There’s nothing that will make your kitchen smell better than this easy white bread recipe! It’s been tested for decades by busy home cooks just like you and I — and it never fails to be perfect! Soft and buttery on the inside with a crisp crust, this homemade bread has been pleasing families for centuries! Originally published June 2007 – this post has been updated.
For this recipe you’ll need: All purpose flour, active dry yeast, sugar, water, milk, butter, salt, ginger
If you are in a hurry click here to go straight to the recipe.
This easy, homemade white bread recipe is one that I have been using since I baked my first loaf at age 13 or so. I promise you that if you take it slow and are careful of the temperature of the ingredients it will come out perfect every single time. This is the perfect recipe for beginning bread bakers of all ages.
Nothing smells as good as bread baking!
When my dad was alive it was almost like he had an internal radar. I am not necessarily a scheduled kind of person but just about the time I put a loaf to cool on the counter he would knock at my door…The heels were his favorite and I rarely had intact loaf by the time he left. The heels were all gone.
Thank God we get to keep our memories even after our loved ones are gone. The are priceless aren’t they??
This easy white bread is a traditional recipe, one that is probably very similar to what your grandmother or great-grandmother made. You don’t need to use bread flour, all purpose flour is fine. That means that you can knead it by hand without too much trouble.
The Role of the Ingredients in Homemade Bread
Each ingredient brings its own little talent to the easy white bread dough. You should never try to vary a homemade bread recipe until you have some experience and understand what role each ingredient plays, as well as how it works with the other ingredients.
- Flour gives the bread structure and holds the air bubbles that the yeast gives off during rising.
- Yeast easts the sugars in the dough and gives off a gas. This is what causes the bread to rise.
- Ginger gets the yeast going. Think of it as the bread’s first cup of coffee in the morning.
- Sugar feeds the yeast and helps it to grown
- Milk gives the texture of this bread a delicate softness.
- Butter helps the crumb stay soft and gives it more flavor.
- Salt enhances the flavor and keeps the bread from rising too much.
How to Knead Bread Dough by Hand
A lot of people have asked me how to knead dough properly so I finally did a video to demonstrate the process.
Things You Might Need
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I like to buy a large quantity of yeast at one time. It’s much cheaper that way and it will last in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator for a long time. You may not think you’ll go through that much but trust me… you will!
Some of you have asked about the bread pans I use. Mine are the Pyrex 9x5x4 inch loaf pans. You can find them on Amazon –
Easy White Bread Recipe
Here’s that easy white bread recipe! Give it a try! If you like this recipe please consider giving it 5 stars in the recipe card below. 🙂
Perfect White Bread
- 1 cup milk warm to the touch, or, if you have ALOT of sour milk..use sour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 teaspoons ginger, it is a yeast activator, you wont taste it.
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 5-6 cups white flour
- Stir the sugar and butter into the warm milk.
- Sprinkle yeast, ginger and a pinch of sugar on the water.
- Stir to dissolve and let it stand until bubbly.
- Add to milk mixture with 3 cups flour.
- Stir in the salt.
- Beat at medium speed about 2 minutes or stir by hand until batter is smooth.
- Add enough remaining flour to form a dough that leaves the sides of the bowl.
- Turn on to lightly floured surface, cover and let rest 10 minutes.
- Knead until smooth and elastic-about 10 minutes.
- Round up into a ball and oil all sides.
- Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel.
- Let rise in a warm place until doubled about 1 1/2 hours. (The inside of the oven with the light on is perfect).
- Punch down.
- Cover and let rise again until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Shape into a loaf and place in an oiled bread pan.
- Lightly oil the tops.
- Let rise until almost doubled, and bread is rounded above the pan, maybe 30-45 minutes.
- Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Cool in pan for 5 minutes, remove from pan, and finish cooling.
- If a soft crust is desired cover the loaf with a clean tea towel during the cooling process.
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