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Basic Homemade Bread

If you'd like to learn how to bake bread, here's a wonderful place to start. This easy white bread recipe bakes up deliciously golden brown. There's nothing like the homemade aroma wafting through my kitchen as it bakes. —Sandra Anderson, New York, New York
  • Total Time
    Prep: 20 min. + rising Bake: 30 min.
  • Makes
    2 loaves (16 slices each)

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 2-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar plus 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 6-1/4 to 6-3/4 cups bread flour

Directions

  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in warm water; let stand until bubbles form on surface. Whisk together remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, salt and 3 cups flour. Stir oil into yeast mixture; pour into flour mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form a soft dough.
  • Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough in half. Shape each into a loaf. Place in 2 greased 9x5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
  • Bake at 375° until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped or has reached an internal temperature of 200°, 30-35 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Homemade Bread Tips

How do you use yeast?

Yeast can be tricky at first, but once you learn how to proof yeast, you should be all set. The trick is to make sure the water is not too hot. Don't go higher than about 110 degrees.

How do you knead bread?

Kneading bread is simple. Flour your worktop, then push, pull and stretch the dough until it's nice and smooth. When it's properly kneaded, the dough should be stretchy and smooth.

How do you proof bread?

Proofing bread allows the yeast to do its work to help the dough grow. To proof bread, place the bread in a greased bowl and let rest in a warm, humid environment until it doubles in size. If you're having trouble getting the dough to proof, use these proofing tricks.

How do you store homemade bread?

You can store homemade bread in a plastic bag or a bread box for maximum freshness. If you don't think you can finish it in a few days' time, you can also freeze bread. Just wrap it up in plastic and pop in the freezer. It'll keep for a few months. If your bread has gone a bit stale, you can always use it to make homemade croutons, French toast or bread pudding.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 102 calories, 1g fat (0 saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 222mg sodium, 20g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 1g fiber), 3g protein.