Basic Bread

 
bread
Yeah, no, there is nothing basic about this quote unquote basic bread.  Actually, it’s utterly absurd to call it “basic.”

Five-star.  Champion.  Award-winning.  First-rate.  Outstanding…I mean, I dunno how best to describe this here darn bread.  Nothing seems quite right to fully explain, give grasp, elaborate on how deliciously majestic it truly is.

side view of baked bread loaf
Riiiiiigghhhtt?!  How glorious is that heck of a loaf!  Omg, I can practically smell it….
I’m not a frequent bread baker but I’ve always wanted to be as seriously, not much beats fresh baked bread.  The smell, the taste, the pride.  Although, heh, anything you find on this blog can’t be beat.  Really. 

But right, bread baker.  As I’ve mentioned, finding the time can be a real kink in my fresh-baked bread goals, and it still is.  Some things just don’t change.  But one day, I did find some time and our lives have altered course forever. 

Probably lazily surfing the internet one Sunday is likely how I came across this miracle bread from The Stay at Home Chef.  

And the answer to all, pretty much all, of your forthcoming questions is yes: 

Whole wheat?  Half whole wheat, half all-purpose?  All all-purpose?  Yes yes yes.  (Gluten-free?  Mmhh, probably?  I haven’t tried it.)

Active dry or instant yeast?  Yes.  

Metal
* or glass loaf pan?  Yes.  

Water instead of milk?   Yes (though results will be different).   Oil instead of butter?   Yes (though again results, mostly in flavor, will vary slightly).   

Honey instead of sugar?   Yes.  Artificial sweetener instead of sugar?  Yes, but the flavor may end up off so I wouldn’t recommend it.  The amount of sugar in this is quite minimal and it’s meant as yeast food. 

Cut the recipe in half for only one loaf?  Yep.

Mixer
?*  No mixer?  Yup. 

What about a bread machine?*  Yuh-huh.

Simple, not time-consuming?  Low effort and mostly hands-off?  Yes!  Yes!

Ridiculously outstanding bread each and every damn time?  Yes yes yes and yes.

bread sliced to see interior
Yes.
Bring it on with this bread, amiright?!

basic white bread ingredient prep
That’s it, a mere six ingredients will take you straight to heaven.
I will say, and ….ok, so I’ve been seeking a just a plain, simple, fluffy white bread recipe and this is not it.  Because sometimes you just want a fluffy white bread.  Yeah.

That’s not an insult in the remotest sense though as this bread ra-ha-ha-ha-oocks it.  This is a slightly sturdier, slightly denser, more substantial bread (ignore the typical connotation of “substantial”), closer to an Italian loaf maybe so it’s perfectly suited for sandwiches. 

Or French toast.  Or toast.  Or just a flippin’ plain ol’ slice crammed into your mouth because you can’t resist the loaf sitting there on the counter as you walk by.  Ahem.  Did I do that?  I’m not gonna say. 

Or, oooh, omg, save up the bits about to go stale and make Chocolate Bread Pudding.  Ooooh.  Oh, haha, oh man!

Rrrrrgggg I love this bread so much. 

Seriously, I’m perusing the thesaurus, trying desperately to find the right adjectives.

Ok, so.  The original is written for instant yeast but I have active dry, so that’s what I used.  Bloom the yeast with the sugar and warm milk for about five to ten minutes or so, until things take off and are foamy.

blooming yeast before and after
Top, warm milk and the yeast and sugar gettin’ the party started.  Below, the party has started.
For directions on using instant yeast, other substitutions, bread machine, no mixer, etc. etc., I’d advise popping over to the original recipe as she has everything outlined there, silly to retype.

Next all you do is dump in five cups of flour, melted butter, and salt, give it a whirl in the mixer until it comes together. 

mixing ingredients in mixer to make dough
Five cups o’ flour in, or ok, everything in and mixed.
Add more flour and keep mixing, just enough but not too much flour until the dough is stick-free, smooth, and easily handled.

