Stop going through so much expensive bread from the store and learn how to bake bread! Save loads of money and feel good about what you're feeding your family. Plus, we have an easy bread recipe that pretty much anybody can make!
If you know me, you know I HATE to bake. And I'm terrible at it. Don't run! I may not be the best baker, but I'm about to teach you how to bake bread…and will hopefully blow your mind with how EASY this recipe is! All you need is a few ingredients and about 15 minutes to toss it together, and you're set.
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When we started the Shelf Cooking challenge a few years ago, I started to look for ways that I could utilize my pantry items more. We go through bread like crazy in the Page household, and I wondered if I could start making my bread at home. And guess what?! I have found the best, most delicious, easy bread recipe ever! We make it with simple white flour to cut and use for toast and sandwich bread, but you could make it with wheat if you'd prefer. I found this recipe from The Food Nanny and adapted it. Liz is a friend of mine and is the sweetest lady around! And boy, she knows her bread! Hopefully you love it as much as we do.
Check out how to make bread online HERE or click and watch below:
Sounds pretty easy, right? Now that you know how to bake bread, stop dawdling and get to it! 😉 Here's a little refresher that will have you going from yeast to bread in no time.
PRODUCTS NEEDED TO MAKE BREAD
Before you can bake your delicious bread, you'll need a few items to get started:
- Dough Hook – If you're using a KitchenAid mixer, then be sure to find one that fits your specific model! However, you don't have to use a mixer at all, you could just get a large mixing bowl and mix it all by hand. The bread maker is also king, obviously. Use what you've got! (NOTE: We do NOT recommend baking your bread in a bread maker as we feel that it always comes out with the texture of a rock. However, we DO suggest using it to mix, proof, and rise your bread if you have one!)
- Rectangle Loaf Pans – You can use any type of bread loaf pan, but the metal rectangles are my favorite.
- Cooling Rack – Your bread will need to be able to cool completely before you can put it away.
- Clear Bread Bags – If you're making a large loaf of bread, then these bread bags are the bomb! A large loaf of bread won't fit in a food storage bag, so this is your best option for keeping it fresh if you're not going to eat it all right away. (I wouldn't blame you if you did eat it all at once, though, it's that good!)
Alright, moving on to…
TIPS TO MAKE THE BEST BREAD
As you noticed in the video, this really is such an easy bread recipe. The hardest part is probably figuring out how much flour to use. Just follow these few tips and you'll be a pro in no time!
Start off by mixing the bread dough with the regular mixer attachment. Once the dough is starting to form, switch to the dough hook. (For me, that's usually between 5 and 6 cups of flour.) Continue adding flour in ¼ cup increments until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Once that happens, allow it to knead for 6 minutes in the mixer (or do it by hand).
While your bread is kneading, grease your metal pans with shortening. It's easiest to do this by greasing it with a sandwich bag on your hand. You can thank me later (in the form of your fresh-baked bread, of course) for this handy little hack that keeps your hand from getting greasy! 😉
Once you hit 6 minutes, take it out of the bowl and knead by hand a few times. Then, split the dough in half, knead a few more times, and shape into loaf shapes.
WHERE TO LET YOUR BREAD RISE
After your dough is in its new loaf home, it needs to be covered with a dish towel and put somewhere warm to rise until it's doubled. I like to turn the oven on to 350°F for about a minute, then turn it off and put the covered bread in there so that it's in a warm environment. Don't leave the oven on and walk away because you're not baking it yet, just getting those loaves to rise!
EASY BREAD RECIPE
If you've been looking for a homemade bread recipe that's easy, then this is it! It's basically fool-proof. If someone who doesn't like to bake and isn't that good at it (*raises hand shamelessly*) can make this bread, then so can you!
Easy, Homemade Bread Recipe
- 2 ½ cups Milk
- ¼ cup Butter
- ⅓ cup Honey
- 2 ½ tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1 Egg, beaten
- 2 tsp Salt
- 5-7 cups All-Purpose Flour
- Heat the milk, butter and honey in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Stir and heat for another 45 seconds. Cool liquids down to luke warm if they're too hot.
- Pour the milk mixture into a large bowl or in a heavy duty mixer. Add the yeast, egg, salt and enough flour to stir together to make a moderately stiff dough. Knead for about 6 minutes by hand or in a bread mixer.
- Generously grease two bread pans. If you use the rectangle pans I use, you need to grease with Crisco!
- Form dough into 2 loaves and place in pans. Cover with a dishtowel. Let dough rise until doubled.
- Bake at 350°F for 30 to 35 minutes on the middle rack, until browned on top. Enjoy!
Easy peasy, lemon squeezy. Start this bread in the afternoon and you'll have some delicious bread to eat with dinner. I love to pair it with baked potato soup, butternut squash soup, or my favorite build your own soup where you basically throw everything that you own that's going bad into a soup and it turns into the most delicious thing EVER.
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Oh and PS! If you haven't made this bread already, just wait! When you do make homemade bread, something magical happens. The smell of baking bread makes your whole house feel warm and fresh. You'll have kids and husbands coming to you and asking what that absolutely amazing smell is… you'll pretty much be a new kind of hero! Sounds appealing, right? I challenge you to give this bread-baking thing a try!
Now that you know how to make bread, give it a try and let me know how it goes in the comments!
Check out these great ideas to use your delicious homemade bread in:
- Use it to make freezer PB&J sandwiches… Basically the best lunch hack, ever!
- Kids can't take peanut butter to school? No worries? Use the bread to whip up some make-ahead freezer meat and cheese sandwiches that are perfect for school lunches!
- Baked Italian sandwiches are another great way to use up bread that's starting to go stale.
- If your bread is really stale, then make it into bread crumbs! It's super easy and they'll last pretty much forever in your freezer.