Ultimate Guide to Homemade Bread

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The Ultimate Guide to Homemade Bread starts with classic basic recipes, then covers all the common substitutions, guiding you to customize bread to your needs so you can create your own perfect loaf.

There may be no more inviting, comforting, homey taste on earth than homemade bread. It acts like a magnet for family and friends. Many of us have recipes we’ve tried ourselves or have been passed down through family and friends. But making bread is also a science. It involves a lot, and there are many possible variations. We’ve included some of them here. After making many loaves and trying many variations, we think our favorite recipe uses milk instead of water and requires very little kneading.

You will start by warming the milk in the microwave, then mixing it with all the other ingredients in the stand mixer, kneading until a ball of dough is formed. This only takes a few minutes. Prove the dough for 90 minutes in a greased bowl, then transfer to two greased loaf pans and proof for another 60 minutes before baking. You’ll learn that the hardest part of this recipe is waiting for the bread!

alternative guide

  • water and milk

    Milk changes bread recipes by producing softer bread due to the fat content in milk, which also gives bread a richer flavor. Bread made with milk tends to brown more than bread made with water because the lactose, or milk sugar, caramelizes when baked.

  • oil and butter

    Butter has a lower smoke point than oil, which means it will brown before oil when baked. While butter and oil are interchangeable in equal amounts when making bread, using butter does result in a better taste.

  • Honey vs. Sugar vs. Sugar Substitutes

    Honey and sugar are interchangeable. An equal amount of honey can be substituted for sugar. Sugar substitutes vary and usually come with substitution instructions and dosage. The type of sweetener you use when making bread can change the end result. Honey may add floral notes, depending on the source of the honey, while artificial sweeteners may add a metallic aftertaste.

  • Instant dry yeast vs active dry yeast

    This recipe calls for instant dry yeast that requires no proofing time. If you choose to use active dry yeast for this recipe, you can use the same amount and add the yeast to warm milk along with the sugar and let this mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes before proceeding with the recipe .

  • wheat and white

    Wheat flour is heavier and coarser than white flour and will make denser bread. You can use a combination of whole wheat, half wheat and half white flour, or use all white flour. The result is shown in the figure below.

Visual Difference Between Whole Wheat Bread and Whole White Bread
  • What if I don’t have a stand mixer? Can I make homemade bread by hand?

    You don’t need a stand mixer, you can knead this bread by hand. It’s manual work, but doesn’t require a lot of kneading. You just need to knead the dough until all the ingredients come together to form a smooth, elastic ball of dough that is slightly sticky to the touch.

  • Can I use this recipe in a bread machine?

    Yes. This recipe works great in the bread machine.

  • Should I use a glass loaf pan or a metal loaf pan? what is the difference?

    Glass and metal conduct heat differently, which means they toast differently. A glass loaf pan produces a softer, less crispy crust. Metal loaf pans, especially dark metal loaf pans, will produce a crispier dark brown crust. You can see the visual difference in the photos below, the loaf made in a metal pan on the left and the glass pan on the right.

Visual difference between metal and glass pans for baking bread

If you’re looking for more bread recipes, here are some of our favorites:

watch the video below Rachel will walk you through each step of this recipe. Sometimes the visuals help, and we always let you watch our cooking shows.You can find the complete collection of recipes YouTube, facebook watchor our facebook pageor provide a corresponding recipe on our website.

Homemade bread on a cutting board with some slices cut out.

The Ultimate Guide to Homemade Bread starts with classic basic recipes, then covers all the common substitutions, guiding you to customize bread to your needs so you can create your own perfect loaf.

Preparation time 15 minute

cooking time 40 minute

Rise Time 2 Hour 30 minute

total time 3 Hour 25 minute

raw material

  • 2 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon instant dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon Salt
  • 3 tablespoon melted butter
  • 5 1/2-6 cup all purpose flour

instruct

  • In a microwave-safe bowl or mug, heat milk until warm to the touch, 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer combine milk, sugar, yeast, salt, melted butter, and 5 cups flour. Knead on low setting 1 minute until combined, slowly increasing speed and adding remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time, until dough forms a smooth elastic ball that is soft and tacky, but not sticky.

  • Place dough balls in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise for 90 minutes, until doubled in size.

  • After 90 minutes, divide the dough into two equal parts. Roll or press each piece into a 9-inch by 7-inch rectangle. Roll each lengthwise into a tight roll and pinch the ends.

  • Transfer each loaf to a lightly greased 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan. Cover and ferment for another 60 minutes, until doubled in volume.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes, until golden brown.

  • Remove the bread from the oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove the bread from the pan and allow to cool completely.

notes

Substitution

  • water and milk

    Milk changes bread recipes by producing softer bread due to the fat content in milk, which also gives bread a richer flavor. Bread made with milk tends to brown more than bread made with water because the lactose, or milk sugar, caramelizes when baked.

  • oil and butter

    Butter has a lower smoke point than oil, which means it will brown before oil when baked. While butter and oil are interchangeable in equal amounts when making bread, using butter does result in a better taste.

  • Honey vs. Sugar vs. Sugar Substitutes

    Honey and sugar are interchangeable. An equal amount of honey can be substituted for sugar. Sugar substitutes vary and usually come with substitution instructions and dosages.

  • wheat and white

    Wheat flour is heavier and coarser than white flour and will make denser bread. You can use a combination of whole wheat, half wheat and half white flour, or use all white flour.

  • Instant dry yeast vs active dry yeast

    This recipe calls for instant dry yeast that requires no proofing time. If you choose to use active dry yeast for this recipe, you can use the same amount and add the yeast to warm milk along with the sugar and let this mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes before proceeding with the recipe .

Serve: 0.75Dimensions | Calories: 138kcal | carbohydrate: twenty fourG | protein: 4G | fat: 3G | Saturated fat: 1G | cholesterol: 6mg | sodium: 314mg | Potassium: 72mg | fiber: 1G | sugar: 2G | Vitamin A: 80unit | calcium: 31mg | iron: 1.4mg