Easy Homemade Bread

Want to make amazing sandwich bread? This homemade bread is easy to make and very versatile: it works for sandwiches, toast, and more!

Homemade bread

Want a go-to easy homemade bread recipe? Here’s ours! This recipe works for just about anything. It’s perfect for sandwiches, making toast, or serving with soup. Even better, it really is easy compared to other breads you’ll bake. (It’s loads simpler than sourdough bread.) You don’t need specialized equipment, and it bakes right in a 9-inch loaf pan. It’s got a little whole wheat flour, oats, and seeds on the top for added nutrients and flavor. You’ll never need to buy bread again! We think you’re going to love it…because our family is obsessed.

A few variations? Go to Whole Wheat Bread and Vegan Sandwich Bread.

How to make homemade bread: an overview

Here’s the basic outline of what you’re getting yourself into with homemade bread. What’s the total time? Baking this homemade bread takes 2 1/2 to 3 hours total, then 1.5 hours to cool it. It’s a project you’ll want to save for days off of work like weekends. (Or if you’re feeling ambitious, start early on a weeknight.) Here are the basic steps:

Mix & knead the dough15 minutes active time
Proof 145 to 60 minutes, hands off
Shape10 minutes active time
Proof 240 to 50 minutes, hands off
Bake30 minutes, hands off
Cool90 minutes, hands off
Homemade bread in pan

Equipment list: what you need!

One of the great things about this homemade bread is that you need minimal equipment! Sourdough bread requires lots of specialized equipment, and our favorite artisan bread recipe requires a Dutch oven. But this one? You only really need a loaf pan! There are 2 items that are optional:

Required tools for homemade bread (really, only one thing!)

  1. 8 or 9-inch loaf pan
  2. Kitchen scale (optional) for measuring the ingredients by weight
  3. Instant read thermometer (optional) for measuring the internal temperature

Why use a kitchen scale when baking homemade bread? Weighing out ingredients is the most accurate way to measure flour. Its volume varies based on the environment! But for this homemade bread recipe, exact precision is not as important as something like sourdough. So you can get away with cup measures!

Why use an instant read thermometer? Reading the bread’s internal temperature is the best way to determine whether the bread is fully baked. But you can get away with baking without it! Just judge whether the top is nicely golden brown.

Easy homemade bread recipe

What’s in this homemade bread?

This homemade bread recipe is technically a white bread, but Alex and I wanted to infuse it with more nutrients and flavor. So it’s also got whole wheat flour and oats in the bread dough! This adds great flavor and helps to make it more filling. You can also add optional seeds to the top to get a nice contrasting texture.

  • Whole wheat flour and all purpose flour
  • Oats
  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Maple syrup
  • Yeast
  • Optional seed topping: poppy seeds, sunflower seeds
Homemade bread

What is proofing bread?

This homemade bread recipe calls for two proofs. If you don’t watch the Great British Baking Show like we do, you might wonder: What is proofing? Proofing is letting the bread dough rest so that it rises. This creates the desired fluffy texture of the bread (also called the crumb).

What temperature should bread be proofed at?

  • Warm place: For best results, the proofing temperature should be between 80°F and 90°F. Many ovens have a proofing setting you can use for this step. (Just don’t forget about your proofing bread and accidentally turn on the oven to make something else!)
  • Room temperature: With this homemade bread, you can also proof at room temperature. The proofing temperature for sourdough bread is much more important since it’s a little more touchy. The bread can be proofed at either temperature.

How to store homemade bread

Another important thing about homemade bread is storage instructions! Because it doesn’t have preservatives like store-bought bread, the storage will be different than you might expect. Alex and I were thrilled when we tested this bread and it held up very well with both methods.

  • Room temperature: Store the bread at room temperature wrapped in plastic for 2 to 3 days
  • Refrigerator: Store refrigerated wrapped in plastic for up to 1 week (this bread stores refrigerated much better than an artisan loaf)
  • Freeze: Slice the bread into pieces, wrap in plastic, and it can freeze for 3 months
Toast with nut butter
This homemade bread is perfect with a slather of nut butter and drizzle of honey

Serving this bread!

This bread works wonderfully for so many things! Here’s what we like to use it for:

Make sure to check out our other Homemade Bread Recipes and top Baking Recipes You Should Know.

Homemade bread

This homemade bread recipe is…

Vegetarian. For vegan, go to Homemade Vegan Bread.

