Basic White Bread

White Bread
White Bread. Ross Durant Photography/Photolibrary/Getty Images
    80 min

There's nothing quite like the aroma of freshly baked bread. This basic white bread recipe is a great everyday bread to bake.

As you add more flour to the dough, you may use your stand mixer with dough hook attachment to knead the bread.

"This bread had rave reviews from my family, and I loved it as well. Easy to do and great tasting we had to have a bite as soon as it was out of the oven!" — Katie

What You'll Need

  • 6 to 7 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons shortening
  • 2 packages quick acting or instant active dry yeast
  • 2 1/4 cups warmed to 110 F

How to Make It

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 1/2 cups of flour with sugar, salt, shortening and yeast. Add the warm milk and beat by hand or with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer for about 1 minute.
  2. Stir in enough of the remaining flour, a cup or so at a time, until dough is easy to handle.
  3. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface.
  4. Knead, adding more flour as necessary to keep it from sticking, until smooth and elastic, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  5. Place the dough in a large buttered mixing bowl. Turn dough over so greased side is up. Cover with a clean dish towel and let it rise in a warm place, out of drafts, for about 1 hour, or until doubled. When the dough is touched, an indentation will remain.
  6. Punch dough down and divide into two equal portions. Flatten each half with hands or rolling pins into a rectangle about 18x10 inches. Starting at 10-inch edge, roll dough tightly; pinch the long seam together. With sides of hands, press each end of loaf; fold ends under loaf. Place loaves, seam side down, in loaf pans (approximately 9 x 5 x 3-inch). Brush each loaf lightly with butter. Cover loosely with clean dish towels and let rise until double, about 35 to 50 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 425 F. Bake loaves on a low rack, so tops of pans are at the center of the oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Bread will sound hollow when lightly tapped.

Makes 2 loaves.

Expert Tips

  • If you wonder if your yeast dough has been kneaded enough, use the windowpane test. Pull a piece of the kneaded dough apart with both hands. It should stretch without tearing, and will have a nearly translucent "windowpane."

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