Nothing Tastes Better Than Homemade Bread
Right Out of the Oven
Have you ever wanted to make the perfect loaf of homemade bread and just weren’t sure what recipe to use or how to do it? Then you’ve come to the right place. Let’s start out with the easiest, most tasty bread recipe that will make you look like a seasoned baker on your first try. Be sure to write this recipe on our recipe cards and store in our wooden recipe box!
2 cups warm water ½ cup evaporated milk
2 ½ tsp active dry yeast 5-7 cups bread flour (white or wheat will also work)
1 ½ tsp sugar 1 Tbsp of butter or shortening
1 Tbsp salt 1 Tablespoon of butter, melted
¼ cup sugar
- Place the yeast and sugar in a bowl. Pour the warm water (be sure it’s not too hot) over the mixture and let it sit for 10 minutes or so. It should get nice and bubbly.
- Combine melted butter, sugar, evaporated milk, and salt into a large mixing bowl. After the yeast mixture is ready, add it to the larger bowl mixture and mix together.
- If you have a stand mixer, use the dough hook and add in 3 cups of the flour. If not, stir and knead it together. Once this is well incorporated, continue to add one cup of flour at a time. Once you have added 5 cups of flour to the bowl, add in ½ cup of flour at a time until the dough no longer sticks to the side of the bowl. Your fingers will no longer stick to the dough either.
- Get a second large mixing bowl and cover the sides of the bowl and ball of dough with shortening (or butter) and cover the bowl with a warm towel. Allow it to rise so that it is doubled in size (about 1 ½ hours). Punch it down and place on a floured surface.
- Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes on the floured surface.
- Cut the dough in half and roll them into rectangles (roll the dough and then tuck the ends under). Place the dough into two greased bread pans.
- Let the bread rise again until it looks like a good loaf of bread. Place in an oven preheated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes. When the bread is done, coat the top with butter and remove from the pan to a cooling rack. Enjoy!
Tips for Making the Perfect Loaf of Bread
Now that you have the perfect recipe, you may need just a few more tips for getting that loaf of bread just right. Here are a few tips for making homemade bread.
- Give the yeast plenty of time to bubble up.
- Keep adding a little bit of flour at a time until the dough doesn’t stick to the sides of the bowl or your hands. It should still be soft.
- When letting the dough rise, cover it with a warm towel and sit by a window in the sunshine. If the dough is still struggling to rise, turn the oven to 100 degrees Fahrenheit and then turn it off. Place the bowl inside the oven and let it rise there.
- Be sure the dough doubles in size before touching it the first time.
- When the dough has doubled, punch it down and then press down to remove any air bubbles.
- When letting the dough rise in the pans, cover them with a sheet of cling wrap that has been buttered or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Storing Your Homemade Bread
The first thing you need to know when it comes to storing homemade bread is that you need to let it cool completely before attempting to store it. To maintain the freshness of a crusty loaf of bread, store them at room temperature unwrapped. After it has been sliced, place the breads in closed paper bags. If your loaf is soft instead of crusty, store it in an airtight plastic bag or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap then store at room temperature. For a pretty place to store your bread, give our bread box a try! If you want more information on the science behind why a bread bin or bread box is a good idea for fresh bread storage, check out this blog post we did a while back!
Homemade bread doesn’t have preservatives like store-bought bread, so it will only stay fresh for a short period of time. Bread can be placed in the refrigerator to prevent molding, but it usually results in the bread drying out more quickly. If your bread loses its freshness, consider using it for bread pudding, croutons, or bread crumbs.
Bread can also be kept in the freezer. Simply wrap it in plastic wrap and then place in a Ziploc bag. When you are ready to use it, let it thaw at room temperature, partially unwrapped, to allow moisture to escape. Bread should not be glazed or frosted before freezing and should be used within 6 to 8 weeks of being frozen.