This classic fresh and fluffy white bread will not last long! It has simple ingredients and irresistible texture and taste.
Achieving perfect homemade bread is easier than you may think. The secret sauce? LOVE! You can’t help but feel that love baked into every tasty morsel. Next, try your hand at these specialty breads: Irish Soda Bread, Garlic Parmesan Artisan Bread, and Cinnamon Raisin Pecan Artisan Bread.
Can’t Beat Homemade
There is something so comforting about fresh baked bread. The smell alone as it bakes exudes warm fuzzies, am I right?!
This delicious fluffy bread is perfect for sandwiches, but we can rarely make it past the freshly baked part. As soon as it is cool enough to cut, we slice it up, add butter and/or jam and devour almost the entire loaf! It does taste great days later…if it lasts that long.
The best part? You know exactly what is in that loaf of deliciousness. Now get your bake on!
White Bread Ingredients
Milk: if you don’t have milk to spare for this recipe that is totally fine. Great bread can be made with flour, yeast, sugar, salt, oil, and water. The texture that milk gives to the bread can be made up by the oil.
- Do you have to use bread flour? Bread flour just has a higher protein flavor than all purpose flour. It isn’t necessary to use bread flour, but it is a good choice if you have some on hand because it will make your bread just a little bit fluffier as it creates more gluten.
- You can use almond flour, but it doesn’t rise as normal as flour does. So some people recommend that you add air bubbles and air pockets before you bake it. This means that you whisk it so that little air pockets are in the dough and you keep it like that as best as you can. Basically the more you mix it the better it will rise. If making it in a bread maker make sure you use the quick bread setting.
Add some sweetness: Add a couple of tablespoons of honey to your batter. Honey is great for getting your allergens into your diet for an extra layer of protection against them. It’s also just a sweet addition to your bread that adds a great level of flavor.
How to Make White Bread
YEAST MIXTURE. In a 2 cup glass measuring cup, combine the milk and water. Heat for 45 seconds on half power. Stir and check the temperature with an instant read thermometer (it should read 110 degrees).
- if the mixture is too cold, continue microwaving on half powder for 10 second increments
- if it is too warm, let the mixture cool until it reaches 110 degrees
Add the warm water to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast and sugar and whisk together. Cover with a towel and let stand for 5 minutes.
ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS. Add the butter, salt, and 1 cup flour. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed for 30 seconds. Add an additional cup, mix for 30 more seconds. Add the final cup, mix on low for 1 minute until a soft, stick dough forms.
KNEAD. Switch to the dough hook attachment, and knead on low for 4 minutes.
RISE. Lightly grease a large bowl with butter, oil or nonstick baking spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough to rise in a relatively warm spot for 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
FORM LOAF. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with oil or nonstick baking spray, set aside. Punch the dough down with your fist to release the air. On a lightly floured surface, using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle, about 8×15-inches. Roll into an 8-inch log. Place the log into the greased pan
RISE AGAIN. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and rise for about 1 hour (the dough should be peeking up about 1-½ inches over the edge of the pan).
BAKE. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top (it should sound hollow). Remove and allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
Forming the Loaf
Here are the steps to perfectly roll a dough ball into a loaf of bread
- Roll it into a flat sheet
- Roll it up from long end to long end, or short end to short end, whichever will fit your loaf pan best.
- Pinch the seam where the end meets the rest of the “log”
- Bring the ends over, this means that your bread will have nice smooth ends, rather than uneven ones
- Then flip your log over so that the seam is on the bottom. Then you’re ready to bake it!
- How long to let rise: You should let it rise 2 times. The first time for about 1 ½ to 2 hours. Then you punch, shape it, and let it rise for another hour. Then straight into the oven it goes.
- Active dry yeast vs instant yeast: instant yeast needs to be kept in the fridge and doesn’t last as long. It does apparently have a better flavor than active dry yeast however, so that may be something you weigh. Active dry yeast is more common for at home bakers and it has a pretty darn long shelf life.
Bread machine: Using a bread machine is really nice as it cuts out all of the babying and watching of the bread. Bread machines typically work in a way that if you put all of the ingredients in the machine it will mix it, keep it warm and let it rise, and bake it for you, all in one machine! If you don’t have a bread machine that is totally fine! Just make sure you are keeping an eye on your bread and that you are letting it rise for the correct amount of time.
Recipe FAQ + Tips
Texture? Butter and milk in bread will make the bread light and fluffy. The more moisture in the bread the fluffier the texture will be, that doesn’t always have to be in the form of butter, but it can be in the form of liquid oil too.
Kneading? You are done kneading the dough when it becomes smooth, holds its shape, passes the poke test(when you poke the ball of dough it should fill back up quickly), and lastly if your arms are tired you’re probably good.
- Mixer or no mixer: Using a stand mixer is really nice for making bread, especially if you have a dough hook. You can whisk the ingredients by hand up to a point, in which case you will want to switch to the dough hook to knead it, or pour it out onto a floured surface and knead it by hand.
- Higher elevation? Leavening and evaporation happen quicker at higher elevations so there are a few things you can do to combat that and get the best bake you can on your bread. 1st thing you may want to consider is your oven temperature. You can raise it 15-25 degrees in order to help your baked good set quicker. There is a fear that since your baked goods may have leavened quickly it will dry out if it has not set and started baking quickly.
- 2nd you may want to increase your flour. If you are at 3,500 ft elevation try adding 1 tablespoon of flour, and for each additional 1500 ft in elevation add another tablespoon.
How to Store White Bread
Storing: You should store homemade bread in a bread box or in a plastic bag. The goal is that whatever container you use, it allows a little bit of air circulation but it mainly keeps the bread soft and fresh. Homemade bread will last covered at room temperature for 2-3 days.
Freezing: You can freeze homemade bread after you double wrap the bread in plastic wrap and foil and place the loaf in a plastic bag. Frozen homemade bread will last about 6 months: this is just the point of best quality, past that point the bread will dry out and not be the best quality.
For more bread recipes, try:
- Best Buttermilk Cornbread
- Irish Soda Bread
- Pumpkin Zucchini Bread
- Heavenly Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
- Heavenly Banana Bread
White Bread Recipe
- 1 c warm water
- 1/4 c whole milk
- 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast - or 1 packet
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter - room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 c all purpose flour or bread flour
- In a 2 cup glass measuring cup, combine the milk and water. Heat for 45 seconds on half power. Stir and check temperature with an instant read thermometer. It should read 110 degrees. If the mixture is too cold, continue microwaving on half powder for 10 second increments. If it is too warm, let the mixture cool until it reaches 110 degrees
- Add the warm water/yeast mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast and sugar. Whisk together. Cover with a towel and let stand for 5 minutes
- Add the butter, salt, and 1 cup flour. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low speed for 30 seconds, then add an additional cup, mix for 30 more seconds, then add the final cup. Mix on low for 1 minute until a soft, stick dough forms
- Switch to the dough hook attachment, and knead on low for 4 minutes.
- Lightly grease a large bowl with butter, oil or nonstick baking spray. Place the dough in the bowl, turning it to coat all sides. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Let the dough to rise in a relatively warm spot for 1-2 hours or until it has doubled in size.
- Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with oil or nonstick baking spray, set aside.
- Punch the dough down with your fist to release the air. On a lightly floured surface, using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a rectangle, about 8x15-inches. Then roll into an 8-inch log.
- Place the log into the greased pan. Cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and rise for about 1 hour. The dough should be peeking up about 1-½ inches over the edge of the pan.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place bread in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on top. When done, it should sound hollow.
- Remove and allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.