For a recipe that uses only basic ingredients, this white bread loaf turned out soft and perfect!
Ever since I learned how to make homemade bread, I had been making it almost once or twice a week. It could either be my favorite One Hour Rosemary Dinner Rolls or Garlic Knots Bread and more. I like those soft and fluffy rolls of the twist breads but having a basic white bread loaf recipe is also a must have for me. Loaf bread are very versatile and it’s the perfect kind of bread when I want to have toast for breakfast or maybe grilled cheese is even better. I love his bread for so many reasons:
- It’s incredibly easy to make, only 2 hours and that includes 2 rise period and baking time already.
- The ingredients are all basic, something that I always have in my pantry
- It’s soft and tall and it holds its shape nicely just like grocery loaf bread.
- The outer shell is crunchy while the interior is soft, so soft!
- The portion is just perfect. It makes 1 large loaf or 2 medium size loaf of 9-inch loaf pan, and only uses 3 1/4 cups of flour, that I call reasonable.
- Last but not the least, no preservatives because it’s homemade.
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (110F)
- 4 tbsp sugar , divided (1/2 tsp for yeast, remaining for flour mixture)
- 3/4 cup milk , warmed to about 80F
- 3 tbsp flavorless oil
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/4 on the side ONLY as needed
- Activate Yeast: In the bowl of an electric stand mixer whisk together yeast with water and 1/2 tsp of the granulated sugar. Rest 5 minutes until mixture is foamy. Can also be made manually, use a large bowl to hold the ingredients.
Add Wet Ingredients: Set mixer with paddle attachment and mix in remaining sugar (3 tbsp + 2 1/2 tsp) milk, oil on low-speed.
- Add Dry Ingredients: Add salt and 2 cups of flour and mix on low-speed until combined, then switch to a hook attachment. Set mixer on low speed and slowly add in remaining 1 1/4 cups flour. Allow mixture to knead on medium-low speed until smooth and elastic, adding more flour ONLY as needed, about 8 minutes. If the dough is too sticky add 1 tbsp at a time (up to 1/4 cup as needed) until the dough starts to form and a clean bowl is achieve. If too much flour is added rolls will be dense and heavy. A good measure of correct texture is a clean mixing bowl or if doesn’t stick as much in your hand.
- Rest 30 minutes: Remove the dough and form into a ball. Transfer into a greased bowl and cover bowl with plastic wrap or warm towel and allow to rest for 30 minutes in a warm place.
- To help the dough rise better, I put it inside the oven which I pre-heated to 110F. Once it reached the 110F, I stopped/canceled it (my oven minimum is 170F) DO NOT forget to stop it, you only want the oven to warm up for the dough to rise, you do not want to dough to be baked. Some oven has a proofing setting, mine doesn’t, so this is my trick.
- Shape and Arrange: Lightly push the dough down with the heel of the palm of your hands. Do not knead too much as it will knock out the air that was accumulated during the rest period. If making 2 loaves, divide the dough into 2 equal portion, otherwise work on the entire dough. Pull the sides down and tuck under several times then make into a rectangular shape. Transfer into a loaf pan either 8 or 9-inch works. Allow to rise in a warm place for 40 minutes (using the same trick in step 3). Preheat oven to 375F during last 15 minutes of dough rising.
6. Bake: Bake in preheated 375F oven until tops are golden brown, about 35-40 minutes.
Makes 1 large loaf or 2 medium loaf ( 8 or 9-inch loaf pan)