Sometimes you just want a good old-fashioned white bread—but one that is made with simple ingredients and warm from the oven, not pre-sliced and packaged from the store. This recipe proves how easy it is to make a delicious homemade white bread. The round shape and glossy top dress it up a bit, special enough for the dinner table or holiday buffet.
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (95 F to 110 F)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons or 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar, coconut sugar, or raw sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt or sea salt
- 1/3 cup canola oil, coconut oil, or shortening
- About 4 1/2 cups bread flour
- Optional: egg white or milk for brushing on loaf
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- In a large bowl, mix the warm water and yeast. Add the milk, sugar, salt, and oil and stir to combine.
- Add in enough bread flour to make a dough that follows the spoon around the bowl.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for 8 minutes, adding more bread flour as needed until the dough is firm and smooth to the touch.
- Place the dough in a medium greased bowl. Turn dough over in the bowl so that the top is also lightly greased. Cover with clean cloth and let rise in warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.
- Punch down the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 5 minutes or until the bubbles are out of the bread. Shape the dough into a round loaf and place it in a greased 1 1/2-quart round casserole dish. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 375 F. With a sharp knife or razor, slash the top of bread. For a glossy top, brush an egg white on top of the loaf, or brush loaf with milk before baking to produce a dark, shiny crust.
- Bake the bread for 45 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when the top is tapped. Remove the bread from casserole dish and let cool on a rack. Brush loaves with butter immediately after baking to produce a soft crust.
Bread Baking Tips
Bread-making ingredients need to be stored properly to stay fresh. Keep yeast stored in an airtight container and in the refrigerator—heat, moisture, and air kills the yeast and prevents bread dough from rising. Also, make sure you store flour properly to keep it from spoiling. Once the bread is baked, store in a plastic bag to keep the bread soft.
Bread flour has a higher amount of gluten than all-purpose flour which means that bread made with bread flour will rise higher. You can make your own bread flour by adding 1 1/2 teaspoons gluten to each cup of all-purpose flour you use in your bread recipe.
If you'd like to use dry milk powder instead of milk, use this conversion table to figure out how much dry milk to add to the water when replacing the milk in the recipe.