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This BEST bread recipe makes the most deliciously fluffy loaf of white bread. It tastes so much better than store-bought!

Nothing beats delicious homemade bread! If you love a good bread recipe, you’ll also love our French Bread, White Bread Recipe, and Banana Bread recipes.

Bread recipe sliced up on a cutting board.

a Family Favorite!

I have to confess, I’m kind of a bread addict. I love any kind of bread, from tender and flaky Buttermilk Biscuits to pillowy soft Homemade Dinner Rolls.

My very favorite kind of bread, though, is a fluffy white loaf of this bread recipe. We love it because the flavor is PERFECTION, but also because:

  • Made with pantry staples. Ingredients are simple and ones most everyone has on hand.
  • Used for SO many recipes. It’s perfect for sandwiches, Grilled Cheese, or a batch of French toast.
  • Cost effective and healthier. Making this homemade bread recipe will cost about $1.25 worth of ingredients per loaf and I get to control exactly what ingredients I use! 
  • Great to freeze. Like most bread recipes, this is great to make ahead and store.

Bread Ingredients

As mentioned above, most of these items can be found in your pantry, which means you should be able to make this any time!

  • Active Dry Yeast (1 packet) – If your yeast is old or dead, your easy bread recipe is going nowhere fast. I store my yeast in the fridge at all times.
  • Warm Water
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Bread Flour – Comes in both whole wheat and white versions and has a higher percentage of protein than all-purpose flour. If you don’t have bread flour, you can replace it with an equal amount of all-purpose flour. It does change the texture a bit, but still works well.
  • Butter

How to Make Bread

  1. YEAST. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in warm water with a pinch of sugar.
  2. COMBINE + KNEAD. When the yeast mixture is bubbly and foamy, add the sugar, salt, oil, and 4 cups flour, and mix with a dough hook until smooth. Add the 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 for 5-7 minutes, until smooth, then roll into a ball.
  3. RISE. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn over once to coat the top with oil, and cover with plastic wrap. (Use olive oil or cooking spray to coat the bowl.) Let rise for one hour, or until doubled.
  4. SHAPE. When the dough has risen, punch it down gently and divide it in half. On a non-stick baking mat or lightly floured surface, roll each half of the dough into a long rectangle about 8 inches wide.
  5. ROLL. Roll the dough up, starting at the short edge, to form a cylinder that is approximately 8 inches wide. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  6. 2ND RISE. Place the dough, seam side down, into lightly greased loaf pans, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for one hour, or until the dough is ½-1 inch higher than the top of the pan.

Proofing tips

  • Oil the bowl before adding the dough to rise. This will keep it from sticking when it is dumped out and shaped.
  • Air temperature can affect the proof time. A warmer environment will allow the dough to rise faster. A cooler area will slow down the process.
  • A quicker proof time.
    • Preheat your oven to 200°F then turn it OFF. Place the dough in an oven-safe bowl and cover it with a warm damp tea towel. Stick it in the oven until the dough has doubled in size.
    • Place the bowl of dough near a warmer area in your home such as a fireplace or warm slow cooker. 
  • Doneness. Visually observe when the dough has doubled in size and use that as an indicator of doneness. To tell if it has been proofed just right, poke your finger in the top of the dough…
    • Bounces back immediately – continue proofing.
    • Doesn’t bounce back at all – it is over-proofed.
    • Bounces back halfway – it’s perfect!
Homemade bread dough proofed in bread pans.

How to BAKE Homemade Bread

  1. PREP. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. BAKE. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
  3. BRUSH + COOL. I like to brush my loaves with a little melted butter after baking. Remove to a cooling rack and cool before slicing. Makes 2 loaves of bread.

Why is my bread heavy and dense?

  • Adding too much flour. Scoop the flour into the measuring cup with a spoon and level it off. The amount of flour can be too much if measured incorrectly, which can make it dense.
  • Under or over proofing. It is really important that the dough rises well. If you don’t allow it to rise long enough it will be dense. If you proof it for too long, it will fall and also become dense. 
  • Over kneading. This is really hard to do when you knead by hand, as your hands will tire before it can happen. However, it can happen if you let a stand mixer knead for too long or at too high of a setting.
Easy bread recipe baked and on cooling racks.

Repurpose Your Homemade Bread

Use this bread in some of our favorite recipes:

Make croutons. Check out our Homemade Croutons recipe!

Homemade bread recipe slices and loaf on cutting board.

