Recipes » Bread Recipes » Easy Homemade Bread Recipe

Easy Homemade Bread Recipe

My Easy Homemade Bread Recipe can be made with all unbleached bread flour for a traditional white loaf or a mixture of white and whole wheat.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
My Easy Homemade Bread Recipe can be made with all unbleached bread flour for a traditional white loaf or a mixture of white and whole wheat. https://www.lanascooking.com/easy-homemade-bread-recipe/

My Easy Homemade Bread Recipe can be made with all unbleached bread flour for a traditional white loaf or a mixture of white and whole wheat. It’s a great all-round bread for sandwiches and toast.

Is there anything better than the smell of fresh bread baking? The only thing I can think of is the heavenly taste of that fresh bread slathered with butter! If you’ve wanted to learn how to bake your own homemade bread, you’ve come to the right place!

My Easy Homemade Bread Recipe can be made with all unbleached bread flour for a traditional white loaf or a mixture of white and whole wheat. https://www.lanascooking.com/easy-homemade-bread-recipe/

One of the best things about mastering an easy homemade bread recipe is the sense of accomplishment you feel when taking that lovely golden brown aromatic loaf out of the oven. And being able to serve your family bread that you know contains nothing more than flour, yeast, salt, and water is a definite pleasure. 

Just four simple, wholesome ingredients and a couple of hours are all you need to turn out beautiful loaves of homemade bread. And once you have a handle on the technique, you can branch out to all kinds of interesting bread recipes like focaccia, cinnamon rolls, and even fancy loaves like a Pane Bianco.

Follow along with me and I’ll teach you the basic steps you need to know to start making your own delicious homemade bread.

First Let’s Talk About Yeast

So you want to make this easy homemade bread recipe and you head to the grocery store to get your ingredients. Then you come to a screeching halt in the baking aisle in front of the yeast. Right? 

Do you buy the packets, the jar, or the bulk bag? What’s the difference in active dry yeast and instant yeast? Ack, it’s too confusing, I’ll just buy a loaf of bread in the bakery. 

Wait! I’m gonna help you with this. For home bakers, there are basically two types of yeast and they’re often interchangeable. There are active dry yeast and instant yeast (sometimes labeled bread machine yeast. 

The main thing you need to know is active dry yeast needs to be stirred into a little warm water with sugar or honey before adding it to your recipe and instant (or bread machine) yeast doesn’t. That’s it in a nutshell. 

I almost always use instant yeast because then I can skip the step of dissolving the yeast and just dump it straight in with the flour. If you go for the active dry yeast, you’ll need to use part of the water (about 1/2 cup) called for in the recipe, plus a little sweetener, to dissolve the yeast and start it activating.

If you’re really interested in all the ins-and-out, the whys and wherefores of yeast, there’s an excellent post on the King Arthur Flour blog that explains it in detail. I highly recommend it for baking nerds like me.

How to Make My Easy Homemade Bread Recipe

Let’s Go Step-by-Step

I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.

This recipe is quite easily made in a stand mixer with a dough hook. But if you don’t have one, that’s no problem. All you really need is a big bowl and a wooden spoon. Just follow the alternate instructions I’ve included in parenthesis for making it by hand.

Mix the Dry Ingredients

Measure dry ingredients - flour, yeast, salt - into mixer bowl.

Measure the flour, salt, and yeast into the mixer bowl. (By hand: measure into a large mixing bowl)

TIP: When measuring flour, lightly fluff it with a spoon and then spoon the flour into the measuring cup. Level off the top of the cup to get an accurate measure. Don’t pack the flour down.

BONUS TIP: Don’t put the salt and yeast right on top of each other since salt tends to retard the action of the yeast.

Measure the Wet Ingredients

Wet ingredients in a measuring cup.

In a measuring cup, stir together the warm water, oil, and honey. 

TIP: If you measure the oil first and then the honey using the same spoon, the honey won’t stick to the spoon.

How Warm Should the Water Be?

Ideally, the water should be between 105 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit to activate the yeast. If you have a thermometer and want to be really precise, go ahead and check. If you don’t have a thermometer, then a good comparison is a nice, warm bath. If it feels warm and comfy to your hand, then you’re good. 

Mixing dry ingredients on slow speed.

Turn on the mixer to its lowest speed for about 15 seconds to just combine the dry ingredients. (By hand: Mix the dry ingredients together with a spoon).

Mix the Wet and Dry Ingredients

First mix of wet and dry ingredients in stand mixer.

Switch off the mixer and pour in the liquids all at once. Turn the mixer back on to its lowest speed for about 1 1/2 minutes until the ingredients are fairly well combined. (By hand: Use a sturdy wooden spoon to mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined.)

Turn off the mixer and let the dough sit in the bowl for 10 minutes. (By hand: Let stand for 10 minutes).

Dough in stand mixer after kneading for 3 minutes.

Kneading the Dough

Turn the mixer on to the second speed and let it run for 3 minutes.

Dough truned out onto a floured board.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board or countertop.

Dough on a board after lightly kneading.

Knead 3 or 4 times until a smooth dough is achieved. (By hand: Turn the mixture out onto a floured wooden board or countertop and knead by hand for about ten minutes or until a smooth dough forms.)

Let the dough sit for a minute while you wash the bowl and oil it with an additional tablespoon of olive oil.

Dough resting in an oiled bowl.

Place the dough into the oiled bowl top side down and then turn it over so that the oiled top is up.

