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Basic Homemade Bread

If you'd like to learn how to bake bread, here's a wonderful place to start. This easy white bread recipe bakes up deliciously golden brown. There's nothing like the homemade aroma wafting through my kitchen as it bakes. —Sandra Anderson, New York, New York
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + rising Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    2 loaves (16 pieces each)

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons sugar plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 2-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6-1/4 to 6-3/4 cups bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

Directions

  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in warm water; let stand until bubbles form on surface. Whisk together remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, salt and 3 cups flour. Stir oil into yeast mixture; pour into flour mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough in half. Shape each into a loaf. Place in 2 greased 9x5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
  • Bake at 375° until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped or has reached an internal temperature of 200°, 30-35 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Homemade Bread Tips

How do you use yeast?

Yeast can be tricky at first, but once you learn how to proof yeast, you should be all set. The trick is to make sure the water is not too hot. Don't go higher than about 110 degrees.

How do you knead bread?

Kneading bread is simple. Flour your worktop, then push, pull and stretch the dough until it's nice and smooth. When it's properly kneaded, the dough should be stretchy and smooth.

How do you proof bread?

Proofing bread allows the yeast to do its work to help the dough grow. To proof bread, place the bread in a greased bowl and let rest in a warm, humid environment until it doubles in size. If you're having trouble getting the dough to proof, use these proofing tricks.

How do you store homemade bread?

You can store homemade bread in a plastic bag or a bread box for maximum freshness. If you don't think you can finish it in a few days' time, you can also freeze bread. Just wrap it up in plastic and pop in the freezer. It'll keep for a few months. If your bread has gone a bit stale, you can always use it to make homemade croutons, French toast or bread pudding.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 102 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 222mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.

Reviews

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Average Rating:
  • Gaye
    Apr 14, 2021

    I don't know where this recipe was last year. I scoured the internet looking for a recipe with a 9 x 5 pan. I used 4 cups of white bread flour and added in enough whole wheat flour to make the dough and got two soft, perfect loaves.

  • Deanne
    Apr 12, 2021

    Absolutely love this recipe , thankyou so much this bread is exactly how I wanted my bread to be ??

  • nicksoma
    Apr 11, 2021

    This is the best bread I’ve ever made. Found this recipe about 3weeks ago and just made my 7th batch this morning, hubby can’t stop eating this.

  • Corona
    Mar 25, 2021

    Can someone please tell me if this can be adapted for a bread maker? I live in hot and humid Florida, and needless to say, the oven is the least used appliance I own. I actually use it to store pots and pans. Would love to be able to make this. Sounds wonderful!

  • Stephanie
    Mar 24, 2021

    This was my very first attempt to make bread of any kind. It was easy to do and came out perfect. I actually made mine in the air fryer and cooked it at 325 x 18 minutes. The texture was perfect and it wasn’t too dense. I followed the recipe exactly except for using the air fryer oven.

  • Kirra
    Mar 4, 2021

    I love to bake, so I've tried many different basic bread recipes. All of the ones I've made turn out too gooey on the inside (not thoroughly cooked) or too hard and crunchy. Additionally, there are so many ingredients and it takes forever to make a loaf of bread. This bread is the best bread I've ever had in. my. life. It is such an easy recipe, with only 6 ingredients, and it takes 20 minutes to whip up, aside from rising + baking time. The flavor is wonderful and the smell of baking bread fills the house. 10/10 for this recipe. AMAZING!

  • Vicki
    Feb 19, 2021

    A nice easy recipe, which I always double. Vegan, too, if you don't butter the hot crust when it comes out (which I do!) Our Noble Homestead go-to recipe. Mmmm. Proudly served at the Magic Glamp, with an olive oil substitution.

  • Rylan
    Jan 29, 2021

    Perfect! I am not in any way a professional baker (I am more of a newbie), and this bread is so easy to make! Rather than kneading on a counter, I just kept the dough in the standmixer and used the dough hook.... turns out great! Thank you so much for this recipe! :) The family loves it!

  • Autumn
    Jan 27, 2021

    This was the first homemade bread recipe I have ever tried and it was so worth it! This is a very time consuming recipe, but well worth the wait. It's actually a simple recipe that is easy to follow and make; the resting time for the dough just takes a bit. Wonderful recipe! Tastes so good!

  • dan
    Jan 16, 2021

    Gerri, the oven may have been to high for the yeast and it died, keep in warm moist area, about 80 degrees. you can put them in the oven on minimal heat but if you do, put them on a large baking dish thats got water on it to keep the humidity up. Dont bake the bread until the bread has risen to the top of the pan, but not over, otherwise the little it will rise in the oven heat will spill too far over the pan. Carrie, sugar is the simplest of the 'starches' that yeast needs to form, you can use honey or even corn starch, sugar just allows the yeast to propagate fastest. if you use honey or starch it will take longer. if you use these let the yeast work on the liquid mix before adding to the flour, that gives them the boost needed to really work into the flour. Remember not to put yeast into too hot of liquid mix or it make kill it.