Basic White Bread

This basic white bread recipe is soft and light in texture, rises very well and will make your kitchen smell like a bakery.  It's an easy, great tasting, straight-forward recipe that works every time.

 

Note:  The time it takes the bread to rise will depend on the environment and temperature of your kitchen. Temperatures between 75 - 80 degrees are ideal for getting bread to rise well.

 

Hint - You want your bread to rise in a controlled environment.  One way to control the environment is to use the oven itself.  Turn on the oven light inside the oven, which slightly increases the tempurature of the oven.  Let the bread rise in the oven until the bread is ready to place into the pans or to bake.

Basic White Bread

 

Ingredients

3 cups white all-purpose or bread flour.

1 cup warm water

1 packet, or 2 tsp instant yeast.  

3 TBS sugar or honey

2 TBS butter or oil

1 1/4 tsp salt

 

 

For this recipe you will do the following:

  • Mix all the ingredients at once.

  • Knead the dough.

  • Let the dough rise till double in size. 

  • Shape the loaf into the pan.

  • Let the dough rise in the pan.

  • Bake the loaf 

Directions

If mixing by hand: 

Add the flour, yeast, sugar, water, oil and salt to a large mixing bowl.  Using a strong spoon, mix until the dough has come together, then drop it on the counter and knead about 5 minutes until the dough is stretchy, elastic and smooth.

 

How to Knead

Pull the dough together, then push the top part of the dough away from you with the palm of your hand.  Fold the dough again and repeat this motion again and again until the dough is stretchy, elastic and smooth.

 

Let the dough rise in the bowl on the counter until double   (30 - 60 minutes).

 

If mixing by electric mixer (KitchenAid or Bosch-type):  

Add the flour, yeast, sugar, water and salt to the mixing bowl.  Using the bread attachmenet, mix and knead the dough about 5 minutes until the dough is stretchy, elastic and smooth.

 

Whether by hand or by mixer, you want a soft(er) dough.  Not so sticky that it sticks to your hand and not so firm that it doesn't come together.

 

(See Kneading on the Bread Science link).

 

Let the dough rise in the bowl on the counter until double   (30 - 60 minutes).

 

Final Rise and Bake

  1. Place the dough on the counter.  Punch the dough down to express all the air.

  2. Spread or roll out the dough as if you are making a pizza.  Use some additional flour if needed to keep the dough from sticking.  

  3. Roll the dough into a cylinder about 8 inches long, tuck in the ends and place in a greased 8.5 x 4.5 inch bread pan.

  4. Let rise until the dough is about 1/2 inch above the pan.

  5. Bake at 350 degrees for about 23-25 minutes until golden brown. 

  6. Take out of the oven and place the loaf on a cooling shelf or rack.  

  7. Wait...Wait... Wait...  Ok - Eat!  And remember, butter always makes bread better.  :)

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