BEST Homemade Bread Recipe

The BEST Homemade Bread recipe – the most delicoius, most fluffy loaf of homemade white bread! Tastes so much better than store bought and is easy to make too.

Nothing beats delicious, homemade bread! If you love homemade breads, you’ll also love our French bread, cinnamon bread and banana bread recipes.

Homemade bread recipe - sliced up

Easy Bread Recipe – a family fav!

I have to confess, I’m kind of a bread addict. I love any kind of bread, from tender and flaky biscuits, to french breads, to pillowy soft rolls. My very favorite kind of bread, though, is a fluffy white loaf of homemade bread.

Years ago, I taught myself to bake perfect bread, and it has totally changed my life! I make most of my family’s bread these days, and I love that it not only tastes better than store-bought, it’s also super easy and makes me feel accomplished. As long as you plan ahead a little for rise times, it’s really not very much work, and well worth the effort.

I have to confess, though, I was terrified to try making bread for the first time all those years ago. I had several failures in a row, and was convinced that I would never master even a basic loaf. Have no fear, though! I’m here to share all my best bread-making tips with you and show you that this is an easy bread recipe.

It’s really a simple process, once you get a feel for it, and in no time, you’ll be a bread baking expert too!

Homemade bread dough mix in mixing bowl

How to Make Homemade Bread

My first tip: start with good yeast! If your yeast is old or dead, your bread is going nowhere fast. I store my yeast in the fridge at all times, and that helps to keep it fresh. Dissolve the yeast in warm water with a little pinch of sugar. If it isn’t bubbly and foamy within about ten minutes, ditch it and start again with fresh yeast.

Once your yeast is bubbly, you’ll add just a few more basic ingredients to form the dough. I’ve found over time that my favorite bread recipes are those with the simplest ingredients!

The key at this point is to not add too much flour. It definitely helps to add the flour a little at a time. I like to add a little over half of the flour at first, then add the remaining flour ½ cup at a time, until the dough reaches the right consistency. It’s easy to add more flour, but pretty much impossible to correct when you’ve added too much. You’ll want a dough that’s smooth and slightly tacky to the touch, but not overly sticky, and that can be easily rolled into a ball.

Continued…

You’ll let the dough rise for an hour, then divide it into two equal size balls. I’m neurotic, so I always use a kitchen scale to make sure they’re the same size, but you can definitely just eyeball it!

Roll each ball of dough out into a long rectangle about eight inches wide, then roll up into a cylinder starting at the short edge. I’ve found that rolling the dough up this way really helps with the texture and shape of the finished loaves.

Place the loaves seam side down into two bread pans, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise again for about an hour.

The dough is ready to bake when it has puffed up over the side of the pan about ½ – 1 inch.

White Bread Recipe

How Long to Bake Bread?

Bake 30-35 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. I like to brush my loaves with a little melted butter after baking, but it’s totally optional. I like that it helps to soften the top crust just a little, and a little extra butter is always a good thing, right?

Letting the bread cool before slicing makes it easier to get smooth, uniform slices (although I’m often so hungry for warm bread that I eat it hot anyway).

Homemade Bread Recipe

How to Store + Freeze Homemade Bread

How to STORE homemade bread? Let the bread cool completely and place in Ziploc bag or wrap in foil. The homemade bread should last 2 to 3 days stored at room temp.

How to FREEZE homemade bread? If you’re wanting to save the bread for later, it freezes beautifully! I like to slice the loaf all the way through, place it in a plastic bread bag, and freeze it as soon as it has cooled completely.

To THAW it, just pop the loaf in the fridge for a few hours. I love that I can pull out a few slices as needed for toast, or pull out a full loaf for soup night or when I’m making sandwiches for school lunches.

Easy bread recipe

BREAD FAQ?

Can you use all-purpose flour? Yes! We prefer to use bread flour if we have it, but all-purpose works too.

How to make bread crumbs from homemade bread? Let the 1 loaf of bread dry out and become more firm. Then use a food processor to blend the crumbs evenly – do not over process. Melt ½ cup butter in a large pan and add the crumbs along with some salt and pepper – stir until evenly coated. Keep stirring until crumbs sound like sand. Let cool and store in Ziploc bags with zipper seals for up to 6 months!

How to make croutons? Check out our Homemade Caesar Salad Croutons recipe!

Homemade bread recipe

This white bread recipe is so soft, tender, and flavorful. It’s everything that white bread should be! My favorite way to eat it is warm from the oven, smothered with fresh honey butter. Yum! Even if you’re a bread novice, you should definitely give this easy recipe a try!

