Basic Homemade Bread
Homemade bread is surprisingly easy to make and the results are mouth-watering. This basic recipe calls for salt, sugar, yeast, flour and oil. That’s it, no preservatives or other products added in. This is similar to a recipe that my grandmother used for 40 years. She would often use whole wheat flour if she had read an article about the health benefits of whole wheat but she usually went back to basic all purpose white flour. The aroma will grab you and serving this bread warm with butter and jam is a truly decadent treat! I always use my stand mixer and the dough hook, it makes things so much easier.
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 2-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 6-1/4 to 6-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough in half. Shape each into a loaf. Place in 2 greased 9×5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, 30-45 minutes.
- Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
You can substitute different types of flour depending on your preferences. Whole wheat flour will give you a slightly heavier bread and it’s shelf life may be shorter. Blending all purpose and whole wheat flours together will give you a light loaf of bread. Bread flour (it will be labeled as such so watch the packaging) is heavier and will give you a heavier, denser dough. I don’t like to use it except maybe for pizza dough. Avoid self-rising flour if at all possible. You can’t control the salt and yeast in the portion of flour that you are using so you have not control over how well the bread will rise.
Now, isn’t this a simple recipe? Bakers everywhere will tell you that baking bread can be one of the most satisfying baking experiences that you will ever experience.