Super easy recipe for homemade bread. Great for sandwiches and toast!

Bake Your Own Homemade Sandwich Bread

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Being able to bake your own homemade bread is a very simple must-know for any home cook or chef. It costs you four times as much to go out and buy a loaf of bread as it does to bake at home. With essentially 3 ingredients(flour, water and yeast) you can make a variety of simple bread recipes that will keep you fed even on a budget. While you can add things like butter, eggs, sugar and salt, they are all just bonus items that are used to change the texture and flavour of the bread. My father for example makes homemade bread using only a “starter” that he makes using a plain yoghurt and flour mixture(this ferments on the counter before being used in a recipe) and doesn’t use yeast at all. The beauty of bread is that it is so versatile that you can play around with varying amounts and ingredients to find a recipe/style of bread that you love.

Golden Brown Loaf of BreadThis homemade bread recipe I will share with you today will provide a base from which you can launch your bread making skills. A wonderfully soft white bread, ideal for making sandwiches, hamburger buns and dinner rolls, this recipe will teach you the basic steps to making bread at home. You can make this recipe in an electric mixer (  I used my Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer ) if you have one, otherwise you can mix the dough by hand in a bowl and then knead it on a counter top.

You will need:

2.5 cups of warm water

4 Tbsp of active dry yeast

1/4 cup of sugar (use your favourite kind, even molasses or honey will work!)

1 tsp salt

5.5 cups of all-purpose or bread flour

1/2 cup soft butter or oil

Begin by taking your active dry yeast and mixing it with your sugar in a tall container. It should be able to hold at least 2 litres (I used a large beer mug from Germany since I have no clear glass measuring containers or bowls!!). Add the warm water to the yeast and stir it once to make sure all the yeast is mixed with water and not clumped together. Make sure that the water is WARM. A littler warmer then lukewarm is perfect but not hot. If you use hot water you will kill the yeast, which is, believe it or not, a living fungi. Use water that is to cold, and the yeast will not activate. It needs the warmth and moisture to wake up, and the sugar to feed on and begin fermentation. You will see the yeast start to froth and bubble as it feeds on the sugar. The warmer the water the faster this process will go, but remember at a certain point, to high of a temperature will kill the yeast. Make sure you can easily hold your hand in the water without burning yourself. This is called blooming your yeast.Blooming yeast series

While the yeast is happily frothing away, measure out your flour and mix it with the butter (or oil) and salt. Don’t add your salt to the water sugar mix at the start as it can inhibit the growth of the yeast.

Once the yeast has doubled in size and” bloomed”  you can add the whole mixture to your bowl or mixer with the flour, fat and salt. Mix it together until it forms a sold dough that you can either knead by hand or keep kneading(mixing) in a stand mixer. If using a stand mixer like I did with my Kitchen Aid, you will want the dough to pull away from the sides without leaving behind any flour or gloopy mess on the sides of the bowl.  If mixing the dough by hand in a bowl, simply get it to a point where it holds together in a ball, and then place it on a floured surface to continue kneading the dough.

Mixing Bread Dough in an electric mixerKnead the bread dough for about 5 to 10 minutes until it forms a smooth stretchy ball. While kneading the dough you are developing the gluten strands that form when flour and water are mixed. The more you knead the dough the stretchier it will become resulting in a fluffier and softer end product. Pizza dough for example is kneaded for a longer time(12 -15 minutes) than biscuits(3-5 minutes) which results in a chewier and denser crust, while only kneading biscuits for a short time allows the dough to stay flaky and not become chewy.

To avoid the bread becoming chewy and dense we need to proof the dough. Proofing is the process in which you allow the yeast to go back to work, Proofing mixed bread doughconsuming the sugar and releasing gas into the dough causing it to rise. Since then gluten strands have been developed now, they will stretch resulting in a nice fluffy ball of dough.  Proof your dough by placing it in a greased bowl(to prevent the dough from sticking to the sides), covering it with a clean linen dishtowel and then placing it in a warm area such as on top of your stove which we will now pre-heat to 375F. Proofing takes about 20 to 30 minutes depending on the temperature of the dough and in the surrounding room. The dough needs to at least double in size. Once fully proofed, take the dough out of the bowl and place it back on your floured counter top/ surface. Punch out all the air from the dough, flattening it completely. You may be asking well what was the point of that if it was just all nice and fluffy? Don’t you worry! This first proofing stage is to help relax the gluten in the flour and lets the yeast use up some of its pent up energy. Proofing the dough twice(once after the dough is mixed and then again after it is shaped), will give you a much softer and developed texture than simply proofing it once.

shaping a loaf of bread
Punched Down Dough, Rolling Up The Dough Into A Tube Shape, Final Shaped Loaf, Bread Loaf After Proofing A Second Time

Next we shape the dough. Cut the dough in half at this point and starting at one edge of the flattened dough, start rolling it up into a tube. Make sure to roll it nice and tight to avoid any unnecessary air bubbles. Once it is rolled up, pinch the trailing edge to the rest of the dough to prevent it from unrolling. Using the palms of your hands roll this tube until you get a nice even and smooth shape. Place the formed bread in a pre-greased bread pan or on a sheet pan if you want to bake a more rustic loaf. Repeat the process with the other half of the dough. You should know have two shaped bread loaves. Again cover them with your clean dish cloth and let them proof until double in size. Once proofed a second time these loaves can go right into your pre-heated oven.

