This simple, fail-proof homemade white bread recipe turns sandwich suppers, a humble bowl of soup, or a simple piece of toast into a whole new treat.
- 2 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk (warmed slightly, to between 80–100 degrees Fahrenheit)
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp granulated sugar
- 4 tbsp (1/2 stick or 2 oz.) butter, melted and cooled to at room temperature
- 6 cups (approximately) unbleached all-purpose flour (or bread flour)
- 1 tbsp salt
- Add the milk, yeast and sugar to the bowl of a standing mixer and whisk with a fork to blend. Let the mixture rest for about 5 minutes, until the yeast is activated and looks creamy. Whisk in the melted butter.
- Fit the mixer with the dough hook and add 4 cups of flour to the milk and yeast mixture. Turn the mixer to low (speed level 2 on a KitchenAid mixer) and beat to start to bring the dough together. As the dough beats, slowly add enough remaining flour to bring the dough together into a soft, smooth dough. The dough should clean the sides of the bowl, but still stick slightly to the bottom. (*See note.)
- With the mixer continuing to knead the dough, slowly sprinkle in the salt. Once the salt is incorporated, let the mixer continue to knead the dough for another 5 minutes, until the dough is elastic, smooth and soft.
- Spray a bowl large enough to hold double the amount of dough with non-stick spray, or coat it with a bit of melted butter. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl, shape it into a ball, and plop it down into the greased bowl. Spray a sheet of plastic wrap with non-stick spray, or brush it with a bit of melted butter, and use it to cover the bowl.
- Let the dough rest at room temperature until it has doubled in size. Depending on the temperature of the room, this will take between 45 min, and 1 1/2 hours.
- Spray two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pans with non-stick spray, or coat with a bit of melted butter. Dump the dough out onto a clean work surface and divide into two pieces. Lift one piece of dough and form it into a ball by using your thumbs to gently stretching the outside of the dough into a ball, pinching the dough together at the bottom. Bring the opposite sides together and pinch together at the bottom. Lay the ball of dough on your work surface, and roll it back and forth a few times to create an oblong ball. Lay the dough, seam side down, into one of the loaf pans. Repeat with the other half of dough.
- Spray two sheets of plastic wrap with non-stick spray, or brush them with a bit of melted butter and loosely cover each loaf.
- Allow the loaves to rise at room temperature until they double in size again, rising over the tops of the pans, 45 minutes – 1 1/2 hours.
- While the loaves rise, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. When the loaves are fully risen, bake for 35-45 minutes, until they are golden brown and an instant read thermometer plunged into the center of one of the loaves registers between 190 – 200 degrees.
- Remove from the oven and use a dish towel to grip the top of each loaf to lift it from the pan onto a wire rack. Allow to cool completely.
- Once cool, the loaves can be wrapped in plastic and stored for 2-3 days at room temperature. For longer storage, wrap the bread airtight and freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature, still wrapped.
- If you add too much flour and your dough is dry and tough, just add in more milk, teaspoon by teaspoon until the dough is wet enough to stick ever so slightly to the bottom of the bowl.
- One reader left a comment about making this dough in her bread machine. For anyone else who wants to try it, here’s what she said: “I actually dumped all ingredients in my bread machine. Had it mix and kneaded it. Then once it formed a smooth ball I pulled out and gave it one last knead by hand and placed in oil bowl to proof. After it doubled I did the stretch and pull to the center routine a few times, then rolled to a rectangle then rolled up to size to fit in my bread pan. Let it proof and it baked up perfectly.”
- Category: Bread baking
Keywords: bread, homemade bread, sandwich bread, homemade sandwich bread, simple homemade bread quick homemade bread, bread recipe