Basic White Bread for Beginners

Basic White Bread Recipe

 The Spruce

  • Total: 3 hrs 45 mins
  • Prep: 3 hrs
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
74 Calories
4g Fat
9g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 74
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 2g 9%
Cholesterol 7mg 2%
Sodium 709mg 31%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 2g
Calcium 43mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

An easy bread recipe that's perfect for beginners, this basic white bread recipe will make two delicious loaves. Once you discover just how easy it is to make fresh, homebaked bread, it will quickly become a staple at your dinner table and it makes a great sandwich bread.

This recipe uses all the basic bread ingredients: flour, milk, water, yeast, sugar, and salt. It takes just about 20 minutes to prepare the dough, then an hour wait to allow the dough to rise. After a final kneading and shaping of your loaves, a second rise takes place before it's baked.

Your finished bread can be served fresh out of the oven or frozen for later use. Because it is such a basic recipe, you can also experiment with it by adding a cup of raisins, nuts or other flavorings.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cup water (warm, divided)
  • 2 (1/4-ounce) packages active dry yeast (or 1 tablespoon) 
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 6 to 7 cups of unbleached bread flour (approximately)

Steps to Make It

While there are multiple steps to this recipe, this basic white bread is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Prepare the Bread Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Basic White Bread Recipe ingresients
     The Spruce
  2. Heat 1 cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from the heat when the butter is melted and set aside to cool.

    Basic White Bread Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Pour 1/2 cup of warm water into a small bowl. Slowly pour the yeast into the bowl while stirring. The constant stirring while adding the yeast will prevent it from clumping. Set the bowl of yeast water aside for about 5 minutes while you work on the next two steps.

    Basic White Bread Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. In a large bowl, add the sugar, salt, and the remaining 1 cup of warm water. Mix well.

    Basic White Bread Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Check the saucepan of milk and butter. If the contents are warm to the touch, pour the liquid into the large bowl and mix.

    Basic White Bread Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Pour the yeast water into the large bowl. It is important that the batter is warm, not boiling hot. Hot liquid, such as the milk you heated up, will kill the dry yeast and prevent the bread from rising.

    Basic White Bread Recipe
    The Spruce 
  7. Begin mixing in the unbleached bread flour, one cup at a time.

    Basic White Bread Recipe
     The Spruce
  8. By the fifth cup of flour, the dough will begin to get stiff and it will be difficult to mix it with a wooden spoon.

Knead the Dough and Wait for It to Rise

  1. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and begin to knead the dough.

    Basic White Bread Recipe
    The Spruce 
  2. Continue adding more flour - a couple tablespoons at a time - and knead the flour into the dough until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. How much flour you use will depend on many factors, including the temperature, humidity and altitude of your home. It's likely that you will not use all 6 or 7 cups.

    Basic White Bread Recipe
    The Spruce 
  3. Grease a large bowl with butter, shortening or oil (the bowl should be 2 to 3 times the size of your dough). Place the bread dough into the bowl and then turn the dough over so that the top of the dough is also greased.

    Basic White Bread Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size - about 1 hour.

    Basic White Bread Recipe
     The Spruce

Kneading and Shaping the Loaves

  1. Basic White Bread Recipe
    The Spruce 
  2. Turn it out onto a floured board and knead out all the bubbles for about 5 minutes.

    Basic White Bread Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Divide the dough in half and form each half into a loaf by rolling the dough into a rectangle.

    Basic White Bread Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Roll the dough up like a jellyroll.

    Basic White Bread Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Pinch the seam closed, then pinch and tuck the edges under the loaf.

    Basic White Bread Recipe
     The Spruce

Final Proofing and Baking the Bread

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

    Basic White Bread Recipe
     The Spruce
  2. Grease two loaf pans. Spread a light layer of yellow cornmeal on the loaf pans, if desired.

    Basic White Bread Recipe
    The Spruce 
  3. Set the loaves in the pans. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled in size (about 30 minutes).

    Basic White Bread Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Bake the bread for about 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.

    Basic White Bread Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Remove the bread from the oven and turn out the loaves onto a rack or a clean kitchen towel.

    Basic White Bread Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Allow the bread to cool before cutting.

    Basic White Bread Recipe
     The Spruce
  7. Serve and enjoy!

    Basic White Bread Recipe
     The Spruce

Tip

  • When using yeast, make sure that you don't heat your water too much. Over 120 F will kill the yeast and make it so that your recipe does not work. A good rule of thumb is that the water should be warm enough that it feels like body temperature. If it's too hot for you to put your hand in, it's too hot for the yeast.

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