Homemade bread can be hard to make! This easy bread recipe for beginners though makes it easy!
I’ve attempted to make it a dozen times, only to have it come out hard as a brick.
Literally, one batch I tried to make in a bread machine (foolproof, right??) was so hard and dense, the dog had a hard time breaking into it.
I felt down-right foolish.
My husband took me out to a very fancy dinner for our anniversary one year, and when the owner came out to say hello I complimented him on the bread they served.
He went on and on about how easy the recipe is, and how anyone could do it.
I went home that night and tried, but it turned out HORRIBLY.
Clearly I was missing something important that everyone else seemed to know!
Then, I found the perfect recipe!
It was light, fluffy, froze well, and was so delicious we ate it up within days.
A few days passed and I lost the recipe!
I was so hesitant to try again after that failure, however after months of searching I found it again!!
Bless the internet-gods!
Easy Bread Recipe For Beginners
This is easily the best recipe out there.
This foolproof, easy recipe, can be made manually or with a standing mixer, and down-right delicious.
Your family will have a hard time going back to store-bought bread after this.
I love this recipe because it uses basic ingredients and doesn’t require any special equipment.
I’m not a fan of healthy bread.
I grew up on white wonder bread, and I have a HARD time eating anything else.
Except for this loaf bread.
So even if you have a picky eater in your household, or your husband’s not 100% on board, give it a try.
My hubby’s favorite way to eat it is with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
My favorite is toasted with homemade butter made from heavy cream. (Insert drool emoji here!)
This recipes makes two loafs, and I accidentally let one loaf raise all night.
(I signed up for an Ancestry.com account and got very sidetracked.)
But once I baked it the next morning it was still delicious!
Now I bake two loaves every Sunday.
The smell of freshly cooked bread is heavenly, the bread itself gives me a sense of pride, and I know exactly what ingredients went into it!
Can’t beat that!
If you happen to have any leftover that goes stale, check out my friend’s cheese fondue dippers recipe!
I’ve also started swapping out the sugar for maple syrup with DELICIOUS results, and swapping the olive oil for tallow – the tallow gives it a crispier crust without a beefy flavor!
BONUS: Reader Melinda modified this recipe and made cinnamon buns! Try her version too:
“I made the bread recipe, let it rise once, flattened it out on the counter, spread a teaspoon or so of soft butter on the dough, then sprinkled on probably a cup of the cinnamon/sugar mix that I added a tablespoon of cocoa powder to (for color…you don’t taste it), rolled up the dough and sliced into roll size pieces. I used a buttered 9×13 pan and put it in the refrigerator to rise overnight and took them out in the morning and baked in a 350* oven for 1/2 hour or so? I made a simple icing with powered sugar and milk and added a splash of vanilla and drizzled it over the top. Viola’ warm cinnamon rolls for breakfast. They disappeared quickly!”
How to Make This Bread Recipe
To make your own bread, you’ll begin by “proofing” your yeast. Combine your instant yeast and warm water and let sit for a few minutes until they bubble.
If you’re using a stand mixer throw in your active dry yeast and water in the mixer bowl while it proofs.
If you’d rather make a sourdough loaf, check out my post on making your own sourdough starter.
Next, melt your butter in the microwave and add it to the water (and yeast), milk, sugar and salt and stir to combine.
Then add one cup of all purpose flour (or whole wheat flour) at a time and stir to combine until a floury, lumpy dough is formed.
Total you’ll use about 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 cups of flour.
If using a standing mixer, switch out the mixing paddle for the dough hook. If you’re mixing by hand, turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and continue to knead your bread dough.
Knead the dough until it is smooth, elastic and spring back when you poke it with your fingertip.
Pour a few tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil in a new large bowl or your clean mixing bowl and cover the sides of the bowl. Put your dough back in. Turn the dough so that it’s covered with the oil.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a hand towel and leave your dough rise at room temperature for the first time.
After it has doubled in size, punch it down and divide it in two. Place each in individual loaf pans and let the dough rest for its second rise.
After you let your bread rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes, place in a 425°F oven, but immediately turn the heat down to 375°F when you add the loaves and bake for 30 minutes.
Not that you will, but if you every have stale leftovers, make homemade breadcrumbs with this recipe.
For more of the best bread recipes check out:
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp white sugar
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 5 1/2-6 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Add warm water and yeast to the mixing bowl and stir to combine. Let stand for 5 minutes or so, until it begins bubbling.
- Melt the butter, then add to the water with the milk, sugar, and salt.
- Add one cup of flour at a time and stir to combine until a floury, lumpy dough is formed.
- If you're using a standing mixer, switch out the mixing paddle for the dough hook now. If you're making this by hand, turn the dough out onto a floured surface.
- Knead until the dough is smooth, elastic and springs back when poked with your fingertip.
- Clean the mixing bowl you were previously using and coat in oil. Add the dough and cover in a warm spot until dough has doubled in size, or about an hour.
- Turn the dough out onto a floured surface again, and knead gently. Separate into two.
- Grease loaf pans and transfer dough balls into them.
- Cover and let rise again for 30-40 more minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F, but immediately turn the heat down to 375°F when you add the loaves and bake for 30 minutes.
- Once finished, remove from pan and let cool on a rack.