, eating out, EVERYTHING! Everything except for bills and things you have to pay.

After a harsh slap in the face when we did our taxes and a few other bumps in our road, I decided it was something that I wanted and needed to do too. The timing is great for me. Since we are planning on moving in a few weeks I don’t mind that this little project is going to eat up my food storage (less to move!), and every penny saved before April 15th is needed… who knew you should be paying quarterly taxes when you become self-employed?! We sure didn’t.

$20 gets you no where, really. Last week I bought 4 gallons of milk, 2 loaves of bread, 6 tomatoes, and a package of salami. This week I need to buy gas (should have filled up before I decided on this little adventure…) and milk will suck up the rest. I wasn’t even going to tell you about it because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to do it, but I think being accountable will be good for me.

All that being said… I needed a Subway sandwich on Friday and I needed one bad. I had $6 left for the week and one foot-long isn’t enough for our family of 5. So I decided I’d just makes some at home (and spent the money on enough salami for about 6 sandwiches) . The key to this was finding the perfect homemade Subway bread recipe. Those sub buns are key! I scoured the internet and went with a recipe from Copycat Recipe Guide. I decided to just make white bread too which isn’t normal for me, but I really wanted to make sure I felt like the experience was a treat.

You guys, they turned out amazing! Really and truly. Plus, it wasn’t all that hard to do. Next time I’m going to double the recipe so that I have some leftovers and I’m going to try to freeze them. Lucky for me I found a jar of pickled banana peppers in the pantry too. My sandwich was half banana peppers and half everything else because those are my favorite thing ever.

The bread was just perfect. It had a very soft crust (thanks to a little butter and letting them steam in a towel as the cool), light middle, and kind of smashed into nothing when you ate it. Just like the real thing. Sure, Subway is cheap, but it’s pretty fun to make them at home. Your family will be shocked and amazed at your mad skills and you’ll be able to put on as many banana peppers on as your heart desires. Best deal ever!

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Homemade Subway Bread Recipe

Yield: Makes 4 9-inch sub buns


  • 1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


In the bowl of your stand mixer add the water, yeast, sugar, salt, and olive oil. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of flour and mix with the dough hook for 3 to 5 minutes. Add an additional cup of flour and mix until well combine. Continue adding the flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until a soft dough is formed. The dough should still stick to the bottom of of the bowl, but pull away from the sides. Let the dough mix for around 8 minutes total.

When the dough has come together but is still sticking a bit to the bottom of the bowl, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. The dough should be very soft. Shape the dough into a ball and return it to the bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise for a half hour.

After the dough has risen turn it out onto a clean surface and divide it into 4. Roll each piece of dough into a long skinny loaf that is about 9 to 10 inches long. Place the rolled loaves onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a baking mat. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Allow at least 2 inches in between each loaf on the pan. Cover the loaves with a greased piece of plastic wrap and allow the loaves to rise until doubled, about an hour.

Towards the end of the rising time preheat the oven to 350 degrees. When the loaves are ready, bake them in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.

When the loaves come out of the oven rub to tops with a stick of butter and cover them with a dish towel to cool. Let the loaves cool for at least 30 minutes before cutting down the middle and topping with your favorite sandwich fixings.


Rubbing the loaves with butter and covering them with a towel to cool are part of what keeps them very soft, so be sure not to miss those steps.


Recipe adapted from Copycat Recipe Guide

And can you spy the random green crayon in my picture? How did that get there?!

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Just top with your favorite sandwich toppings and a heavy hand of mayo and you’ll have yourself something ridiculously close to an authentic Subway sandwich made at home. Even if you aren’t craving Subway this homemade Subway bread recipe is a great one to keep on hand for any future hoagie needs.

Wish me luck on my crazy goal too! One week down, three weeks to go.

You guys are great.



    • I think the same thing! And you know what… Husband was working outside and I had the bread out, veggies being chopped, and he said it ever smelled like Subway which was totally a complement! It smells SO good.

  1. This is great! Sometimes I walk by a Subway and I can smell their bread baking (I’m sure it’s a marketing trick), and I don’t even want a sandwich I just want a loaf of their bread. Unfortunately, they don’t sell just the bread – I’ve asked. Now I can make it myself!

