Basic White Bread

Home-baked, crusty loaf of bread with knife, close-up
Peter Anderson / Getty Images
  • 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Prep: 2 hrs,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 2 Loaves
Ratings (5)

This is an excellent recipe for basic white bread. Not only does it taste great, it makes the whole house smell wonderful.

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New Orleans French Bread​

What You'll Need

  • 2 cups warm water, about 100 F to 110 F
  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 6 cups flour, more or less, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons softened butter

How to Make It

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water and yeast; stir and let stand for 5 minutes.
  2. Add 2 cups of the flour, sugar, and salt, and butter. With the mixer on low speed, beat until well blended.
  3. Continue beating at high speed for 3 minutes.
  4. Add 1/2 cup flour and beat 4 minutes longer. Stir in 3 cups flour, or enough to make the dough soft.
  5. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic, adding more flour as necessary.
  1. Place dough in a large buttered bowl, turning to butter top.
  2. Cover the bowl with a clean towel or plastic wrap and let it rise for about 1 hour in a warm place, free of drafts. Punch dough down; knead until smooth.
  3. Cut dough in half, cover with the mixing bowl and let stand for 15 minutes longer.
  4. Roll each half into a 12-by-9-inch rectangle. Starting with the narrow edge, roll up, turning ends under to make loaves to fit pans.
  5. Place rolls seam side down in greased 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pans. Cover the pans with a clean towel and place them in a warm, draft-free place for about 45 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in bulk.
  6. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  7. Bake the loaves for 25 to 30 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when tapped with fingers. Remove from pans to racks; brush with butter for a soft, more flavorful crust, if desired.