For more bread recipes, check out:

Homemade Bread Recipe

4.95 from 370 votes
Basic Homemade Bread - the best, most fluffy loaf of homemade white bread! Tastes so much better than store bought!!
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Let Rise 2 hours
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 20 slices
Calories 159 kcal
Author Lil' Luna

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • 2 1/4 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 5 1/2 - 6 1/2 cups bread flour
  • butter for topping (optional)

Instructions
 

  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water with a pinch of sugar. When the yeast is bubbly and foamy, add the sugar, salt, oil, and 4 cups flour, and mix until smooth.
  • Add remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, to form a soft, smooth dough. The dough should stick just slightly to your finger when touched, but not be overly sticky. Knead 5-7 minutes, until smooth, then roll into a ball.
  • Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn over once to coat the top with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise one hour, or until doubled.
  • When the dough has risen, punch it down gently and divide in half. Roll each half of the dough into a long rectangle about 8 inches wide. Roll the dough up, starting at the short edge, to form a cylinder that is approximately 8 inches wide. Repeat with remaining dough.
  • Place the dough, seam side down, into lightly greased bread pans, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise one hour, or until the dough is ½ - 1 inch higher than the top of the pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 375. Bake 30-35 minutes, or the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Brush with melted butter, if desired. Remove to a cooling rack and cool before slicing. MAKES 2 LOAVES.

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About the Author

Alicia Skousen

Hi! I’m Alicia and I blog at The Baker Upstairs. I am in love with all things food! I love to bake bread, cupcakes, cookies… you name it! When I’m not baking, I am running after my two adorable little girls, working as an RN, knitting, reading, and trying to squeeze in time with my husband every day.

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Comments:

  1. 5 stars
    I made these while the province was being looted in Kwa-Zulu Natal In South Africa. There was no retail services for a week in Gauteng & KZN and people were going hungry. I always prefer to buy bread but being forced to provide, I tried this amazing recipe that was fail proof and passed it on for the comfort of home made bread in their devastated homes. God Bless you for this gem.

    Not every baker had success but I did. Only 1 loaf pan so 1 loaf & a round bun. Only mine was very dark as it rose very close to element. but was devine.

    1. Wow! What a beautiful and inspiring story. I’m so grateful you were able to find this recipe and enjoy it during that time. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    This is one of the best bread recipes. I used milk instead of water and lowered the amount of salt (1 tbsp salt makes it a bit salty). It turned out to be perfect. A 5-star-recipe!

    1. Thanks for sharing your tweaks. I’m glad you enjoyed the bread recipe! We love it around here too. 🙂

  3. I can’t count the number of times I have made your bread recipe. It is so wonderful, I like to give it as gifts to my neighbors and everyone loves it! Thank you for sharing and God bless

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet words!! I’m glad it’s a hit and has become a staple. That makes me so happy to hear!

  4. 4 stars
    I added a half cup each of butter and lard. Also 1.5 cups of wheat germ. Wish I could post pictures of how it came out. They’re beautiful. Doubled the ingredients to make 4 loaves but I stuck to 1tbsp of salt. Can’t wait to taste.😍

    1. Thanks for sharing what you did. Hope the bread tasted as amazing as it looked! Thanks for giving the recipe a try. 🙂

  5. Hi there, I am just curious about the elevation where you live. I am at 6,000 feet, so it would be nice to know if I should make any adjustments for the elevation here before baking this bread. Thanks!

    1. The elevation here is about 1200 feet, so you’d for sure be considered “high altitude”. I’d say the biggest thing is to watch the rise time of your dough. It may rise faster the higher you are. Also, watch the amount of flour you use. It may not be exactly 5 1/2 – 6 1/2 cups. Just until the bread pulls away from the bowl. You don’t want to put too much flour in your bread or else it will result in a dense/heavy loaf. You could do a little research on google too about baking bread in high altitudes too if you want any other tips or ideas.

  6. 5 stars
    I have gotten really into baking over the last few years and this is by far the favorite bread in my household. Perfect recipe. Thank you!

    1. You bet! Bread freezes really great too, so you can always put that second loaf in a freezer bag. Then when you’re ready to eat it, let it rest on the counter for a couple hours until it comes to room temp and it’ll taste fresh as can be!

  7. 5 stars
    This recipe is awesome, the loaves were light and fluffy, and delicious. Other than the half cup of water for the yeast, I used milk, other than that I made no changes. I will be making the recipe often, next I’m going to use it for buns.

    1. I think you are always safe with the 8 1/2 x 4 1/2, but this recipe can work in a 9×5 pan too if that’s what you have.

  8. 5 stars
    Unfortunately Lil I have to hold you accountable for not adding a good Irish stew recepie as a prerequisit to accompany these fine loafs.. I followed the recepie to a T with one exception . I used only 6 cups of A.P. flour. The dough was sticky so I simply tapped my palms in flour and kneaded. Rolled it and after 45 mins of proofing in the pan, did 33 mins in the oven. Although the Mrs. never complains about my homemade pasta and cheese cakes she turned to me after 2 bites and said ” throw out the other bread recepies and make sure ya keep this one. Even in our senior years she still wears the pants most of the time. .I know Im safe as she never reads these recepies . Thks again and thanks for the great recepie.suggest you may want to add a blurp about using the yeast and the time it takes along with temo of water for those who rarely bake bread .

    1. Thanks so much for the feedback. I’m glad your wife enjoyed the recipe too!! Thanks for giving it at try.

  9. 5 stars
    Oh my God you are so great Luna I have tried for so long to make bread and guess what I made it perfect bread and smells and taste Awesome thank you so much I am very impressed you are the best

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