There is no great secret in how to make bread — you simply need to have a little time and the desire to do it. You don’t need a bread maker or a bread machine. It’s simple to make and a healthy addition to any meal. This basic bread recipe will make one loaf of delicious white bread. You may want to plan on doubling the recipe, though, because once the smell of baking bread permeates your home, there won’t be much left of a single loaf. Dissolve your yeast in 2 tablespoons of warm — not hot — water and a pinch of sugar to make sure your yeast is active before you begin. If the yeast begins to bubble, it is active and your bread will rise.
Things You'll Need
Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and the salt.
Combine the yeast mixture with milk and water in a separate bowl. Let sit for 2 to 3 minutes, letting the yeast bubble. You will see a foam form on the top of the liquid.
Gently stir the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients in the larger bowl with a large spoon or a heavy duty mixer. Blend the ingredients well until it becomes a smooth dough. Don’t rush this step.
Sprinkle some flour on your hands and onto a flat surface. Place dough on floured surface. Knead the dough into a ball with your hands. Kneading should be gentle but forceful. It takes some muscle, but shouldn’t involve slamming or hitting the dough. Only knead for as long as it takes to get the dough into a ball.
Cover the dough with a clean dish towel and let it sit in a warm — not hot — place for 15 minutes.
Sprinkle some more flour on your flat surface and knead the dough for 10 minutes.
Form the dough into a loaf and place it into a greased 5-by-10-inch bread pan.
Let the dough sit for 1 hour, again in a warm but not hot place.
Bake for 40 minutes at 375 degrees in a preheated oven.
Remove the loaf from the pan and let it cool for at least 10 minutes before you start slicing.
After you’ve made this a few times, you’ll see that the actual time you spend in the kitchen is very little, but you do need to plan for the time needed for the dough to rise.
You can use bread flour or all-purpose flour to make this bread.
A bread board is the best kneading surface, but a clean countertop will do in a pinch if it is sprinkled with flour.
It’s important that you knead the bread for the full 10 minutes, but admittedly, it can be an incredibly long 10 minutes if you are not used to kneading bread. The first time you bake bread it’s best to set the timer so you can pace yourself.
References and ResourcesReluctant Gourmet: Basic Bread Recipe
All Recipes: How to Proof Yeast
The Kitchn: Baking Lessons: How to Proof Yeast