I want to share this bread recipe with you guys because I tried it out recently and was surprised by how well it worked. Bread is so intimidating and I was terrified that I would mess it up.Miraculously, I got it right on the first try and I was so proud of myself. It was so rewarding seeing things come together every step of the recipe. I never thought I would be this excited about bread but here I am. I’m not going to give you my whole life story here though, so let’s jump into the recipe.
Original Recipe Credit: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/basic-homemade-bread/
- 2 Loaf Pans i happened to have two loaf pans on hand that I use for banana bread but you can pick some up at any local grocery store. I guess if you don’t have a loaf pan, you could always form two loaf shapes on a baking sheet and hope for the best. I don’t know how this would change the cooking times though
- Yeast- I like to buy the little packets because then you don’t have to measure and you typically won’t have to worry about it being old
- Bread Flour- Not normal flour. Bread flour. I don’t know what will happen if you use regular flour but I don’t want to find out. I almost did it yesterday but I realized before I started baking
- White Sugar
- Meat thermometer- Not needed but very handy for taking the temperature of your water for proofing the yeast and taking the bread temperature when it comes out of the oven
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
- Glass Liquid Measuring Cup
- A full day to babysit your bread!
The ingredients here are pretty simple but not necessarily something you will have on hand. I had to go out and buy bread flour and yeast which are pretty essential to this recipe.
- 1 Package of yeast (I bought Bakipan)
- 2 Cups warm water (around 112 degrees Fahrenheit) mixed with 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 Tbsp Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Oil (I used vegetable oil)
- 6 Cups (ish) of bread flour (I bought Robin Hood)
- Proof your yeast. Measure 2 ¼ cups of warm water in your glass measuring cup (or just 2 cups if you have a smaller measuring cup like mine. Add the yeast and ½ tsp of sugar directly to the measuring cup. Wait ten to 20 minutes until the yeast is foamy on top.
- While your yeast is doing it’s thing, measure 3 cups of flour, 3 tbsp of sugar, and 1 Tbsp of salt into a large bowl and combine it.
- Once 10-20 minutes has passed, stir 2 Tbsp Oil into your yeast mixture and add all of this to your flour mixture. Combine.
- Stir in remaining 3 cups of flour ½ a cup at a time. If you think your mix needs more flour, add more. Or add a little water if you think it needs it. If you only used 2 cups of water when you proofed your yeast, feel free to add a ¼ cup of warm (but not too hot) water here. It’s going to become hard to incorporate your flour so you can start kneading with your hands.
- Once you’ve gotten almost all of your flour mixed in, you can dump your dough on to a floured surface and knead it. If you have flour left in the bowl, dump that out too. Knead for about 10 minutes.
- Place dough in a greased bowl and leave in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours. I like to turn on my oven to 300 ish and put my bowl in the warming drawer covered with a tea towel. If you have a real warming drawer that has a dial to warm it then definitely do that. You want your dough to double in size.
- Once your dough has risen to twice it’s original size, punch down the dough in the bowl and split in half.
- Put halves into greased loaf pans
- Return loaf pans to the warming drawer for another hour (until doubled)
- Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes (every oven is different. I like to bake mine longer than is necessary). I like to bake one lower than the middle rack just because the tops of my bread tend to get too brown. I use my meat thermometer to check the bread temp. You want it to be 200. Sometimes I will even put my bread in for an extra ten minutes just to make sure it’s cooked all the way through but it’s probably not necessary.
Tips & Tricks
You can take the temperature of your water (for proofing your yeast) with a meat thermometer. It seems to work for me.
Proof your yeast in the glass measuring cup. I did mine in a bowl the first time and it didn’t foam up.
Leave your yeast alone to proof for longer than you think you need to. The recipe I followed said 10 minutes but it needed at least twice that to really get foamy.
It’ ok to not know what your bread should look like. I wasn’t sure what it needed to look like but I kind of just winged it and it turned out great! More or less flour isn’t going to make a huge difference. I think it affects the density more than anything.
Proofing the Yeast
After Rising for the First 2 Hours
After Rising the Second Time: Ready to Go in the Oven!
That’s it! If you’ve made it all the way down here, you’ve made bread! Enjoy!