    • Actually, I’ve asked if I could just buy the bread by itself, and they told me that it would be the same price for “just the bread” as for the whole sandwich. I can never bring myself to pay for the sandwich and just take the bread though. I guess I’m a sucker that way. lol.

  2. Trying this tonight. Partially because I don’t want to go grocery shopping and mostly because I LOVE sandwiches!! And $20 a week??? That would be a minor miracle in my house! Good luck :)

  3. These buns look legit! Man I’m so hungry now! I too have been trying to live on peanuts… but $20 thats not a lot! I find I try to stay at home a lot, we go to the library for an outing. (And go to lunch at my moms!)

    • Yes! Just make sure you spend the time kneading it because it will take longer to develop the gluten by hand – knead maybe 6-8 minutes by hand and it should do well!

  4. Ok, something isn’t working for me! The first batch I followed exact measurements and my dough was very strange (I might have killed the yeast?) and they baked ROCK hard. My second attempt last night I only used 2 1/2 cups flour and the dough worked much better. However, they didn’t puff up in the oven and we ended up with rather flat loaves. Everyone still gobbled them up, but I’m determined to get this right! I make homemade pizza dough once a week and never have a problem. I applied the same guidelines, as you mentioned also, that the dough should stick to the bottom but not the sides. At 2 1/2 cups the dough was a nice ball on my dough hook still stuck to the bottom….it kneaded very easily and doubled in size in the bowl and almost as loaves (they kinda spread out a little). It was a beautiful dough!!! I’m not giving up…but I am out of flour! LOL

    • Definitely sounds like a yeast issue to me on the first batch and maybe an over-rising issue on the second… is your yeast old?! An old yeast might not be able to handle the second rise and baking, resulting in flat bread when you are done. Hmmm. I’m so curious! I’ll pop over and we’ll make them together next time! Deal?!

      • DEAL! Im going to try this again for dinner tonight. This time I bought yeast in a jar and have been using it successfully for pizza crust. If it doesn’t work this time then It’s definitely user error!!

        • What speed and brand of mixer are you using to mix your dough with? If you are mixing the dough for 8 minutes at high speed, it could be that you are beating the dough too much. Perhaps, try mixing your dough at a lower speed. I used a Bosh Universal Mixer and followed the directions to a tee and the bread came out perfect; I mixed my dough on the lowest speed; had I mixed it on a higher speed with my mixer the bread would have performed exactly as you have described. Also, with my mixer depending on the room temperature, ingredients, and all other factors i; when the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl; I’m through mixing! Once the dough starts to pull away from the bowl, regardless of rather you are making your dough by hand or using a mixer that is your first sign that your dough is ready to be formed, and let rise…

  5. i’m shocked you spent precious $$ on bread ;) good luck! i want to heard more about how the $20/week goes.

    • Of course! Just be sure you are watching the clock and knead, knead, knead. You are the one working the dough and the gluten and it takes a lot of work :) Be sure to mix and knead for as long as it says and it will be great. And ask for a mixer for Christmas :)

  6. I just wanted to say that I absolutely love your blog. You are everything I aspire to be-so domestic and good at everything you put your hand to! I just pulled the bread together for dinner tonight. It’s rising now. My husband and I are so excited to have our own Subway sandwiches tonight. Thank you for sharing!

  7. i was curious to see how many people don’t like the bread and am amazed that people are actually trying to re-create it. it’s fake. the ready made ingredientes have been sitting in a disribution center for months. it’s part of the corporate food machine.

    • I think that is part of the appeal of making it at home… you control what goes in it :) Never a bad thing in my mind!

    • I totally agree, Tom. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to make subway bread on purpose! Any good italian bread from a local bakery is vastly superior!

      • If I lived within 2 hours of any sort of bakery I’d so be there… but living in the middle of no where means you have to do things on your own :)

    • Was your yeast super old or you water too hot?! Both of those things will make the yeast no good…. bread making is a fun art to work on! I hope you don’t give up…

      • Yeast is brand new, I used thermometer for water…. I made a 2nd batch & they turned out the same way. I followed the directions STEP BY STEP….

        • Booo! That is so so frustrating isn’t it?! I’ve made this recipe at least 3 times since I posted it without a hitch… you much a bread demon in your mixer.