First Rise

Dough in a bowl covered with a towel rising in a warm oven.

Leave it in a warm place covered with a towel for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in volume. My oven with the light on is usually just cozy enough.

Dough turned out and deflated after rising.

Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently deflate it. Then knead another three or four times.

Shape the Dough

Dough divided in half on a board.

Divide the dough in half.

Half of dough flattened into a rectangle.

Flatten each half into a rectangle.

Rolling up the flattened rectangle of dough.

Roll the dough up starting from one narrow end.

Dough rolled into a loaf shape.

Form the rolled dough into a loaf shape.

Two formed loaves placed into loaf pans.

Place each loaf, seam side down, into a lightly oiled loaf pan.

Second Rise

Covered loaf pans waiting for second rise.

Cover the pans and let the dough rise again until about doubled in volume.

Dough in pans after second rise - ready to bake.

The second rise should take about 35 to 45 minutes.

Bake the Loaves

While the dough is rising for the second time, preheat the oven to 375. Bake the loaves for 30 to 35 minutes or until nicely golden brown.

TIP: If you like a softer, more chewy crust, place a pan of water in the oven on the rack below the bread. You can also brush the tops of the loaves with olive oil for a prettier crust if you’d like.

Baked loaves cooling on a rack.

Remove the warm loaves from the pans and set them on a wire rack until completely cool. 

Sliced loaf of bread with a knife on a cutting board.

When completely cool, slice and enjoy! Now, I know it’s really tempting to slice that warm bread and cover it with butter. But, you really do need to let it cool first.

The bread actually continues to develop its crumb while cooling and if you slice it too soon it can be a bit gooey inside. Just put it to the side and wait. No matter how hard that is.

Storing and Using Homemade Bread

Because homemade bread doesn’t contain the preservatives used in commercially produced bread, it won’t last quite as long at room temperature. Mine typically lasts three to four days in a plastic bag in the pantry.

If you’d like to keep it longer, you can also freeze it. Wrap it well in plastic and pop it in the freezer where it should keep for a month, maybe two.

If your lovely homemade bread does happen to go stale before you can use it up, don’t toss it! Leftover bread has a long culinary history of being repurposed into delicious recipes like homemade croutons, French toast, bread pudding, and bread crumbs.

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My Easy Homemade Bread Recipe can be made with all unbleached bread flour for a traditional white loaf or a mixture of white and whole wheat. https://www.lanascooking.com/easy-homemade-bread-recipe/

Easy Homemade Bread Recipe

My Easy Homemade Bread Recipe can be made with all unbleached bread flour for a traditional white loaf or a mixture of white and whole wheat.
5 from 4 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Breads
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Rising, Resting, and Cooling Time:: 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 24 servings
Calories: 113kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 ½ teaspoons yeast or one packet
  • 2 cups warm water between 105 and 110 degrees
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil plus additional for oiling the bowl and pans
  • 2 tablespoons honey

Instructions

  • This recipe is quite easily made in a stand mixer with a dough hook. But if you don’t have one, that’s no problem. All you really need is a big bowl and a wooden spoon. Just follow the alternate instructions I’ve
    included in parenthesis for making it by hand.
  • Measure the flour*, salt, and yeast into the mixer bowl. (By hand: measure into a large mixing bowl)
  • In a measuring cup, stir together the warm water, oil, and honey**.
  • Turn on the mixer to its lowest speed for about 15 seconds to just combine the dry ingredients. (By hand: Mix the dry ingredients together with a spoon).
  • Switch off the mixer and pour in the liquids all at once. Turn the mixer back on to its lowest speed for about 1 1/2 minutes until the ingredients are fairly well combined. (By hand: Use a sturdy wooden spoon to mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until well combined.)
  • Turn off the mixer and let the dough sit in the bowl for 10 minutes. (By hand: Let stand for 10 minutes).
  • Turn the mixer on to the second speed and let it run for 3 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board or counter top. Knead 3 or 4 times until a smooth dough is achieved. (By hand: Turn the mixture out onto a floured wooden board or counter top and knead by hand for about ten minutes or until a smooth dough forms.)
  • Let the dough sit for a minute while you wash the mixer bowl and oil it with an additional tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Place the dough into the oiled bowl top side down and then turn it over so that the oiled top is up. Leave it in a warm place covered with a towel for about an hour or until doubled in volume.
  • Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and gently deflate it, kneading another three or four times.
  • Divide the dough in half. Flatten each half into a rectangle. Roll up and form into a loaf shape. Place each loaf into an oiled loaf pan.
  • Cover and let rise again – about 35 to 45 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 375 and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until nicely golden brown. ***
  • Remove loaves from pans and let cool at least 30 minutes on a wire rack.

Notes

(For a traditional white loaf, use all bread flour)
* When measuring flour, fluff it with a spoon and then spoon the flour into the measuring cup. Level the top of the cup for an accurate measure. Do not pack.
** If you measure the oil first and then the honey using the same spoon, the honey won’t stick to the spoon.
*** If you like a softer, chewy crust, place a pan of water in the oven on the rack below the bread. You can also brush the tops of the loaves with olive oil if desired for a prettier crust.
BONUS TIP: Don’t put the salt and yeast right on top of each other since salt tends to retard the action of the yeast.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 113kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 292mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is the best bread recipe I have ever tried. It was super easy to follow and my bread came out wonderful. I am bragging to everyone 😂