Round White Bread

Round White Bread

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Rise Time: 105 mins
Total: 2 hrs 55 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Yield: 1 loaf

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 without many special skills or tools. Perfect for the beginner baker, get the feel and flavor of artisanal bread for the dinner table or holiday buffet in only a few hours.  

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm water (95 F to 110 F)
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 package, 1/4 ounce)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (or coconut sugar, raw sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (or sea salt)
  • 1/3 cup canola oil (or coconut oil or shortening)
  • 4 1/2 cups bread flour (plus a little more as needed)
  • Optional: egg white or milk (for brushing on the loaf)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (melted)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Round White Bread ingredients

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  2. In a large bowl, mix the warm water and yeast.

    In a large bowl, mix the warm water and yeast

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  3. Add the milk, sugar, salt, and oil and stir to combine. 

    Add the milk, sugar, salt, and oil to the yeast mixture and stir to combine

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  4. Add in enough bread flour to make a dough that follows the spoon around the bowl.

    Add enough bread flour to the yeast mixture to make a dough

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  5. 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.

    knead dough on a floured surface

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  6. Place the dough in a medium greased bowl. Turn dough over in the bowl so that the top is also lightly greased.

    dough ball in a bowl

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  7. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hour.

    dough rising in a bowl

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  8. Punch down the dough.

    punch down the dough

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  9. 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.

    knead the dough on a floured surface

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  10. Shape the dough into a round loaf and place it in a greased 1 1/2-quart round casserole dish.

    dough ball in greased casserole dish

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  11. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

    dough rising in a casserole dish

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  12. Preheat oven to 375 F. With a sharp knife or razor, slash the top of the bread.

    slash the top of the dough with a knife

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  13. If desired, brush an egg white on top of the loaf for a glossy top. Alternatively, brush the loaf with milk to produce a dark, shiny crust. 

    brush the dough with egg whites

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  14. Bake the bread for 45 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when the top is tapped.

    baked white bread dough

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  15. While still hot, brush the loaf with melted butter to produce a soft crust.

    baked white bread dough brushed with butter

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  16. Remove the bread from the casserole dish and let cool completely on a rack before slicing. 

    Round White Bread on a cooling rack

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  17. Serve and enjoy.

Tips

  • This is a wetter dough than many bread recipes. Add about 4 1/2 cups of flour in the bowl, then keep adding small amounts while kneading to keep it from sticking to the board and your hands. You should only need about 5 cups in total.
  • You can use both the egg white or milk options and the melted butter on the same loaf.
  • 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.

Recipe Variations

  • 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.

What Is the Best Dish For This Bread Recipe?

Unlike some round bread, the dough for this recipe will not maintain the perfect round shape you form during the second rise. Instead, it grows to conform to the dish or pan that it's baked in. It does require sides to keep it contained. The best choice for a casserole dish is about 8 inches in diameter and only an inch or two deep. Choose one that has sloping sides or the bread will grow tall and look more like a round cake than a loaf of bread. In a pinch, a pie plate works perfectly. If you switch from a glass or ceramic dish to a metal pan, the baking time may vary slightly.