Pop that dough into a lightly greased bowl and let that sucker rise for ninety minutes.

finished dough in bowl to rise
That party is about to hop into high gear with the first rise.
I mean, c’mon, right?!  Simplicity at its best. 

After ninety minutes, cut the dough in half, flatten each piece out to about 9×7, roll each piece up, squish the ends to seal, then place each half in a lightly greased 9×5 loaf pan.

after first rise in a bowl
It wasn’t super warm where I left this so it’s not huge but a warmer locale will serve you better.

rolling the dough into a log
Slice dough ball in half (weigh it if you want accuracy), flatten, roll and bam, tada, ready for rise number two.
Rise again for an hour. 

second rise before and after
Top, rolled and ready.  Bottom, second rise complete.  Let’s bake!
Seriously, I know, what…how….why haven’t we been baking this shockingly simple recipe all along?!

Bake the dough now.  Breathe in the intoxicating scent of magic.

freshly baked loaf of bread
Errr, it’s not too late in the day to start another batch is it?
It’ll brown up so lovely.  Let it cool for a sec in the pans then pop those wondrous loaves onto a cooling rack.

top view of baked basic bread loaf
I …I, I just don’t have words.
And I wish you all the luck in the world staying away from them until they cool.

 
view of heel end of loaf
Even the butt end is looking good.
Around here, the very first loaf um, vanished in less than twenty four hours.  That’s probably bad and I probably shouldn’t readily admit that especially considering it’s only two of us, but we could not, could not keep our hands off of it.

closer view of bread interior
Happy happy happy baking to you, my friends!

Note:  This content originally appeared on Flaky Bakers.

Basic Bread

Basic Bread

Yield
24 slices (2 loaves)
Prep time
20 Min
Cook time
40 Min
Inactive time
2 H & 30 M
Total time
3 H & 30 M
Nothing basic about this bread! An impeccable, superb white bread that is textbook flawless.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 teaspoon (7 g) active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons (25 g) sugar
  • 2 1/4 cup (532 ml) milk
  • 5 1/2-6 cups (660 - 720 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon (12 g) fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons (42 g) unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Warm the milk in the microwave until it has reached 100-110° F (38-43° C). While the milk is warming, add the active dry yeast and sugar to the bowl of a mixer.
  2. Pour the warmed milk into the mixer bowl and let the yeast activate for about 5-10 minutes. Once the yeast is foamy, place the bread hook attachment on a stand mixer.
  3. Add the salt to 5 cups of all-purpose flour in a bowl and mix to combine. Add the 5 cups along with the melted butter to the mixer at once.
  4. Knead the ingredients on low/stir for about a minute then increase the mixer speed to low/2. Add more flour as necessary 1/4 cup at a time. The dough will become lose its stickiness, become smooth and easy to handle.
  5. Lightly grease a bowl and place the dough in it, cover with plastic and a towel if desired, allowing the dough to rise for 90 minutes. Placing the bowl in a warm spot is key.
  6. Once 90 minutes have passed, slice the dough in half. Flatten or roll out each half into 9x7 rectangles then roll the wide end up into a roll. No extra flour will be needed. Squeeze the ends closed, tuck under a bit, and set each half in a lightly greased 9x5 loaf pan.
  7. Cover each half and allow to rise again for another 60 minutes, until doubled.
  8. Begin preheating the oven to 350° F (176° C) and once it’s ready, bake the loaves for about 35-40 minutes, until nicely golden.
  9. Remove the pans from the oven, let the loaves sit for 10 minutes, then remove the loaves from the pans to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes:

Adapted from The Stay at Home Chef.

Nutrition Facts

Calories

138

Fat (grams)

3

Sat. Fat (grams)

1

Carbs (grams)

24

Fiber (grams)

1

Sugar (grams)

2

Protein (grams)

4

Sodium (milligrams)

314

Cholesterol (grams)

6

Please see the "info" section for nutrition details and information about gram weights.


The nutrition does not include filling or toppings.

bread
recipes
American


*The loaf pans, stand mixers, and bread machines are Amazon affiliates links.  Happy baking, thanks!  Please see the "info" tab for more, well, info.

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