Updated: Apr 18, 2020
I haven't been able to find wheat flour lately, so I can't make my go-to Multi-Grain Bread Recipe I usually make. Instead, I'm turning to this delightfully easy white bread recipe that makes just one loaf. If you're looking for a simple way to begin making your own bread at home, this is a great recipe to start with.
1/4 Cup Milk
1 1/2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Cup Water
1 Tablespoon Sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons Yeast
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1. In a small bowl, combine the water, milk, and butter and warm until the liquid is between 105 - 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. When the liquid is warm, pour into a large bowl and add the yeast and sugar, and stir. Let sit for five minutes until the yeast looks bubbly and foamy.
3. Mix in 2 cups of flour and the salt.
4. Continue mixing in a half cup of flour at a time. If you're using a stand mixer, you can stop adding flour when the dough cleans the sides of the bowl. If you're mixing by hand, the dough will begin to stay in ball instead of falling apart when you've added enough flour.
5. Knead the dough for 10 minutes. If you're using a stand mixer, check the dough at five minutes. I find my mixer doesn't knead this well since it's only one loaf of bread, but if you have a smaller stand mixer, you may be fine. If kneading by hand, dust the counter with flour, and dump the dough on top of it. Sprinkle flour on top and begin folding the dough over and pressing it down with the palms of your hands. Add flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands. You'll feel the dough become firmer as you knead. When it's ready to rise, the dough will be sticky, but it won't stick to your fingers. You can also use the window test - Pull at the dough slowly, if it stretches to a thin membrane you can kind of see through, then you're done kneading. If it tears, it needs more kneading.
6. Lightly oil the bowl you used to mix your dough and place the dough back into it. Cover it with plastic wrap and let sit 30 - 60 minutes, or until doubled in size. I like to check it at 30 minutes because sometimes the first rise can go pretty quickly with all white bread.
7. When the dough has doubled in size, remove the plastic wrap, punch the dough down and knead it a few times. Get a bread pan out, and spray it with non-stick spray.
8. Form the dough into a loaf, set it in the bread pan and cover it with a clean kitchen hand towel. Let it rise another 45 - 60 minutes. Again, with white bread, sometimes the rise can happen quickly, especially if you have a warm kitchen.
9. When the dough has risen just above the rim of the bread pan, (no more than half an inch above the rim) turn your oven on to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
10. When your oven has reached 350 degrees, place the bread inside and cook for 30 - 35 minutes. You'll know it's done if it's nice and brown on top and sounds hollow when you tap on the top of it.
11. When the bread is done, remove it from the oven and remove the bread from the pan. Let it cool on a cooling rack. If you let it sit in the pan too long after removing it from the oven, it will sweat.
12. Let the bread cool at least 20 minutes before slicing into it. Store in a gallon zip lock bag.