Storing info

  • STORE. Cool completely and place in a Ziploc bag or wrap in foil. This best bread recipe should last 2 to 3 days stored at room temperature.
  • FREEZE. Slice the loaf all the way through, place it in a plastic bread bag, and freeze it as soon as it has cooled completely.
    • Freeze the bread dough. Add twice as much yeast to compensate for any yeast that will die in the freezer.
      • Allow the dough to rise the first time, then shape it into loaves and place them directly on a greased baking sheet.
      • Place them in the freezer and freeze until solid.
      • Wrap each loaf with plastic and again with aluminum foil. Label and freeze for up to 6 months.
  • To bake – unwrap and place in a greased bread pan. Cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap. Allow it to thaw for several hours and then rise until it is about doubled in size. Bake according to recipe directions. 
Bread recipe close up image with slices on cutting board.

For more bread recipes:

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4.98 from 901 votes

Bread Recipe

By: Lil’ Luna
This BEST bread recipe makes the most deliciously fluffy loaf of white bread. It tastes so much better than store-bought!
Servings: 20 slices
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Let Rise: 2 hours
Total: 2 hours 45 minutes

Ingredients 

  • teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • cups warm water
  • ¼ cup sugar plus 1 pinch
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5½ – 6½ cups bread flour
  • butter for topping (optional)
Save This Recipe!
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in 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 for 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 for one hour, or until doubled.
  • When the dough has risen, punch it down gently and divide it 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 the remaining dough.
  • Place the dough, seam side down, into lightly greased bread pans, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for one hour, or until the dough is ½ – 1 inch higher than the top of the pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until 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.

Video

Notes

STORE. Cool completely and place in a Ziploc bag or wrap in foil. This best bread recipe should last 2 to 3 days stored at room temperature.
FREEZE. Slice the loaf all the way through, place it in a plastic bread bag, and freeze it as soon as it has cooled completely.

Nutrition

Calories: 159kcal, Carbohydrates: 30g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 351mg, Potassium: 42mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Calcium: 6mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Bread
Cuisine: American
Making this recipe? Tag us!
Share it with us on Instagram using the hashtag #lilluna, so we can see what you’re creating in the kitchen!

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

About Kristyn

My name is Kristyn and I’m the mom of SIX stinkin’ cute kids and the wife to my smokin’ hot hubby, Lo. My mom’s maiden name is Luna, and I’m one of the many crafty “Lil’ Lunas” in the fam. On this site I like to share all things creative - from recipes to home decor to gifts and home decor ideas. Welcome!

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Recipe Rating




1,414 Comments

  1. Chanel Wilson says:

    5 stars
    Such yummy bread!

  2. Pat says:

    Can I use mini loaf pans? And if so how do I roll the dough? What temp and for how long?

  3. Theo says:

    I froze half of my dough for a week and baked the other half, but I didn’t add double the yeast to compensate for any yeast dying in the freezer because I did this before reading on. Can I still bake the bread?

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Yes, it should still turn out just fine!

  4. Cassie Dyer says:

    What size bread pans?

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Either 9×5 or 8½x4½ inches will work!

      1. Allora Thatcher says:

        Your video and the recipe itself are at odds with each other. The recipe says to add a pinch of sugar with the yeast, let it sit then add the rest of the sugar, salt, oil and flour. In the video it shows the adding of the sugar and salt with the yeast, then let it sit… Then oil, and flour. Which yields better results?

      2. Lil'Luna Team says:

        You could honestly do it either way and it would turn out great! 🙂

  5. Deidre says:

    I followed exactly (adding extra rising time) but didn’t get a good rise. The yeast was just purchased. Any ideas?

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Sorry to hear that! There could be various reasons why the bread didn’t rise. If you read in the post, I have a section with a bunch of proofing (or rising) tips. Maybe some of those can help! I also mention what could have happened if the bread was heavy/dense. Let me know if you have any other questions though. Hopefully some of those tips will help!

  6. Charlsie A Davis says:

    First time making your recipe so I’m hoping that it’s a success?

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Fingers crossed!!

  7. Daria C Puffett says:

    Can you sub all purpose flour for bread flour?

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Yes!

    2. Audrey says:

      5 stars
      I make this bread almost every other week and it’s always requested at brunches or as gifts! Thank you!

  8. Weillen Abel says:

    Making your mix. Fresh Bread is sooo Good. Right out of the oven. Yummy

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Couldn’t agree more!! Hope you enjoy the bread!

  9. Natasha says:

    5 stars
    Can’t I add raisins and cinnamon sugar to this recipe? Want to make cinnamon raisin bread but love your recipe!

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Yes you could! If you love this recipe, you will love our cinnamon bread recipe too. Then you can just add some raisins (in fact, we even mention how much/when to add them in this recipe). https://lilluna.com/cinnamon-bread-recipe/

  10. Michele says:

    5 stars
    Can you use instant yeast instead of dry active?

    1. Lil'Luna Team says:

      Yes, you should be able to.

    2. Lori V says:

      I’d like to make this bread with some fresh rosemary and garlic. How would you recommend incorporating these ingredients?