Loaves of bread are an absolute emergency not only in the morning for breakfast, but also for lunch and snacks at times. Nothing is more satisfying than freshly baked homemade bread with butter on top. This warm slice of bread and butter will melt your mouth full of happiness.
If you like baking or you’re interested about homemade foods then you can make fresh homemade bread at home with simple steps. The homemade bread recipe is simple, takes only 2-3 hours and will yield to loaves of soft, warm, freshly baked, healthy homemade bread.
How to Make Bread
If you’re new to baking and confused from where to start then this is the easiest bread recipe you can start from. This bread will produce a soft crust with a moist center. You can also use basic kitchen ingredients and essentials.
It will take you approximately 45 minutes to cook with a 3 hour preparation time, resulting in 1 loaf of bread that can serve 12 people.
This recipe will help you with your perfect introduction in baking. You’ll learn about the bread essentials and can be creative afterward. This will also help you to practice kneading techniques and make you aware of the baking time.
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You’ll need the following ingredients. You don’t have to put extra effort into buying things from the super shop.
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
Substitution of Ingredients
Though these are all the basic ingredients that are usually available in the kitchen if not then you can use some substitutes.
You can use honey instead of sugar. In the case of milk, you can use almond or soya milk as well. Coconut oil, oil, or margarine can be the substitute of butter for this recipe.
Whenever you use a substitute make sure you use the same amount.
However, the one thing that you cannot substitute is white flour. For the bread recipe, you need to use all-purpose flour only. If you use wheat flour then you need to change the ratio of other ingredients too.
Mixing the Bread Dough
The first and the foremost recipe in making bread are to make a dough. This is an easy yet important step. After mixing and making a few loaves, you’ll understand the right amount of flour that’s necessary for you.
Gather all the ingredients for your homemade bread recipe. Take a large bowl and pour hot water into it. Mix the yeast in the warm water and stir slowly. Continue stirring until the yeast is dissolved properly. Then add salt, sugar, and milk into the dissolved yeast water. Keep string till everything is combined thoroughly.
Next, take 2 cups of all-purpose flour. Mix the flour slowly by using one spoon at a time. Keep mixing until the dough chases the spoon around the bowl.
Prepare the Bread Dough
After you’ve done mixing and the dough is ready, it’s time to let it rise. This is an important step as your outcome will depend on how well the bread rose. Many bakers are not interested in making homemade bread as it generally takes a lot of time for the bread to rise. So kneading dough is super important for a homemade bread recipe.
Take a floured board. Turn the dough onto it and knead. Add some flours, not more than small spoonful to the dough until it is soft and smooth. The dough should not be sticky.
Then place the dough in a greased or a buttered bowl. Turn the dough over and over so that the top of the dough is greased properly.
Next, cover the dough and let it rise. Make sure you keep it in a warm place so that it can rise properly. Keep it at least for an hour.
After an hour, punch down the dough and place it on a floured board once again and knead again for some time.
Bake the Bread
Preheat the oven to 375F. Take a bread pan. Form the dough into a loaf and place it in the buttered bread pan. Cover it again for 30 minutes and wait for it to rise.
Cut the risen dough into 3 slashes across the top using a sharp knife. Put it in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. You’ll know the bread is ready when it turns golden brown.
Take the bread pan out and turn out the loaf of bread. Place it on a clean dish towel and let it cool.
Some Extra Tips for Your Perfect Homemade Bread
- All the flour might not be needed for this recipe. The amount of flour depends on various factors such as weather. So mix flours slowly while making the dough. Do not mix everything at once.
- One of the popular beliefs is that salt kills yeast, but it doesn’t. It slows down the growth of the yeast. This process is called retarding. So here salt retards the yeast.
- Instead of using tap water, use bottled water. This will soften your bread and will not kill the yeast that is needed to raise the bread.
- If you want a dark and shiny crust then you can brush loaves with milk.
- You can brush loaves with egg white for getting a shiny crust too.
- If you want a crispy crust then spray loaves with water while it’s being baked.
- After taking the bread out of the oven, brush loaves with butter to produce a soft crust.
Some Common FAQs
- Can you make the dough without a mixer?
If you don’t have a mixer then you’ve to knead it for a bit longer time. It is very easy but a bit more work.
After kneading it’ll develop an elastic nature. Keep it in a rest position for 10 minutes and then divide it into parts you want.
- Instant or active dry yeast?
If you use instant yeast then the benefit of it is you can directly add it to your dry ingredients. But if you use active yeast then you need to dissolve it first in warm water before mixing it with other ingredients.
- What kind of bread pan should you use?
It is usually preferred to use either aluminized steel or ceramic pans for simple bread recipe. These type of pans will bake the bread evenly and release it easily after baking.
Do not use glass pans as the bread sinks too often using it. Also, try not to use the non-stick pans too. In this case, the bread is cooked unevenly. It darkens the crust before the bread is fully cooked inside. So it’s more likely to be burnt.
- How long should you knead?
Kneading the dough helps to maintain the flavor and texture of the homemade bread. Kneading for around 7 minutes will give you the best result. But make sure you do not overwork the dough.
- Can weather affect your ingredients?
The answer is yes. If you live in a moist environment then you’ll need ¼ or ½ cup of flour for baking bread. It will also get sticky easily but can be still manageable. Try not to add too much flour to it as it will make your bread denser.
- Can temperature affect your bread to rise?
If you live in a cool place then it will take a longer time to rise. Especially in winter, this condition is seen. You can turn the oven on for a few minutes and turn it off and place the bowl of dough inside the oven to rise easily. It will trap the heat and will create the perfect atmosphere to raise the dough.
Baking is easy and fun but baking the perfect homemade bread isn’t that easy. However, this simple and easy bread recipe will help you a lot. Your dedication towards baking and your practice will gradually result in perfecting your bond with the bread you bake.