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My Favorite White Bread Recipe [+Video]

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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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.

White Bread

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Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 42
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

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

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.
  • 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.
  • 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 stir 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.
  • 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

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 Facts
White Bread
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 145 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 9mg3%
Sodium 521mg23%
Potassium 63mg2%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 69IU1%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 31mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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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.

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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2 comments

  • Ok this looks delicious and I can’t wait to try it! Always looking for a great white bread recipe. Quick question- if the recipe calls for instant yeast, why does it need to be dissolved in the warm milk? Also have you ever added any wheat flour to this recipe? Would adding a little fresh ground flour ruin the yumminess?? I’m always trying to sneak in a little fresh ground flour to my baked goods. But I also believe in just indulging in the goodness of white bread sometimes. 😊

    • Reply
    • Hi Kelsey! I’ve found the warm milk just makes for the best and fluffiest bread. It’s not necessarily just for activating the yeast. I’ve never tried using any other flours in it, so I can’t comment on that. It’s worth experimenting with though for sure!

      • Reply

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