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the BEST Homemade Bread | simple recipe, tips, and tricks.

Are you a bread maker? ย  ย  ย  I. ย am. ย  not. ย ย  But, this simple and easy homemade bread with a wee bit of local honey is the very, bestest thing EVER to have with my coffee in the morning. The last week when we had the coldest temperatures in decades around these here partsย (yes, I truly just said that. In a Minnesotan accent, even!) snuggling up with warm bread, hot cocoa, and a latteย (with my homemade flavors!) was a memory-maker. Just saying. I’ve become a bread maker.

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This is my recipe. The most solid bread recipe I know of. It’s not the absolute simplest, this is true. But, this is the way my Grandma made it. And her Grandma. And so on and so forth. And all of that history, Grandma’s, and so forth’s make this old-fashioned, homemade bread the best. It just is. And, it is a very basic bread recipe. A good one for non bread maker’s like me. Perhaps for you, as well!

A few important tips about making homemade bread:

  1. Use fresh yeast. And to keep your yeast fresh after opening store it in the fridge! (I am ashamed to tell you I just learned that yeast had to be stored in the fridge. Hence the reason I’ve had failed bread until the last few years. *sigh*)
  2. When the recipe says to use warm…do it. The temperature makes a difference!
  3. If kneading by hand expect to get a work out. You need to put your muscle into it. If you are short, like me, a stool is sometimes helpful.
  4. Brushing the top of the dough with milk or a beaten egg before baking will give you a nice golden crust.
  5. Preheat your oven first. Don’t put the dough into a cold oven.
  6. You can tell if your bread has risen enough by pressing a couple fingers into it. If the indention remains…you are good.
  7. Slicing bread on it’s side will help it not become squished.

homemadebread2This is what your warm water and yeast will look like when you start. You’ll stir it a bit better than this. But…it will look a bit ooky and gross. Perfect!

homemadebread3When it comes time to let your dough rise…your recipe will tell you to use a warm place. I like to just put the bowl on top of a small amount of warm water in another dish and cover with a towel. Toasty warm dough! Don’t put it near a drafty window.

homemadebread4I like to cut a few slits into the top of my dough. You can see a pretty egg wash on the top of my bread. I even use a vintage glass loaf pan. Doing what my Grandma did. (That loaf pan makes the bread all that better, I swear!)

If you don’t have a loaf pan you can absolutely use a cookie sheet and make a “free form” loaf of homemade bread. You’ll want to bake it a bit less because it won’t be as thick. But, don’t fret about the loaf pan.

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Simple Homemade White Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 package dry yeast about 2 1/4 teaspoons
  • 1 cup warm water about 40 seconds in the microwave is perfect
  • 3 cups bread flour if you can't find this go ahead and use all-purpose
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp honey

Instructions

  1. Mix the honey and warm water together, add the yeast and stir until dissolved.

  2. Add 2 1/2 cups of the flour and the salt to the yeast mixture.
  3. Stir until you get a ball of dough. It will be soft.
  4. ---all of these parts are super handy to do if you have a mixer!
  5. Put the dough on a floured surface. Knead until smooth and stretchy (about 9 minutes) adding in the remaining flour so that the dough isn't sticky.
  6. ---if you have a mixer with a dough hook...use it here!
  7. Place the dough in a bowl sprayed with cooking spray or coated with oil.
  8. Put the bowl in a warm place and cover with a towel (or use my warm water in bowl method above :))
  9. Let rise until doubled in size. (about 45 minutes)
  10. Punch your down and then cover and wait 5 minutes.
  11. Shape the dough into your loaf.
  12. Place in loaf pan coated with spray, butter, shortening.
  13. Cover and let rise until doubled again (about 45 minutes)
  14. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C)

  15. Bake at 450 degrees for about 20 minutes.
  16. if you like...apply a egg or milk wash before baking.

Don’t be scared to try some of the old, favorites from the past! If you’ve never made homemade bread…try it! If you’ve never made your own latte…try it! Or if that’s intimidating, maybe start with Mexican coffee you can create with just some brewed goodness? ย With a piece of toffee, perhaps?

More bread recipes:

Banana Bread
Fruit-studded monkey bread
Parmesan Ranch Bread
Beer Bread Pudding
Tex-Mex Cornbread

Did you try making bread for the first time…let us know how it went!
Do you have additional tips and tricks for first-time bread makers to use…tell us and we’ll add them to the bottom of this post!

 

 

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30 Comments

  1. Kalypso
    November 9, 2017 / 10:51 am

    You need to add the honey in the directions. I had to read all the posts to get to the part with the honey in with the yeast.

    • Nellie
      Author
      November 10, 2017 / 10:58 am

      Thanks for the catch!! We recently updated our recipe formatting and a few places have gone wonky and not been included. Slowly, we are getting things fixed. Thanks for letting us know.