Bake the homemade bread at 375F for 15 minutes and then drop the temperature down to 350F. Baking it at a higher temperature ensures the bread rises just a little extra in the oven and produces a nicer crust due to the initial heat. After dropping the temperature the inside of the loaf continues to bake without browning the outside to severely. Bake the loaf of bread for another 30 to 40 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when you “knock” on the top. You can also check the temperature with a food thermometer. The temperature should read 220F.

Bread Baking in the oven

After your homemade bread comes out of the oven let it cool on a wire rack until you can touch it with your bare hands without burning yourself. If baking the bread in a loaf pan, let the bread cool in the pan until you can turn it out with your hands, and then cool on a wire rack. Slice the bread and bag it up for storage.Sliced White Bread This homemade bread will keep on the counter for 2 to 3 days or 5 to 7 days in the fridge. Once completely cooled you can also wrap the whole loaf in plastic wrap and then Ziploc bag it and freeze it! When you need to thaw it out simply place it in the fridge in its wrapping until completely thawed.

If you make this homemade bread recipe let me know in the comments! Send me your pictures, I’d love to see how it turns out! You can always share them on the Earth, Food, and Fire Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest aswell!!

Home Made Bread

Making bread at home is so easy, not to mention cheap, that everyone should know how to make a basic loaf of white bread. This bread recipe makes perfect sandwich bread and can also be used for rolls or buns.
Course Bread
Cuisine French
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Author Markus Mueller

Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups warm water
  • 4 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 5.5 cups all purpose flour

Instructions

  1. Measure out the yeast, warm water and sugar.
  2. In a tall measuring cup or other container, combine the sugar yeast and water, stirring once to ensure all the yeast is mixed, and doesn't clump together. Set this mixture aside and let the yeast activate and double in size.
  3. Measure out the flour,salt, and butter. Ensure the butter is at room temperature.
  4. If using a electric mixer:
  5. Add the flour, salt and butter to the mixing bowl. Once the yeast and water mixture has risen and doubled in volume, add the mix to the dry ingredients. Mix on low until the dough forms a solid mass, and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. About 5 minutes.
  6. If mixing by hand:
  7. in a bowl mix the flour and salt. Pour the flour mix onto the counter and make a "well" in the middle of the flour. Melt the butter and pour it into the yeast and water mixture. Pour the liquid mix into the well slowly, making sure it does not breach the flour walls. Using a wooden spoon or your finger slowly mix flower from the edges into the liquid until the liquid starts to become thicker. Keep mixing in the flour until you do not have to worry about the liquid "escaping" and running across the counter. Keep mixing the flower into the liquid mix until you form a dough. Knead the dough by hand for 10-12 minutes until it is smooth and slightly stretchy.
  8. Pre-heat your oven to 375F
  9. Once the dough is mixed, set it in a greased bowl and cover with a clean linen dish towel. Set the bowl in a warm area(such as ontop of a pre-heating stove) and let the dough proof for 30 to 40 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  10. Remove the proofed dough from the bowl and place it on a lightly floured surface. Punch down the dough until all the air has been pressed out and the dough is flat on the counter.
  11. Cut the dough int whichever size rolls/buns/loaves you want and shape them accordingly.
  12. Form the dough and place it in a bread pan or on a sheet pan.
  13. Again cover the dough and let it proof in a warm spot until it has doubled in size again.
  14. Once doubled in size, you may brush the top of the dough with an eggwash if you like.
  15. Place the dough in the pre-heated oven. Bake at 375F for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350F and bake for another 30 to 40 minutes(for a loaf of bread - if making rolls bake for 15-20 minutes). The bread should be a nice golden brown, and sound hollow when you knock on it. You can also check the internal temperature of the bread with a thermometer. It should read 220F

Some of the links in this post lead to affiliate sites where Earth, Food, and Fire may earn a small commission should you make a purchase. This allows us to stay online and keep creating awesome recipes! For more info check the Affiliate Disclaimer.

© 2016 – 2018, Markus Mueller | Earth, Food, and Fire. All rights reserved. Please contact Earth, Food, and Fire, if you wish to use any media or other content contained on this site.

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Baking homemade bread is so easy, especially with this white bread recipe. Perfect for sandwiches and burger buns. @earthfoodfire

8 Comments

  1. I love fresh baked bread especially when it has that nice crust and good air pockets inside. Yours looks amazing almost reminds me of a brioche. Nice!
    Loreto

  2. I love homemade bread and your looks perfect!

  3. I love to make bread ! Your recipe is nice and easy to follow. My kids love to help me punch down the puffy dough, especially my daughter ! Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Hey Markus, I love the tutorial! It’s easy to follow and the bread looks good! Now all I want to do is lather a slice of bread with butter and honey. I’m hungry.

  5. My husband loves homemade fresh bread from the oven. Like, really, really loves it. Can you blame him? I’m intrigued by your recipe. I’ll have to try it out. To make my husband happy of course. 😉

    My bread never turns out that pretty however. Ha!

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