White Bread is one of the greatest childhood comforts. Our white bread recipe will take you straight back as you sink your teeth into a soft and fluffy slice.

A loaf of homemade white bread that has a slice removed. It is soft, and white inside and the top is golden brown. The bread is on a wire cooking rack.

Best Bread Recipe

My mom has always made the best bread in the whole world. But this isn’t her recipe.

I know! I know!

My Mom Taught Me

I’ll add hers to the site, but I needed just this once to create a bread recipe on my own. I still have her with me as I make it though. I can see her long, thin fingers (I just know she’s going to whop me on my head with her hand, the one with her ring on it, just for saying that, haha, Mom, they are pretty, not witch-like!) kneading the dough.

She’d do that in church, you know, if us kids weren’t being quiet and she still swears she never did. 😏

Us kids have teased her about it for so many years that I’m not sure we all know if it really was true or not. Let it be known, there’s no one more sweet and gentle than my mom. She didn’t get mad growing up, though she did at times feel disappointed like when my siblings dumped a huge gallon of cooking oil all over the brand new carpet the week we moved into our new house, and now we all know she locked herself in the bedroom and called her best friend, Peggy to talk her down from the anger.

The Ol’ Toilet Seat Routine

Mom was more likely to do silly things like turn an old toilet seat into a guitar and sing silly songs while camping, and simultaneously nurse a baby bird back to health with the tiniest dropper.

She’s the one kneading that dough, palm down and dough smoothly spreading across the palm of her hand and with one swoosh and a fold of her wrist she was pressing it out in a new direction. Over and over, small particles of flour dust rising and falling like the very breath of the bread. It was alive, she was creating it, and I was mesmerized. 

Two loaves of homemade white bread on a wire cooking rack. There are two bread plates, butter and strawberry jam next to the bread.

How to Knead Bread

What does kneading do?  🤔

When you mix flour and water together, the proteins (or think of them as threads in the flour) combine to form a gluten network, kind of like a spider making a web that will hold her up. Every push and fold of the dough creates a new line on the web making it stronger. This web-like structure is what gives bread dough the strength and elasticity to grow fluffy, soft, and chewy when baked. If you don’t knead, Charlotte’s web has holes in it and when you pick up a slice it will crumble and fall.

  • Every dough is different. Some doughs need to have the gluten worked more than others. For example, the pizza dough you’ll learn will rest a little and be kneaded a little, while other doughs will have the bread kneaded like a massage, over and over until the dough becomes soft, silky, and perfect for a squishy loaf of bread. Hey…. did you ever squish and roll your white bread into a ball growing up? Gags me a bit just to say that, but my 7-year-old self was all over it. 

Grab one side of the dough, fold the dough in half towards you, try pretending it’s a PB&J sandwich and you’re folding the bread over to eat it. With the heel of your hand, push the dough down and away from you, in a smooth, rolling motion. Continue kneading until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky.

How to Let White Bread Properly Rise

Remember how we watched the yeast get all fluffy and bubbly in the water? Well, that’s what is happening when you let the dough rise, the yeast is busy eating and eating the sugars and making the dough rise, and rise, puffier and puffier just like the hungry, hungry caterpillar. If it doesn’t rise it’s just a pancake, but rising creates that tall loaf of bread that you just have to cut into asap!

White bread is going to have 2 rises. The first rise will be after you mix the dough together and it is left to rise for 1 hour in the bowl. The second rise is after you have shaped the loaves. This time it needs to rise until doubled in size. Which could be and 1 or more if needed.

How To Make Our White Bread Recipe

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, add the milk and cook until just starting to foam around the edges and is warmed. Do not boil. Once the milk is warm, gently place the butter, water, sugar, and honey in the pan and stir until the butter has melted and then allow to cool to lukewarm.
  • Once the milk has cooled, sprinkle the yeast and stir to combine. Dump into a standing mixer and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes or until foamy.
  • Pour the oil, salt, evaporated milk, and egg and to the milk and yeast mixture and store to combine.
  • Add in 8 cups of flour and using a dough hook attachment, mix the dough until it begins coming together. Carefully pour in a cup of flour more until the dough is coming together in a ball around the hook.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with a cloth to rise for 1 hour or until doubled.

How to Shape White Bread into Loaves

  • Once the dough has risen for an hour and doubled in size, heavily sprinkle flour on your work surface and turn the dough out on top. Flip it over so all of the dough has flour on it and isn’t sticky.
  • Divide the dough into 3 equally sized pieces. Shape the loaves by pressing each into a rectangle and starting at the short end, roll the dough into a log the same as the pan size. Allow to rise for the second time until doubled.
Three loaves of fresh baked, homemade white bread, sitting on a wire cooling rack. There are two bread plates, a dish of butter, and a small container of strawberry jam next to the bread.