  2. Diane
    February 15, 2016 / 7:06 am

    My grandmother made bread that had a strong yeasty flavor and was kinda dense, I would really like to dupliclate #1 the taste and then #2 the texture. Does your recipe have either of these?

    • Nellie
      Author
      February 15, 2016 / 10:48 am

      No, not really. Part of that would be in how long the bread rises. The less rising, the denser the bread But, I don’t think this would be the recipe for you. Sorry about that!

  3. Colette
    March 1, 2015 / 4:26 pm

    Success at last! Looks good, tastes good – we are friends forever! The only question I have is where do you add the honey?? In the list of ingredients but not in the directions. I put a bit of sugar with my yeast, but I think the honey may give it a better taste. Is that where you add the honey? Also my dough was very dry – I added a tablespoon of warm water – it helped. I didn’t want to mess with the recipe too much. I will make this one again – and master it!

    • Nellie
      Author
      March 31, 2015 / 12:21 pm

      Colette, I’m sorry I’m so late in getting this answer to you. Big fail in the comment returns. Add the honey with the yeast. You are right!

  4. Colette
    March 1, 2015 / 7:06 am

    I have been trying to become a bread maker. I am going to make your recipe today and will let you know how it turns out. I have had 3 failed attempts – not actual failures with different recipes prior to this. You instructions are good and I am off to the kitchen to see how this goes today!

    • Nellie
      Author
      March 1, 2015 / 3:49 pm

      Oh dear. I surely hope you have success! I know the feeling of not having bread recipes quite work. But, when they do…it is so fantastic!! Please do report back. Hopefully with very, very good news!

  5. Dina
    November 2, 2014 / 4:45 pm

    Love this!!!!

  6. Katrina
    June 20, 2014 / 5:49 pm

    I just made this! So good! Your Grandma made bread like mine :)

  7. LINDA
    May 25, 2014 / 9:43 pm

    I LOVE THIS SITE!!!!! ABOUT TIME WE WENT BACK TO BASICS. SO HEALTHY AND NO PRESERVATIVES!!! I NEED MORE!!!!!!!!

    LINDA

    • May 26, 2014 / 10:26 am

      Thanks so much Linda! We agree, the fewer preservatives and GMOs, etc, the better.

  8. Misty Johnson
    March 5, 2014 / 4:19 pm

    Sorry.. when do you use the honey?

    • Anonymous
      March 29, 2014 / 9:17 am

      I found the answer in an older comment…

      miznelliebellie says
      January 22, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      Iโ€™m so glad you are going for it!! You add it when you mix the dry and wet (at least I do)

      • Misty Johnson
        April 6, 2014 / 1:10 pm

        Thank you!!

  9. Misty Johnson
    March 5, 2014 / 4:18 pm

    When you use the honey?

    • Anonymous
      November 2, 2014 / 8:34 pm

      you just use the honey on it because it tastes good

  10. freedom
    March 1, 2014 / 12:06 pm

    Can you use all purpose flour instead of bread flour, and can you use sugar instead of honey, if so how much? Love hot homemade bread and butter.

    • Erica
      April 4, 2014 / 9:31 am

      I also wanted to know if we can use all-purpose flour. I didn’t even know there was special bread flour <—-can you tell I'm not a breadmaker??

      • Nellie
        Author
        April 5, 2014 / 10:35 am

        We aren’t breadmaker’s either! But, if it’s simple and easy…we are all over it! Yes…try the all-purpose flour. It should do well for you. Let us know how awesome your homemade bread is!

  11. Shawna
    January 23, 2014 / 12:37 pm

    I made the bread this morning, and made the whipped butter to go with it. Oh my goodness, so good!! Thanks for the recipes!

  12. Jill
    January 22, 2014 / 1:53 pm

    I have always had a major fear of making my own bread but your post inspired me to just TRY it already. Two questions:
    1) when are you supposed to add the 1tsp of honey? Did I miss that in the instructions?
    2) my bread turned out a little dense and chewy. Did I do something wrong or do you have any tips on making it a bit softer and fluffier? Still tastes good and the whole loaf will be gone by tonight.

    Thanks again for motivating me!

    • January 22, 2014 / 2:17 pm

      I’m so glad you are going for it!! You add it when you mix the dry and wet (at least I do)
      Sometimes, your altitude can have something to do with it. But, I would let it rise a bit longer. The longer it rises the fluffier it gets :). Yum! Congrats on your bread!!

  13. Dollie
    January 21, 2014 / 9:22 pm

    Wonderful recipes.

  14. Bliss
    January 12, 2014 / 5:54 pm

    You know, if I think on it, I’m hard pressed to name something I like better than homemade bread all warm with butter.

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