This is a basic white bread that rises high and fluffy, yet is not so fluffy that it falls apart under a sandwich. The recipe calls for half a packet of yeast (1 1/8 teaspoon) and makes standard size loaf.
Here’s a photo of the cross-section. The bread rose a little too high over the edge of the pan because it was baked in an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. A 9×5 inch loaf pan should give you a more uniform crumb.
Bring on the peanut butter and jelly! Or maybe the bacon. Basic White Bread is the one you want if you just want something tasty that works well with sandwiches.
I’ve added some gram measurements. My usual weight for 1 cup of all-purpose flour is about 4.5 oz/127 grams, but my bread flour is now coming in at 5 oz/140 grams per cup so I used about 420 grams of flour in this last batch. The dough seemed a little dry with 420 and needed a splash of water, so I recommend using 380 grams as the target weight.
Active Dry Yeast in Flour Mixture
This recipe is a little different in that it has you add active dry yeast directly to the flour mixture rather than proof it in the liquid. If you have any doubts about the freshness of your yeast, you can proof it in the liquid. To proof it, let the water/milk mixture cool to 105 degrees instead of 125 and add the yeast directly to it. Let it stand until foamy (5 to 10 minutes) and then add the mixture to the flour mixture. If you are confident your yeast is fresh, just add it to the flour mixture as per the directions.
Basic White Bread Without a Bread Machine
- 3/4 cup water (170 grams)
- 1/4 cup milk (56 grams)
- 5 teaspoons of unsalted butter
- 3 to 3 ½ cups bread flour (all-purpose okay too) (380-420 grams)
- 5 teaspoons of granulated sugar (21 grams)
- 1 1/8 teaspoon salt Morton Kosher**
- 1 1/8 teaspoon of yeast half a packet active dry yeast
- In a microwave-safe liquid measuring cup, combine the water, milk and butter. Microwave for 1 minute, and then stick a thermometer in the mixture. It should be about 125 degrees or hotter. If it’s hotter, let it cool down to about 125 degrees.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1 cup of the flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Gradually add the 125 degree liquid mixture to the flour mixture and stir well. Add remaining flour 1 cup at a time until you have a dough that is not too dry, nor too sticky.
- Attach the dough hook to the mixer and knead with the mixer for about 8 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Rub a second bowl with butter. Put the dough in the greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. Press it down and pat it into a rectangle. Roll into a cylinder and put the cylinder in a greased and floured 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pan.
- Put the loaf pan in a warm place and let it rise for 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 45 minutes or until loaf is browned and feels hollow when tapped. Let cool completely, then remove from the pan and slice.
I can’t get bread flour here so I used regular and got a smaller loaf. Still, I loved the buttery taste and it sliced beautifully. I was surprised to get that nice texture without the use of an egg in the recipe. Thanks for sharing this.
This is like a no-knead recipe I have other than the punching down. It looks delicious. How do you keep from eating the whole loaf right out of the oven???
Anna, thanks for the reply. I liked the open texture of the top of the loaf. I use a bread machine and I make a very wet dough so that I will get the large holes, I like it that way
It wasn’t really that noticeable in the actual bread, but you can see it in the photo. I guess the dough on the bottom had less room to expand, while the dough on the top was able to rise more freely and air bubbles got bigger. It wasn’t an issue for us, but it reminded me of the existence of those covered loaf pans they sell at Williams Sonoma called Pullman Loaf Pans which make a perfectly square loaf. Using something like that might help make a really dense, even, crumb.
Looks like a really wonderful loaf of bread. I wonder why the botton looks more dense than the top of the loaf (less air bubbles)
I don’t have a bread machine, so this is perfect for me!
Allie, thanks for the tip! I think I have that recipe somewhere and will give it a try.
Have you tried the America’s Test Kitchen American sandwich loaf? It’s WONDERFUL – and 2 hours from start to finish with no bread machine.
The finished loaf looks beautiful – I bet it would be delicious in French toast.