Bread tastes best fresh from your oven, and it's easier than you think to make it from scratch! Follow my detailed instructions with pictures to learn how to make a fluffy, soft loaf in your own kitchen!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- This great recipe makes just 1 loaf of bread but can easily be doubled!
- Makes a nice big loaf, just like Grandma used to make.
- Detailed instructions with pictures make this such an easy bread recipe!
- Can be made by hand in a large bowl or with a stand mixer.
Ingredient Notes and Equipment Notes
- Flour - All Purpose flour, not bread flour or self-rising flour.
- Butter - I use salted butter; if you're using unsalted butter, increase the amount of salt the recipe calls for by ½ tsp.
- Yeast - Active dry yeast is the same as instant yeast or rapid-rise yeast.
- Bread Pan - You can use either a 9.5 x 5-inch loaf pan or an 8.5 x 4. The 8.5-inch one is considered the standard size, but I've noticed the 9.5-inch ones are just as common. I've made this recipe with both sizes myself.
- Mixer - Can this recipe be made by hand? Yes, of course! I use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook because I lack in the muscly arm area.
Step by Step Instructions
- Add sugar, yeast, and warm water to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.
- Allow to stand and get foamy.
- Add the room-temperature butter and salt.
- Add 3 cups of the flour.
- Knead with a dough hook until all the flour is incorporated.
- Add enough of the remaining cup of flour to make a soft dough that is only slightly sticky. Clean the sides of the bowl.
- You may or may not need the entire 4th cup of flour.
- Knead for 3 minutes in a stand mixer at medium speed or 5 minutes by hand.
- Cover the bread dough with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled. (rise time 30-ish minutes)
- Dump the risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a loaf.
- Be sure to pinch the seams shut well.
- Place the loaf in a loaf pan that's been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cover with a dish towel and let the dough rise until doubled. (30-ish minutes)
- Adjust your oven rack so the bread will bake right in the center, and preheat your oven to 350 degrees while the bread is rising.
- This bread rises quite high. Note the difference in height between pictures 12 and 13.
- Bake the risen loaf for 20 minutes, then tent it with tin foil to avoid over-browning.
- Bake the bread for 25 minutes more. The top will be golden brown.
- Run a cube of butter over the top of the hot loaf if desired, and cool completely on a wire rack.
Recipe FAQs and Expert Tips
To make yeast bread recipes rise fast, you can preheat your oven set at any temperature for about 45 seconds. Turn your oven off and place some sort of baking dish with boiling water in it inside the oven. Then place your mixing bowl of dough, covered with a dish towel, in your oven. It will be warm and steamy, causing your dough to rise faster.
Store your cooled bread wrapped with plastic wrap or in a large ziplock-type bag. It will be good for about 3 days.
Honestly, I have no idea. I used a bread machine once years ago and have never used one again.
If you substitute wheat flour for all the white flour, you'll end up with a loaf of bread like a brick. Please click over to my Homemade Wheat Bread recipe to make a wheat version of this bread! It's soft, light and fluffy too!
Yes, for instructions to do so, click over to my 90 Minute Dinner Roll recipe!
Related Bread Recipes
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Homemade White Bread Recipe
- 1 ½ Cups Warm Water
- 3 Tbs Sugar
- 1 Tbs Active Dry Yeast
- 4 Tbs Butter room temperature
- 1 ½ teaspoon Salt
- 3-4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water.
- Let stand for 5 minutes to get foamy.
- Mix in the butter, salt, and 3 cups of flour with a dough hook.
- Once well combined, add the last cup of flour, ¼ cup at a time, until the dough forms a ball, pulls away from the sides of the bowl, and is only slightly sticky to the touch. YOU MAY NOT NEED THE ENTIRE LAST CUP OF FLOUR.
- Knead for 3 minutes at medium speed or 5 minutes by hand.
- Cover the bowl with a dishcloth and allow the dough to rise until doubled. (around 30-ish minutes)
- Dump the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape it into a loaf.
- Place in a loaf pan that's been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cover and let rise until doubled. (around 30-ish minutes)
- Adjust your oven racks so that the bread will bake right in the center of the oven.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Bake the bread at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, tent with some tin foil, and continue to bake for another 25 minutes.
- Your bread loaf should sound hollow when thumped.
- Run a small cube of butter over the top of the hot bread loaf if desired, and let cool for 10 minutes in the bread pan before turning it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Whether you need the entire last cup of flour partially depends on the humidity where you live. Some don't need it at all, and some need the entire 4th cup and sometimes a little more.
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