          • I just made this bread and it really didnt rise much at all. I am used to bread DOUBLING at least in size and this did not do that. Instead of having single loafs of bread I have thing breadsticks. They are still soft and taste good but i want actual subs bread to make sandwiches on. Any suggestions???? Also followed recipe to a T

          • Do you know if your yeast is fresh? I’d try adding more if you think it didn’t rise enough! Or sometimes I’ll make the loaves the size I want even if it makes less than a recipe calls for so that the end product is larger… does that make sense?!

        • Putting the salt and the yeast together at the same time will also kill the yeast. Try adding the salt with the flour.

          • The recipe calls for 1 cup. Do you think that it needs 2? I’ve made it 4 or 5 times with the one cup and it’s ok for me. I’d gladly make it again though! What amount have you been using?

        • I know from experience it is best to let your yeast rise with the water and sugar before adding salt. Salt kills yeast so salt should be the last wet ingredient

  8. Melissa, thanks a lot for this recipe. I made it this weekend end and was a success! I want to make a large quantity and I need to freeze the dough. Do you know if I must freeze it after the first (half hour) or second (one hour) fermentation?

    • I can tell you (as a former sandwich artist.. In high school) the process of baking bread at Subway. The dough comes in (frozen) in 10″ sticks. The night before baking, the frozen sticks are placed in pans with handy silicon dividers and thawed overnight in a refrigerator. Once thawed, they go in a proofer (warm, moist oven type machine) for about an hour. Then baked. It’s been 20 years so I can’t recall temp and time :(

      So I would say to freeze the sticks of dough before the 2nd rise?

      • I sure wouldn’t unless you want to store them long term… I doubt the freezing does much to change the end ingredient. Long live the sandwich artist!

  9. Pingback: 10 Subway Copycat Recipes

  10. I was excited to make this & I followed the directions step by step….unfortunately they tasted nothing like Subway bread. I’m disappointed considering how long they took to make!!

    • That’s so sad… I wonder what the difference in our kitchens is?! I’ve made it a bunch of times and even had a “Subway” party (everyone brought toppings) and it was such a hit. Hope you can find what you are looking for.

  11. Pingback: Homemade Subway Bread Recipe | heartsweet77

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  13. Haven’t tasted mine yet but smells like subway and I just made our sandwiches for tomorrow. Unfortunately my oven temps r off so they were a bit dark but after sweating them under the towel they were super soft.
    For people having a rising issue-combine the water sugar and yeast and let dissolve then add the oil salt and flour.
    Thanks for sharing:)

  14. I just wanted to thank you for this recipe.

    I made this last night for Philly steak subs and they were phenomenal!

    The bread is about twice as dense as Subway’s, but it is so good that this recipe is now my #1 sandwich bread.

    • I”m sure you could let the dough mix in there and then pull it out to shape the loaves… it might even be able to rise there! What do you think?? I say it’s worth a try :)

  15. Just made this recipe. Bread turned out hard. Haven’t tasted them yet though – they are still cooling. Wish I had read these comments before I attempted. Also, wish I could post a picture of how they turned out.

    • Hhhmmm. I wish you could post a picture too! I wonder what went wrong. In my mind either the bread didn’t rise properly or your oven temp is off. What do you think? Were they edible?!

  16. Thanks for the recipe! I too followed directions to a tee! My bread didn’t rise….hardly.at all….but went ahead and baked the loaves..they are buttered, covered and cooling now. Hoping they taste good for our meatball subs tonight! :)

  17. These were amazing! I don’t know if it’s my climate (my apartment isn’t overly warm this time of year) or if I was mixing at too high a speed like someone mentioned (I used setting 3 out of 12), but I stopped adding flour at probably 2 and a quarter cups because if I could tell the dough was going to toughen up if I added any more. They turned out so nice and fluffy. :) I bet this recipe would make awesome dinner rolls as well.

  18. What does T mean? I used teaspoons for everything with a T. I used the bread machine for the dough and cooked it in the oven. The bread felt a little heavy, I froze it and used it the next day and aside from the smell of yeast I thought it made a beautiful bread and the texture was perfect for subs. I wish I could get rid of that smell of yeast and I can taste it too.

