The best easy white bread recipe that delivers soft, fluffy and absolutely delicious bread every time. 5 ingredients and minimal prep are all that’s needed.
How to make soft and fluffy white bread
- Make the dough: Combine warm water with instant yeast and sugar. When you put your finger in the water, it should feel like nothing. This is called blood temperature. (98.6°F or 37°C) If the water is too warm, it will kill the yeast. Allow this mixture to stand for approximately 10 minutes until frothy. Place 3 cups of the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. You can absolutely make this recipe by hand, a mixer just makes it a little easier. With the mixer running, pour the water into the bowl and allow the dough to come together. Add the room temperature butter and allow the dough to knead until the butter is incorporated. If the dough looks greasy or the butter isn’t incorporating properly, add the remaining flour one third cup at a time and allow to mix in. You might not need all the flour. Allow to knead until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl. The dough will be soft and smooth.
- Proof the dough: Cover the bowl with plastic or a damp tea towel and allow the dough to rise in a warm spot in your kitchen until doubled in size (approximately 1 hour). Transfer the proofed dough to a lightly floured surface. Pat it into a rectangle the same width as your loaf pan. Roll the dough onto its self, pinch the seam and transfer to a lightly greased loaf pan. Cover loosely then allow to rise for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
- Bake the bread: Place the bread into the oven and allow to bake for 25-30 until the loaf is golden brown and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Allow to cool: Remove the bread from the oven, tip the bread out onto a wire rack and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. If you slice into the bread too quickly, the interior can be gummy instead of soft and fluffy.
Making ahead and freezing instructions
- Make ahead: The dough can be made up to 24 hours ahead and kept covered in the fridge before baking. Allow to come to room temperature before placing in the loaf pan and following baking directions. Baked bread will last for up to 3 days if kept covered.
- Freezing: Freeze slices of bread in a single layer on a sheetpan then transfer to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 6 months. This is a great way to preserve fresh bread and makes delicious toast.
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Easy white bread
- 1½ cups warm water
- 10 g (2tsp) instant yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3-4 cups flour (any white flour can be used: Cake, all purpose or bread)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup butter / oil (room temperature butter)
- Whisk water, sugar and yeast together. Allow to stand for 10 minutes until foamy.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the flour and salt.
- With the mixer running, add the water and allow to knead in.
- Add the butter or oil, allow to knead in then add more flour, one third cup at a time until the dough is smooth.
- Knead for another minuted until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.
- If the dough is still very sticky, add more flour and knead in.
- The dough should be smooth and soft and only a slight bit sticky.
- Cover with plastic or a damp tea towel and allow to rise for 1 hour.
- Once the dough has proofed, press it into rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Roll onto its self into a log, pinch the seam then transfer to a loaf pan that has been lightly greased.
- Covere again and allow to rise for 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
- Place in the oven and allow to bake for 30-45 minutes until golden brown and risen. Once baked the bread will sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.
- Remove, brush with a little butter and allow to cool before slicing.