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    Homemade White Bread Recipe

    Published May 2, 2024. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    This easy-to-make homemade White Bread Recipe is light and fluffy, with a golden brown crust, and comes together in under two hours. You will love how simple it is to prepare and how delicious it is.

    Baking bread is one of the most satisfying procedures, to me. If you feel the same, and are looking for more bread recipes, try my Banana Bread or Homemade Bagel Recipe.

    slices of bread


     

    Ingredients and Substitutions

    • Water – Plain tap water will work fine.
    • Yeast – I used active yeast. However, you can use instant yeast or a levain.
    • Sugar – Regular granulated sugar is used.
    • Butter – I always use unsalted butter in my cooking and baking to control the sodium content.
    • Flour – I used all-purpose flour for this recipe. However, you can use bread flour. If you do, increase the amount of liquid by 2 to 3 percent.
    • Milk – Whole milk gives the bread the richest flavor. You can also use 1%, 2%, or skim milk.
    • Salt – I always use coarse salt in my cooking and baking.
    • Eggs – Chilled or room-temperature large eggs are perfect.

    How to Make a Homemade White Bread Recipe

    1. Add the warm water (112° to 115°) to a stand mixer bowl along with ½ the sugar and yeast.  I like my water to be hotter because it usually drops a few degrees to the optimal temperature once placed in the bowl.
    2. Let the mixture sit for 5 to 7 minutes until a raft has formed.
    3. Add the remaining sugar, milk, salt, butter, and ½ flour.  If you add too much flour, the dough will not come together, so start with half.
    4. Add the hook attachment and turn the stand mixer to low speed.
      procedures for combining bread ingredients into a stand mixer
    5. Slowly pour the remaining flour ½ to 1 cup until completely combined. The dough will pull away from the bowl when there is the right amount of flour.
    6. Knead on low speed for 5 to 7 minutes.
    7. Transfer the dough to a clean surface dusted with flour and knead by hand for 1 to 2 minutes until soft.
    8. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and cover with plastic or a lid.
      step by step procedures for kneading a white bread dough
    9. Proof in the oven with only the oven light on for 40 minutes or until it has doubled. This procedure is the perfect bread proofer for any recipe.
    10. Remove the dough from the container and cut it in half.
    11. Press the dough down on a clean flour surface until it is as wide as an 8” loaf pan and about 15”- 16” long.
    12. Roll up the dough from starting on the 8” side until it is rolled up and tight.  Fold in the ends.
      step by step procedures for proofing a bread recipe
    13. Pinch the edges together from the ends and underneath where the bread was rolled up to seal them.  You can also press the dough down to make a square and fold it in half, fold in the sides, and pinch.
    14. Place the dough seam side down in a greased 8” x 4” loaf pan and cover it with a towel until it has just risen past the top.
    15. Brush with unsalted butter and bake in the oven at 425° for 20 to 25 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of around 200°.
    16. Set it on a cooling rack and let it cool to room temperature. Brush with melted butter and serve.
    step by step procedures for baking a bread recipe and cooling it

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: You can make this up to two days ahead for freshness.

    How to Store: Cover and store it at room temperature for 3 days. You can keep it in the refrigerator covered for 5 days. Freeze and keep it covered in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it at room temperature until thawed.

    How To Reheat: Wrap the bread in foil and place it in the oven at 250° for 5-7 minutes. 

    Chef Billy Parisi

    chef notes + tips

    • Eggs are not needed in a white bread recipe but have flavor and texture benefits.
    • It’s so incredibly important to let the bread cool to room temperature.
    • When using instant yeast, the raft does not need to form in the milk and sugar mixture.
    • A levain, or sourdough starter, should replace the yeast and account for 15% of the total baker’s percentage.
    • Bread can be too dry if there isn’t enough liquid or it bakes too long.
    • When done, the loaf will have an internal temperature of around 200°.
    • The key to fluffy soft bread happens during the rising period. 
    • A proofing trick is placing it in the oven with only the oven light on and the door slightly cracked. Make sure the oven is not on.

    More Bread Recipes

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    Homemade White Bread Recipe

    5 from 54 votes
    This easy-to-make homemade White Bread Recipe is light and fluffy, with a golden brown crust, and comes together in under two hours.
    Servings: 2 loaves
    Prep Time: 20 minutes
    Cook Time: 30 minutes
    Rise Time: 1 hour 12 minutes
    Total Time: 2 hours

    Ingredients 

    • ½ cup warm water, 112° to 115°
    • 2 tablespoons sugar, divided in half
    • 1 tablespoon active yeast
    • 2 cups whole milk
    • 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
    • 3 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
    • 5 ½ to 6 cups all-purpose flour

    Instructions

    • Add the warm water (112° to 115°) to a bowl of a stand mixer along with ½ the amount of sugar and yeast. Let the mixture sit for 5 to 7 minutes until a raft has formed.
    • Add in the remaining sugar, milk, salt, butter, and ½ the amount of flour. Add the hook attachment and turn the stand mixer to low speed.
    • Slowly pour in the remaining flour ½ to 1 cup at a time until completely combined. Knead on low speed for 5 to 7 minutes.
    • Transfer the dough to a clean surface dusted with flour and knead by hand for 1 to 2 minutes until soft.
    • Transfer the dough to a large bowl and cover with plastic or a lid.
    • Proof in the oven with only the oven light on for 40 minutes or until it has doubled in size. Return the dough to a clean surface and divide the dough in half.
    • Press the dough down onto a clean flour surface until it is as wide as an 8” loaf pan and about 15”- 16” long.
    • Roll up the dough from starting on the 8” side until it is rolled up and tight. Fold in the ends and pinch the edges together from the ends and underneath where the bread was rolled up to seal them.
    • Place the dough seam side down into a greased 8” x 4” loaf pan and cover with a towel until the dough has just risen past the top of the pan.
    • Bake in the oven at 425° for 20 to 25 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of around 200°.
    • Set it on a cooling rack and let it cool to room temperature. Brush with melted butter and serve.

    Notes

    Make-Ahead: You can make this up to two days ahead for freshness.
    How to Store: Cover and store it at room temperature for 3 days. You can keep it in the refrigerator covered for 5 days. Freeze and keep it covered in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it at room temperature until thawed.
    How To Reheat: Wrap the bread in foil and place it in the oven at 250° for 5-7 minutes. 
    Eggs are not needed in a white bread recipe but have flavor and texture benefits.
    It’s so incredibly important to let the bread cool to room temperature.
    When using instant yeast, the raft does not need to form in the milk and sugar mixture.
    A levain, or sourdough starter, should replace the yeast and account for 15% of the total baker’s percentage.
    Bread can be too dry if there isn’t enough liquid or it bakes too long.
    When done, the loaf will have an internal temperature of around 200°.
    The key to fluffy soft bread happens during the rising period.
    A proofing trick is placing it in the oven with only the oven light on and the door slightly cracked. Make sure the oven is not on.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 200kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 6gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 251mgPotassium: 89mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 115IUCalcium: 42mgIron: 2mg
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: American, French