Print
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Homemade bread

Easy Homemade Bread


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (10 votes, average: 4.90 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf (12 to 14 slices) 1x

Description

Want to make sandwich bread? This homemade bread is easy to make and very versatile: it works for sandwiches, toast, and more!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (20 grams)
  • 1/2 cup milk (118 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (15 grams)
  • 3/4 cups warm water (177 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons instant or active dry yeast (8 grams)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (125 grams)
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour (280 grams)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (45 grams)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (8 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons seeds: sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds, etc (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the dough: In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Once melted, remove from the heat and stir in the milk so it is just warm.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the melted butter and milk with the maple syrup, warm water, and yeast and mix with a wooden spoon or dough whisk until just combined. In a separate bowl, stir together whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, oats and kosher salt. Add the flours and oats to the bowl and stir with the spoon until just combined. Turn the dough out onto a clean, lightly floured countertop and form the dough into a ball.
  3. Knead the dough: Knead the dough by pushing with the base of your palm, then reforming it into a ball. Continue kneading for 8 minutes until the dough feels pillowy and has a smooth, stretchy exterior. If the dough is very sticky, add a small amount of flour while kneading. Alternatively: attach the dough hook to a stand mixer and start the mixer on medium-low speed, then allow the mixer to knead for 8 minutes.
  4. Proof 1: Place the dough ball in a clean bowl and cover with a clean dish towel. Allow the dough to stand in a warm place (proof) until it rises to double in size, about 45 minutes to an 1 hour.
  5. Shape the dough: Once proofed, grease an 8 to 9-inch loaf pan. Turn the dough onto a counter and gently press the dough into a large rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. The short side of the rectangle should be about the width of the long edge of the loaf pan. Roll the dough into a log (the width of the loaf pan). Pinch the seams on the sides and bottom of the roll and then place it into the greased pan seam-side down. Gently press the dough to fill the bottom of the pan.
  6. Proof 2: Cover with a clean dish towel and allow to proof for 40 to 50 minutes until the dough doubles in size.
  7. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  8. Bake the bread: Once proofed, brush with the top of the loaf with water. If desired, sprinkle the seeds on the top. Bake 30 to 35 minutes. The bread is done when the top is golden brown and the inside of the bread reaches 190°F on an instant read thermometer. Remove the bread to a cooling on a rack and cool completely, at least 90 minutes. (However tempting, cutting the bread while warm will ruin its texture!)
  9. Serve (+ storage info): Slice the bread and serve. Store the bread at room temperature for 2 to 3 days wrapped in plastic, or refrigerator for up to a week. The bread can also be frozen, sliced into pieces and wrapped in plastic, for 3 months.

  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Bread

Keywords: Homemade Bread, Homemade Bread Recipe

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

12 Comments

  • Reply
    Karen
    January 27, 2020 at 1:55 pm

    Hi Sonja! I am planning on making this bread today…do you think almond milk would work instaed of regular milk?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      January 27, 2020 at 2:51 pm

      We think it will work, but we are testing later this week! Let us know if you try.

      • Reply
        Marcia Hunter
        April 27, 2020 at 4:00 pm

        H! I made this recipe twice using approx. 3:1 plain soy milk and regular cow’s milk half and half: perfect result both times. This is a great recipe with big rise and wonderful crumb and flavor!

        • Reply
          Alex Overhiser
          April 27, 2020 at 6:21 pm

          Good to know! Thank you for commenting.

  • Reply
    Vanessa
    January 28, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Can you mix the seeds throughout the bread before baking?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      January 28, 2020 at 2:12 pm

      Yes, that would work as well!

  • Reply
    Eleanor Robinson
    January 28, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    I just made the sourdough bread! My very 1st time ever making sourdough bread, it was so fun !! I was so excited I was up at 4:30am to get started. It turned out great BUT it was very hard to cut through the bottom of the bread. I tried very knife I had, very sharp, serrated and electric knife. The problem was only at the bottom. Any idea why or what I should do next time.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      January 28, 2020 at 6:06 pm

      Hi! Maybe knock down your initial temperature down to 475 instead of 515. My guess is that the dutch oven just got a little to hot. Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

  • Reply
    Laura S
    March 21, 2020 at 11:21 am

    I tried this last night and it turned out so great! I used the bread hook on my Kitchen Aid for the kneading. For the topping I used Trader Joes’s Everything but the Bagel. The hardest part was waiting for it to fully cool. I had a slice this morning with peanut butter and honey and it was so good! This bread will definitely be a weekly thing for me now.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      March 21, 2020 at 12:20 pm

      Awesome! We’ve been making it weekly as well — it’s so easy!

  • Reply
    Mridula
    October 17, 2020 at 4:19 am

    Hi Sonja and Alex, Thanks for this wonderful recipe. I baked this bread last evening; tried it out for breakfast. Perfect texture!! This was my first trial of this recipe and the bread came out amazing. No tweaking required. Thanks a ton 👍👍

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      October 17, 2020 at 11:02 am

      So glad you enjoyed it!

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