Are you looking for an easy homemade bread recipe? This recipe uses pantry staples, no fancy ingredients. Also, find all my best tips to Bread Making 101!
It seems that everyone is making bread these days! Whether it’s because the stores are out of flour, or because it’s good old-fashioned comfort food, now is the perfect time to learn! Not only do I want to teach you how to make my favorite easy homemade bread recipe (that is super inexpensive and uses normal pantry ingredients), but I also want to teach you some bread making skills that you can apply to any bread recipe!
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Easy Homemade Bread Recipe!
I love this recipe because it doesn’t use any fancy or expensive ingredients. It is simply flour, water, sugar, yeast, salt, and oil. There are no dough enhancers, lecithins, or honey. It is just plain and simple and delicious! I made this bread every week for about 3 years (I have just gotten lazy in the past few years). We use it for toast, sandwiches, etc. It is the perfect consistency (not too dense) so you can use it the same as any other bread!
When I did the math back then, it was under 20 cents for a loaf of bread! That is a huge savings compared to even the dollar loaves that you can get at the store with paragraphs of ingredients.
Bread Making 101
Let your yeast “proof”. This means you will mix your water, yeast, and sugar together to see if your yeast is any good. You want to use warm, almost hot water, sort of a bottle temperature. Add your yeast, and something for it to feed off of, in this case the sugar, and let it sit for about 5 minutes until it gets foamy. If your yeast doesn’t get foamy, it may be old, and you’ll want to get new yeast.
Because we bake bread so often, I buy the bigger packs of yeast instead of the little premeasured packets. I keep my yeast in the freezer so it stays fresh longer!
As you knead your bread dough, slowly add in the flour until the dough no longer feels sticky to the touch. Your dough should be able to hold a shape. If you have added too much flour, it will just crumble and fall apart. If you don’t have enough flour, your dough will stick to your hands or the mixer while you are mixing.
Set a timer for how long the dough is supposed to be kneaded for. Continue slowly adding in flour until it is that perfect consistency at the end of your kneading time. You can use a mixer with a dough hook, or knead it by hand. The results should be the same, except one will give you your workout for the day!
To shape my bread loaves, I usually roll them up tightly in a jelly roll style, then flip it and roll it up the other way jelly roll style. I do this to get out the biggest bubbles that may have been formed while the dough was rising. When I put the dough into the bread pans, I flatten the dough out to reach all the corners of the bread pan. Not everyone does this, but I find it gets out every last bubble, and ensures that the heel slice is a decent size.
Let your bread rise in a warm place where it will not be disturbed. I usually let my bread rise right on top of my oven as it preheats. Find a place that works well for you! Depending on the season and the temperature of your home, you may even be able to rise the bread right on your countertop.
Let your bread completely cool (if you can wait that long) to get thinner slices that are perfect for sandwiches. If you love fresh bread right out of the oven so warm that the butter melts right on top, you will need to cut thicker slices as the bread will flex quite a bit as you are slicing it. I find that it cuts best if I let it cool and then sit overnight in a bread bag. I like to use a serrated bread knife to get the perfect slice size.
Hopefully all of these tips help you in your own bread making journey to master this easy homemade bread recipe!
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 Tbsp yeast
- 2½ Tbsp sugar
- 2½ Tbsp oil
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 6-7 cups flour
- Combine water, yeast, and sugar and let it sit for 5 minutes until bubbly.
- After 5 minutes, combine yeast mixture with oil, salt, and 3 cups flour.
- Knead for 7 minutes adding flour in small amounts until dough is no longer sticky.
- Set in a bowl, cover with clean dish towel, and let dough rise for 30 minutes.
- Punch dough down and divide in half.
- Form each half into a loaf and placing in oiled bread pans.
- Cover with clean dish towel and let rise until double in size, about 45-60 minutes.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown.
- Remove from pans and let cool on a cooling rack.
Want a step by step video? Here you go!