  19. Just made this and it turned out perfect!! Looking forward to a “subway” picnic tonight. Thanks for the recipe.

  20. Pingback: Copycat Subway Italian Bread | Dine with Deja

  21. Im a bad baker with that being said every time I make bread I call it sorry bread cause it is so heavy. I followed your times of the mixer and kneading it very little. Would kneading it not enough cause it to b heavy or over working the dough. Another question do u use active dry yeast or fast raise yeast.

    • @ Lesley ..a few factors here ..I proof my active dry yeast in the mixing bowl with the warm water ( temp. is a factor- somewhere around 110* + / – a couple of degrees ) …sugar , warm water , yeast ..I leave that to sit for 5 minutes or so ..you will know if the yeast is active .. add olive oil and salt .. .follow with the 1 cup of flour ..if you are using a KA mixer with dough hook , I mix for about 2 minutes on speed 1 then speed 2 for about 2 minutes .. add 1 more cup flour ..speed 1 for a minute or so and same on speed 2 ..you should be around 4 minutes mixing time ..I add flour by the heaping tablespoon for the next 2 with the mixer on low speed .incorporate for about a minute …stay with it at watch it .. as it starts to pull away from the side , I add another level tablespoon of flour . this is your call now ..I use to over add flour , but I have found leaving out the 1 more you wanted to add is best left out ..I use this one to dust my kneading area with ..you should be nearing your 8 minutes of mixing time in the mixer bowl ..the dough should be sticky feeling almost to the point of staying on your finger ..roll out on your “lightly” floured surface and knead by hand for about 3 minutes or so .. you should be getting a nice smooth dough now that no longer seems sticky ….form into a ball ..return to bowl with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil ..turn to coat evenly , cover , then rest for the 1/2 hour …I have found I would rather cut 3 loafs out of this batch over the 4 ..making 4 does not yield as large a bun as you would expect from the sandwich shop .. oven temp is critical to any baking ..I use an in oven thermometer as well as check with a digital one when the one in the oven reads 350 … I found 25 minutes was too long in my oven and brought them out aournd 19 to 20 minutes..baste with the butter and cover with a dish towel and be patient and wait the half hour or so cool down .. I am very pleased with the my results after a couple of tries ..good luck and enjoy :) ..

        • I am not a baking pro ..I have learned through trial and error ..alot of errors ..those errors just made me more determined….stay with it Lesley untill you get the feel for it ..once it clicks you will be smooth sailing ..enjoy :).. I say this for all baking ..not just the subway bread !

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  23. Made these last night. WOW!!! They were very good. Granted they aren’t fine Italian bread, but they aren’t suppose to be.
    This is a great recipe for a good soft white subway roll.
    Will definitely be making again!!!!!

  24. Hello! I made your sub roll recipe!! Omg!!! They are super beautiful and so soft and delicious! Thank you for this post!!

  25. I recommend making half the ingredients first as try out/ experiment. So you can really work out if any problems need adjust or perfect and need no change. This time you can make according to equipments you have available ie. type of mixer brand and speeds -fast or slow, hand mixed only and how long for, watch it might have to do with the oven function ie. Temperature of your oven need adjust, the water temperature right or not for yeast to work on rising the dough – check expiry date of yeast if passed definitely not going to work. I recommend sugar with yeast and salt on flour to start with. Good luck and thanks Melissa for the inspiration and for sharing this great recipe. I will sure try this and let you know.

  26. I just made halves of the ingredients and my kids won’t want to keep it for long after cooked so we break it up and slam some better inside and it was gone within 5 minutes.
    I put 2 teaspoon yeast and same with sugar. I boil my kettle and I used half cup from that boiling water and half of normal cold water together I mix and add to the yeast and let it sit. I sieve 1 1/2 cup flour into a bowl and along with the salt. So I made a well in the middle and I pour two table spoon olive oil to the yeast and straight into the well. Then I use the back of my wooden spoon to mix in a circular way. I see that the mix is still too sticky so I keep adding very little by little of flour until you see the dough has come out of the sides but still stick to the bottom. I then turned it into a clean surfaces with some dry flour. Try to put the dough together by folding it in with fingers and push with back of your palm. Keep adding little flour until they just about to stop sticking to my hands. This stage the dough is still very soft. I rub olive oil onto a bowl and I cover dough with plastic wrap and put aside. After one hour I cut into two and roll it out without any dry flour. I put into the baking tray which I spray oil into. I then cover with plastic wrap which i rubbed some oil on. So I let it set then bake. My oven was too hot so i pulled it out 7 minutbefore when I see it’s getting too brown and check under bread it’s already little brown. Well this is how i made mine. Now I can make according to the full recipe with the twists than will work for me. Thanks once again. I might add sprinkle of herbs and cheese on the top before bake for some Italian taste. But I’m happy with just your recipe.