How Long Does White Bread Take to Bake?

Once the loaves have been shaped and risen doubly in size, bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

After they are finished baking, remove from the oven and gently rub butter all over the tops.

What Are The Best Bread Loaf Pans?

My favorite loaf pan is the USA brand. They are 8.5″ x 4.5″, stainless steel and bake evenly every time!

How Do I Store Leftover White Bread?

Store in plastic wrap or bread bags for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.

A loaf of homemade white bread with three slices that have been cut. The bread is golden brown on top. It is on a wire cooling rack.

Is White Bread Bad For You?

White bread isn’t necessarily bad for you, but consuming too much bread of any kind can be unhealthy.

What Is The Healthiest Bread To Eat?

Whole-grain bread is the healthiest bread to eat.

What Is The Difference Between Instant Yeast And Active Dry Yeast?

Active dry yeast needs to be dissolved in water before adding to the other ingredients.

Instant yeast can be added directly into the dry ingredients.

What Can You Substitute For Sea Salt?

The best substitute for sea salt is Kosher salt.

Pink Himalayan salt would be the second choice, and iodized table salt could be used if you don’t have one of the others.

What Can You Substitute For Evaporated Milk?

You could substitute evaporated milk with a combination of whole milk and half-and-half.

For 1 cup of evaporated milk, use 3/4 cup whole milk and 1/4 cup half-and-half.

In a pinch, you can even use plain milk.

It won’t have as much milk fat as evaporated milk, but it will work.

Should Bread Be Kept In The Refrigerator?

You should never keep your bread in the refrigerator.

Bread will become stale much faster in the refrigerator.

How to Make White Bread Video Tutorial

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White Bread

4.67 from 3 votes
Servings: 42
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Description

White Bread is one of the greatest childhood comforts. Our white bread recipe will take you straight back as you sink your teeth into a soft and fluffy slice.

Ingredients 

  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 1/4 Cup Butter
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Honey
  • 3 Tablespoons Yeast, instant
  • 1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Sea Salt, fine
  • 3/4 Cup Evaporated Milk
  • 1 Egg, large, whisked
  • 9-11 Cups All Purpose Flour, *see note

Instructions

  • In a saucepan over medium heat, add the milk and cook until just starting to foam around the edges and is warmed. Do not boil.
    2 Cups Milk
  • Gently place the butter, water, sugar, and honey in the pan and stir until the butter has melted and then allow to cool to luke warm.
    1/4 Cup Butter, 2 Cups Water, 1/4 Cup Sugar, 1/4 Cup Honey
  • Sprinkle the yeast and stir to combine. Dump into a standing mixer and allow to rest for 3-5 minutes or until foamy.
    3 Tablespoons Yeast
  • Pour the oil, salt, evaporated milk and egg and stir to combine.
    1/4 Cup Vegetable Oil, 3 Tablespoons Sea Salt, 3/4 Cup Evaporated Milk, 1 Egg
  • Add in 8 cups of flour and using a dough hook attachment, mix the dough until it begins coming together. 
    9-11 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • Carefully pour in a cup of flour more until the dough is coming together in a ball around the hook. *see note
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and cover with a cloth to rise for 1 hour or until doubled.
  • Heavily sprinkle flour on your work surface and turn the dough out.
  • Flip it over so all of the dough has flour on it and isn’t sticky.
  • Divide into 3 loaves.
  • Shape the loaves by pressing each into a rectangle and starting at the short end, roll the dough into a log the same as the pan size.
  • Allow to rise until doubled.
  • Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and gently rub butter all over the tops.
  • Store in plastic wrap or bread bags for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month.

Notes

  • If the dough is still sticky after adding 11 cups of flour, it is OK just scrape down the sides put a towel over it and let it rise. Then sprinkle flour over-the-counter top and on both sides of the dough. Even though it begins super sticky you’ll end up with a really silky dough. Adding too much flour will not let it be like Grandma Sycamore‘s Bread (Utah peeps, you know what I’m talking about!)
Store at room temperature, in plastic wrap or bread bags for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month. Do not store bread in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 145kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 4gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 521mgPotassium: 63mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 69IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 31mgIron: 1mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: Yeast Bread Recipes and Quick Bread Recipes
Cuisine: American

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A loaf of homemade white bread with three slices that have been cut. The bread is golden brown on top. It is on a wire cooling rack.