|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Servings: 1 loaf (serves 12)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 2g||2%|
|Saturated Fat 1g||3%|
|Total Carbohydrate 26g||10%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||4%|
|Total Sugars 2g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||1%|
|*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.|
If you're new to homemade bread, there is no easier recipe than this simple yeast bread. The recipe produces a soft crust and a moist center while using the most basic ingredients that can be found in most kitchens.
Beginners will find this to be the perfect introduction to baking great bread. You can use it to learn about the essential ingredients that go into bread, practice your kneading and other techniques, and discover the perfect baking time in your oven.
Start with one loaf to see how it turns out. If needed, you can make slight adjustments on a second loaf. Your family will not mind your trials, and you'll quickly find why baking your own bread is so much better than buying it at the store.
Experienced bakers will also find that this recipe is a perfect base for experimentation. If you're adventurous, feel free to alter and play with it to create your own flavored bread recipes.
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (approximately)
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this bread is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.
Mixing the Bread Dough
The first step in any bread recipe is to make the dough. It's very easy and after a few loaves, you will discover the perfect amount of flour to use.
Gather the ingredients.
Pour the warm water in a large bowl.
Slowly stir in the dry yeast and continue to stir until all of the yeast is dissolved.
Add the salt, sugar, shortening, and milk to the bowl. Stir until everything is thoroughly combined.
Mix in the first 2 cups of flour.
If needed, begin adding more flour, one tablespoon at a time, until the dough chases the spoon around the bowl.
Prepare and Bake the Bread Dough
Once you have mixed the bread dough, it is time to work it and let it rise. This is often the stage that turns many bakers away from making homemade bread because it does take time for bread to rise and practice to learn how to knead the dough. After a few loaves, you'll be a natural.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead about ten minutes. Add small spoonfuls of flour as needed, until the dough is soft and smooth (not sticky to the touch). You may not need all of the flour, or you may need a little more. Keep the surface floured to prevent the dough from sticking to the board and your hands.
Put the dough in a greased or buttered bowl, turn the dough over so that the top of dough is greased.
Cover and let the dough rise until double, in a warm, draft-free spot such as an oven with the light on, for 1 about hour.
Turn out onto a floured board and knead for five more minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Form the dough into a loaf (here are some helpful tips) and set it gently into the greased bread pan.
Cover and let rise for until doubled, about 30 minutes. If your kitchen is chilly or drafty, place the pan in the oven with the light on for this step or you may not get a proper rise.
Shape the dough. Score the risen dough by cutting three slashes across the top with a sharp knife.
Place it in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Turn out the loaf of bread and let cool on a rack or clean dishtowel.
Serve and enjoy!
- You may not need all of the flour, or you may need a little more of what is called for in this recipe. The amounts vary depending on many factors, including weather, which is why most bread recipes only give an approximate amount of flour needed.
- Contrary to popular belief, salt does not kill the yeast. It simply slows down the yeast growth and this is called retarding: the salt 'retards' the yeast.
- Use bottled water instead of tap water to make your breads. Water softeners and chlorinated public water can sometimes kill the yeast needed to make your bread dough rise.
- Brush loaves with milk before baking to produce a dark, shiny crust.
- Brush loaves with egg white before baking to produce a shiny crust.
- Spraying loaves with water while they bake will produce a crispy crust.
- Brush loaves with butter immediately after baking to produce a soft crust.