      • Hi Melissa. Can you please have another look at the amount of warm water needed that must be the reason why there’s so many hard bread. I’ve been making 3 times now with doubled the amount of warm water and never had problems. By the way this timeI made garlic bread (warm up in a bowl some butter, garlic paste or grated fresh garlic, some dried oregano and parsley. Slice up the roll and spead lots of the mix, wrap with foil and put in oven for 10-15 minutes. Open up the foil on the last 5 minutes for a crispy garlic bread. Trust me you’ll never want to buy any garlic bread from the shop coz this is the best. Thanks again Melissa.

  27. My 5 yo daughter has discovered Subway and loves it. So we made these at home this evening. On second rise they went more out than up. Ours didn’t rise while baking, slightly flat, but still great! We’re ready to do it again and she wants to have a Subway party! Thanks for posting!

  28. The first round was great but just physically a little flatter than I wanted. On second go round I tried some advice from the comments. 1) Bought new yeast 2) Put mixer on lowest setting 3) Didn’t mix as long as last time. We went through the flour quicker. 4) Our second rise was for about 45 minutes instead of an hour. 5) When covering dough for second rise last time we only had foil. This possibly could have forced the rise out instead of up. Used plastic wrap this time. So the results this time were much better. It held a better shape. Also, with about 8 minutes left of cooking we snatched it out of the oven real quick, buttered the top of one loaf and sprinkled a parmesan, garlic, oregano mix we had prepared… then threw it back in to finish baking. Mmmmm….

  29. I am yeast-sensitive and have learned that I can make bread with much less yeast than the recipes call for as long as the dough has a nice, warm place to rise. I don’t have a mixer, so mixed and kneaded the traditional way. I used 1 teaspoon of yeast for this recipe, let the yeast ferment in just the water and sugar until bubbly, added the salt and oil to some of the flour, then added the yeast mixture to the flour, then kept adding flour and mixing, then kneading, until the dough was the right consistency. I didn’t measure the flour. I put the dough in the microwave and let rise until double, heating the microwave for 15-20 seconds occasionally, then divided and formed 6 buns (more the size we like for sandwiches. I may make 7 or 8 next time). Covered and let them raise in the oven at 115 degrees, then baked and finished as directed. They turned out very well! Thank you for the recipe and tips. I buy yeast either in the glass jar or in bulk from our local health food/bulk food store, and keep in the freezer.

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  31. Can’t wait to try this recipe. I ADORE Subway! Just a couple of things – if you sub milk for the water, your bread will be softer. Quick-rise yeast is different than regular yeast, so people having rising issues may want to check the type of yeast they’re using. It’s also best to “prove” the yeast before adding it to the rest of the ingredients. Just add the yeast to the warm milk/water with a teaspoon or so of the sugar and mix. Then let it sit for a few minutes to bubble up. If it doesn’t bubble up, the yeast has gone bad. Throw it out and start over with new yeast/milk/sugar. You can also add a crushed vitamin C tablet to the flour mix to help it rise more (I know, sounds weird, but it works!) Hope that helps!

  32. Thank You for sharing such a great recipe. Made this by hand start to finish as I don’t have a mixer with a dough hook attachment, came out wonderful. I am learning that yeast is not the enemy..LOL many failed attempts trying to make dinner rolls. Left it alone for years but this recipe has given me confidence that it can be done. I mean who doesn’t appreciate fresh, out of the oven..

  33. Smells great, just took out of my oven right now. But I think I left them in too long :( got distracted with my tiddler and didn’t hear my timer. Hope they still taste great!,