This easy bread recipe is our “go to” for sandwich bread, buns and more – even monkey bread. My kids started making it when they were in their tweens. Now they can make (almost) as good as their mom. There's nothing like the aroma of fresh baked bread, and this is one recipe that's turned out perfect every time.
Easy Bread Recipe Tips
Choose the Right Flour – For making bread, use bread flour for the best rise.
This recipe is more forgiving than most, and all purpose flour will work if that's what you have on hand. I like Gold N White organic if I'm using “off the shelf” flour. Sometimes I use half organic bread flour and half fresh ground hard white winter wheat. You can use 100% fresh ground whole wheat, but the dough will be heavier. I prefer organic flour to avoid glyphosate residue.
Use Warm Ingredients – Your water should be “bath water” warm – not boiling hot. Boiling water will kill the yeast. Room temperature ingredients in a warm kitchen work best. If the dough is cold, it won't rise well.
It's okay to substitute honey. If you want to substitute honey for the granulated sugar, that's fine. You may need to add a little extra flour, and your dough will be more sticky. You can reduce the sugar if you like, too. The bread doesn't taste particularly sweet, but I know some folks are reducing sugar.
It's okay to substitute other fats. Schmaltz works great in this recipe, as does melted lard. I'm not a fan of vegetable oils, but olive oil is fine if you enjoy the flavor.
Yeast Matters. Yeast bread needs fresh yeast, so make sure to check the date on your packet. If using active dry yeast, add the yeast to the warm water and allow it to warm and dissolve following the directions on yeast package before adding the rest of the ingredients.
For more tips, see “Troubleshooting Tips to Help You Make the Perfect Loaf of Bread“.
Easy Bread Recipe
This easy bread recipe is our “go to” for sandwich bread, buns and more – even monkey bread.
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Yield: 2 medium loaves 1x
- Category: Bread
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
- 1 egg plus enough warm water to equal 1 1/3 cups
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast/bread machine yeast or 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- Place all ingredients in mixer or bread machine and mix for 6-8 minutes, until ingredients are well mixed and gluten has had a chance to develop.
- If mixing by hand, blend all ingredients except flour. Add flour one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. (You may need to adjust the amount of flour based on humidity conditions.) When dough is stiff enough to mix by hand, dump onto a well-floured counter and knead for 5-10 minutes. Continue as below.
- Cover and let rise for 20 minutes. Punch down dough, let rise until double in size.
- Divide dough into desired number of buns and loaves and shape accordingly. Remember, the bread will rise again and double in size, so small buns will get much larger.
- Cover with a clean dish cloth and place in a warm location until buns double in size. Preheat oven to 375 °F for buns or 350 °F for bread while the dough is rising.
- Bake buns around 15 minutes at 375 °F, until lightly browned. Bake bread at 350 °F for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Cool on wire rack before slicing.
If using active dry yeast, add the yeast to the warm water and allow it to warm and dissolve following the directions on yeast package before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Keywords: easy, sandwich bread, loaves, yeast bread
My Favorite Bread Baking Tools
When mixing up this easy bread recipe, I suggest either a large mixing bowl and a sturdy wooden spoon to mix by hand, or a solidly built stand mixer like the KitchenAid or Bosch Universal Stand Mixer. A six quart KitchenAid handles a single batch. The Bosch can handle a double or triple batch.
For buns, I like stainless steel baking sheets, and line them with reusable parchment paper as needed. The reusable parchment paper works so much better than silicone baking mats. It doesn't get stinky and tacky like silicone.
My preferred cooling rack is a 16×20 inch with a grid pattern, because it's large enough to hold a double batch of bread, but the grid pattern keeps small cookies and such from falling through.
More Easy Bread Recipes
We bake all our breads from scratch. (Once you're used to homemade bread, it's tough to eat the store stuff!)
You can find some of our favorites on the site in the Bread Recipe Roundup, or you can find all of those plus several more in my book, “Never Buy Bread Again – The Bread Book for Beginning Bakers“.
The book also includes:
- Quick breads such as buttermilk biscuits, corn bread and pancakes
- Gluten free breads
- How to Make a Sourdough Starter and Basic Sourdough Bread
- Holiday and special occasion breads, like fruit filled kolache, Polish doughnuts and pretzel bread
- How to store and freeze breads (before and after baking) for best quality
- Tips for adjusting bread recipes for high altitude baking
- Fun bread “go alongs” like flavored butters and cheese fondue
- Recipes to make with leftover bread
It's available in ebook and print format. (Get a free e-book copy with the purchase of every print copy to share with a friend.)
We hope you've enjoyed this recipe. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below, and thanks for visiting. (Subscribers may recognize this recipe from the bread recipe and troubleshooting guide included with your subscription.)