One of my first hobbies was learning to make bread. I strongly believe this
is an important skill to know and this recipe can cross over to whole wheat and whole grain flours.
There is something special about making homemade bread and it makes the whole house smell amazing! Additionally, you get to choose what goes into it. This is a great recipe for beginners. It is also a ideal base to practice with and change until you find what works best due to the versatile nature.
When I make a sandwich loaf, I often just use flour, water, salt and yeast. It is a more basic version of the recipe that does not take away from whatever we are putting into the sandwich. For holidays, I use this exact recipe and roll into balls, pop them in a muffin tin in groups of 3, and bake for around 12 minutes before brushing the tops with butter. This gives us the most delicious rolls that can be pulled apart for dipping.
I felt in the beginning, as I have heard many others say, that homemade bread is just too time consuming. In reality, it takes very little time and less as you practice. There is rise time, but this is not active time. I often will do this while preparing dinner and the first rise is complete after dishes are done. Then I may let the second rise go overnight and cook with breakfast in the morning.
So without further rambling, here we go! I hope you enjoy!
Homemade White Bread Recipe
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup milk
- ¼ cup melted butter
- 5¾ cup flour
- 1½ tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp sugar
- 2 packages (4½ tsp, ½oz) Active Dry Yeast
(This will make about 2 large loafs or 18-24 rolls)
Add 2 1/2 cups flour, salt, sugar, and yeast. Mix.
Heat water, milk, and butter together to at least 120°F but no more than 130°F.
Incorporate liquid to flour mix and stir for around 3 minute. Then add more flour gradually until a soft dough, still slightly sticky, forms a ball as you stir.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic. Put in a clean bowel coated with grease and turn once so top is greased.
Cover and set in warm (NOT HOT) spot to rise until double in size. The time this takes is really dependent on the temperature and humidity of the location, but is usually around an hour.
Once risen, punch dough down and then divide into desired portions and shapes. Place on lightly greased pan and cover for a second rise. Again, the time will vary, but a good way to tell when it is ready this time is to touch it lightly. If an indentation remains, rising is complete.
Score loafs before baking (this is not required with rolls).
Bake at 375ºF for 45 minutes to an hour. Allow to sit in pan for half an hour before turning out onto a wire cooling rack. Let cool to room temperature before slicing.
I promise it is even easier than it sounds and there is nothing so delicious as a slice of fresh bread!