Basic Homemade Bread recipe

Basic Homemade Bread - the best, most fluffy loaf of homemade white bread! Tastes so much better than store bought!!

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

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.

Basic Homemade Bread - the best, most fluffy loaf of homemade white bread! Tastes so much better than store bought!!

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 1/2 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.

Basic Homemade Bread - the best, most fluffy loaf of homemade white bread! Tastes so much better than store bought!!

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!

Basic Homemade Bread - the best, most fluffy loaf of homemade white bread! Tastes so much better than store bought!!

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.

Basic Homemade Bread - the best, most fluffy loaf of homemade white bread! Tastes so much better than store bought!!

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

Basic Homemade Bread - the best, most fluffy loaf of homemade white bread! Tastes so much better than store bought!!

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The dough is ready to bake when it has puffed up over the side of the pan about 1/2 – 1 inch.

Basic Homemade Bread - the best, most fluffy loaf of homemade white bread! Tastes so much better than store bought!!

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?

Basic Homemade Bread - the best, most fluffy loaf of homemade white bread! Tastes so much better than store bought!!

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). 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.

Basic Homemade Bread - the best, most fluffy loaf of homemade white bread! Tastes so much better than store bought!!

This bread 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!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Basic Homemade Bread
 
Serves: 2 loaves
Ingredients
  • 2¼ teaspoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 2¼ cups warm water
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 5½ - 6½ cups flour
  • butter, for topping (optional)
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

adapted from Taste of Home

Basic Homemade Bread - the best, most fluffy loaf of homemade white bread! Tastes so much better than store bought!!

alicia-2

_______________________

You make bread baking look SO EASY!! I’ve been venturing away from no-yeast bread recipes, so I’ll definitely need to try this one soon!

It seriously looks amazing! Thanks for sharing with us Alicia!!

For more delicious recipes by her, head on over to The Baker Upstairs.

For more bread recipes, check out these posts:

DELICIOUS Homemade French Bread recipe on { lilluna.com } Soft bread that can go with anything and top it with butter, jam, use it in so many ways.

Homemade French Bread

Sweet and Soft Oatmeal Dinner Rolls - a delicious roll recipe that will knock off everyone's socks.

Oatmeal Dinner Rolls

This Sour Cream Cornbread Recipe is the perfect accompaniment to your Thanksgiving turkey or your favorite bowl of chili. It's creamy, tender and oh so delicious.

Sour Cream Cornbread

For all bread recipes on the site go HERE.

For all recipes go HERE.

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ENJOY!

Basic Homemade Bread - the best, most fluffy loaf of homemade white bread! Tastes so much better than store bought!!

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Alicia
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. I’m also into photography and graphic design, and I love learning new things. I’d love for you to stop by The Baker Upstairs and say hi!
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Discussion

  1. 1

    What kind of flour. Self rising or all purpose or bread flour?

  2. 3

    If I wanted to freeze one of the doughs for later use should I do that after letting it rise the first time or what do you reccomend?

  3. 8

    Your bread looks wonderful! I was wondering…After the bread has cooled and a few slices have been eaten, what is the best way to store the bread for a couple days besides putting it in the refrigerator? For example, some folks wrap it in a tea towel or put it in a storage bag etc.etc… Any tips? Thanks!!

  4. 10

    I made this bread for my wonderful husband and he liked it not bad for my first try I will make this bread again it was easy and taste wonderful. Thank you. 😀

  5. 12

    I just made your bread and it turned out great!!! I will definately make this again!

  6. 14

    Tried it for the first time tonight and couldnt help but eat it warm right out of the oven. Sent pictures to all my freinds too. Braggers rights were acheived with this recipe! Thanks for sharing. Its a great recipe!

  7. 16

    Do you just have white bread or is there a wheat version?

  8. 18

    This looks soooo good! Thank you for sharing! We just moved out to the country about 6 months ago and one of our neighbors (who lives about 5 miles away lol) is a sweet older couple and she made us some homemade bread and rolls as a “Welcome to the country” gift and my kids and husband loved it!! The whole loaf was gone in 2 days. So I’m making this recipe tonight for the first time! Fingers cross!!

  9. 20

    I have a question, when go to dissolve the packet of yeast do I add it to the full 2 1/4 cup of warm water? I know that might seem like a goofy question since it’s clearly posted above, I was just asking because when I just tried it….it wasn’t very bubbly (a few bubbles but not a lot) I didn’t know if I added all the water too soon because on the back of the package it says dissolve in 1/4 cup of warm water. Just want to make sure I’m going it right. Thank you.

    • 21

      Yes, dissolve the yeast in the warm water with a pinch of sugar and let it bubble for 10 minutes. Just make sure you have fresh yeast (dry active yeast). Hope that helps and let me know if you have more problems. Good luck!

  10. 22

    This bread is the best! !!! I use it as a base when I’m making other breads too, rye, cinnamon raisin , it’s delicious! !!! Everyone I share it with lines it too!!!

  11. 24

    Can you list the brand of yeast you used? I am using active dry yeast packets but they aren’t foaming at all 😩

  12. 28

    Can you make this recipe in a bread making machine

  13. 30
    Laura Shaikewitz :

    Hello, I am just starting my adventure in baking bread. So my question is, did you use a hook attachment to knead the dough for the 5-7 minutes or by hand?

  14. 32

    Hi. Can’t wait to make. Can you tell me about how many calories?
    Thank you.

  15. 34

    Thanks for sharing! This is now my go-to bread recipe, and I’ve probably made it once a week for the last two months now! It turns out perfect every time. I’ve also made garlic bread and cinnamon raisin bread using this recipe as the base, and both have been excellent. I’ll slice them and pop them in the freezer, then reheat in the toaster. I’ve started making one plain loaf and one flavored loaf each time. I have a batch rising right now, and may try to make dinner rolls from it today.

  16. 36

    Will bread flour work?

  17. 38

    Have you doubled this recipe? I’m just curious because my family goes through bread like crazy and when I make one batch, it doesn’t last us very long. I’m wanting to make enough to last a few days not just one or two.

    Also, have you tried to freeze it? Did it do well with being frozen?

  18. 40

    I was so off on my timing and I had to leave the bread to rise for 3 hours before I can begin to roll it out / bake it. Will this ruin the texture?