True story… We bake all of our bread at home, and this one is our go-to, no time for anything complicated recipe. It yields a fluffy, crusty, wonderfully flavourful white bread. It’s easy to bake in a loaf pan, so no need to worry about shaping a bread!
Homemade white bread
I’m a complete and utter bread snob and 100% prefer homemade over store-bought! Be it for dinner rolls on a special occasion (click here for my dinner roll recipe) or our daily bread: I make my husband bake it for me 😉
This one is his go-to loaf, the one he bakes pretty much weekly. It’s light and soft and fluffy – absolute perfection. My friend just baked it the other day, sent me a pic and told me it’s the best bread she’s ever made!
Ingredients you’ll need
Here is an overview of the ingredients in the recipe (great to use as a visual grocery list at the store!). Jump to Recipe for quantities.
- yeast: the type of yeast you use will greatly influence how fast your bread rises; e.g. instant yeast will be very fast while organic yeast will be the slowest.
- butter: if you don’t have any/want the bread to be vegan and dairy free, you can substitute oil. I love the bread made with olive oil!
- water: There is no need to use warm water here! A lot of people use water that’s too hot – this kills the yeast. It’s safer to give the dough more time to rest vs accelerating the yeast with warm water. Cool or tepid is fine; do not use water over 110°F – it would destroy the yeast.
Step by step photos
Tips and tricks
- Knead the dough long enough; it needs 5-10 minutes in your stand mixer (depending on the strength of your mixer’s motor). If you want a visual for what it should look like, click here for my Guide to Baking with Yeast.
- Use less yeast: If you want to use less yeast, you absolutely can. In fact, my husband pretty much always bakes the bread with half (or even a quarter) of the yeast the recipe calls for these days (to save yeast – it’s hard to come by right now). It actually gives the bread a nicer flavor, but the dough obviously needs to rest for much longer. But if you have the time and want to use less yeast, it works.
- Give it time! I often get comments on my yeast recipes how people threw out the dough after waiting for 30 minutes. 30 minutes is nothing to yeast, my friends!
On resting time
The time the dough needs to rest and the yeast to grow depends on so many factors, it’s hard to put an exact time on it. Altitude makes a big difference (higher altitude = shorter resting time; if you’re at high altitude I actually recommend cutting the yeast in half for better flavor).
I outline all the possible factors I know in my yeast dough tutorial, click here to read it.
As a rule of thumb, when your dough is big and puffy and doubled in size – it’s ready to be shaped. When the shaped dough reaches the top of your pan – it’s ready to bake.
Bread making FAQs
No! You can absolutely make my bread recipe with regular all-purpose flour. If you want to use bread flour, add a few more tablespoons of water. The higher gluten content of bread flour makes it a “thirstier” dough.Why is my homemade bread so heavy?
If you don’t knead you bread long enough, your bread can turn out heavy and dense.
Yes! You can. Over-proofed bread loses its stability and won’t spring back when poked – it will feel deflated. To rescue the bread, you’ll need to punch the dough down again, re-knead and re-proof for a little while.
You’ll have to wait for longer! In return, you’ll also have a more flavourful bread, though. See my tips and tricks above where I outline how you can make my bread recipe with less yeast and a longer wait time.
Refer to my yeast tutorial here whenever you need help when baking with yeast!
The bread keeps well at room temperature wrapped in a clean tea towel for 1-2 days.
I recommend freezing the bread sliced, it’s easier to defrost. Separate slices with wax paper and place in a freezer bag. Label with the name and use-by date (up to 3 months) and freeze.Defrost single slices on a rack on the counter. Toast before serving for best flavor.
This is a great all-round bread! Serve it with soup, as a sandwich, with butter and jam… The possibilities are endless!
Here some ideas for spreads and sandwiches:
Watch the recipe video
Truly our favorite bread! We switch it up sometimes by using half whole wheat flour, using olive oil instead of butter or by baking it in a round pan instead. On the weekends we often make a simple braided bread (click here for the recipe), it’s similar but has more butter and uses milk.
If you’re out of yeast – try a Soda Bread! What can I say, we’re a bread-y family 😉
More bread recipes
Easy Homemade Bread
- Stand Mixer
- Loaf Pan
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon active dried yeast
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 ¼ cups water
- Add flour, yeast, butter and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment.
- Start the mixer on low, then slowly pour the water into the bowl. Knead on medium speed until dough is smooth, about 5-10 minutes.
- Gather dough into a ball, then cover with a clean tea towel and let sit at room temperature until puffy and doubled in size (1-2 hours, depending on room temperature, altitude and humidity).
- Turn dough out on clean, lightly floured countertop. Knead a few times, then shape into a log. Place in a lightly oiled 4×8 inch (OR 5×9 inch – bread will be slightly flatter) loaf pan. Cover with a clean tea towel and let sit at room temperature until puffed up to the top of the pan, about 30-60 minutes.
- To bake, place a small-medium oven-safe dish filled with water in the oven. Heat the oven to 440°F. Slash the bread (kitchen shears work great if you're new to making insicions on bread), then bake around 30 minutes, until bread is golden. Turn bread out of the pan and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.