This is the BEST easy homemade bread recipe that’s simple to make with super soft and tender results. A slice of this fluffy white bread is perfect for sandwiches and freezes well too. Top with butter and fresh homemade jam for the ultimate bread.
Table of Contents
Easy Bread Recipe
There really is nothing better than a warm slice of bread with butter on top. While I love making my homemade french bread, dinner rolls and artisan bread, I tend to make this white bread recipe for my family the most!
I learned to make this bread when I was 12 and have been making it ever since. It has the perfect texture. I even made a whole wheat bread, but this original recipe will always have my heart!
There is one secret ingredient that certainly takes it over the top! The evaporated milk adds the perfect flavor. This bread goes great with dinner but also makes a great sandwich for lunch. You might as well go all out and even top it with homemade strawberry jam!
I’m excited to share all my bread making tips with you. Don’t let yeast intimidate you, this easy bread recipe is fool proof. Seriously there is nothing better in my opinion than a warm loaf of homemade bread. You will be a pro in no time.
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Warm water: The water temperature is key. If it’s too hot, it will kill the yeast. I like to keep it around 105°F.
- Active dry yeast: Make sure you are using fresh yeast. If your yeast is old, your bread will not rise.
- Granulated sugar: This adds the perfect sweetness.
- Butter: The butter adds the perfect flavor.
- Salt: The salt will bring all the flavors together.
- Evaporated milk: This is the secret ingredient that really adds the perfect flavor and tenderness. You can substitute with milk if needed.
- Flour: I’ve made this recipe with bread and all-purpose flour, both will work well. Be careful not to add too much, add slowly at the end.
- Cinnamon swirl bread: Your family will love the cinnamon sugar swirl!
- Raisin bread: Follow the cinnamon swirl bread instructions and add up to 2 cups raisins.
- Whole wheat flour bread: I love to make this variation to use with avocado toast.
- Homemade bread bowls: These are perfect for soup, dips and more!
How To Make Bread
Follow these step by step instructions and tips on how to form your homemade bread for best results.
- Proof the yeast: Let the yeast bubble up in warm water. You want the yeast mixture to be foamy and dissolved before you add to the flour.
- Mix together: Add a little more flour and keep mixing until the dough comes off the edge of the mixer. You know it’s done when your finger no longer sticks to the dough.
- First rise: While you’re letting the dough rise, cover the bowl with a warm towel and set by a window. You can also turn the oven to 175°F and then turn it off. Then place the bowl inside the oven and let it rise there. Make sure the dough has doubled in size before touching it.
- Shape the dough: When the dough is ready to be formed, punch the dough and then cut in half to make two loaves on a lightly floured surface. Press the dough down removing any air bubbles and start kneading for a couple minutes. Form a loaf and tuck the ends under.
- Second rise: Stick the two loves in bread pans and then let the dough rise until it has doubled in size or formed the perfect size bread.
- Bake: Then it’s ready to bake! Bake until golden brown and then butter the tops.
- Weather can affect ingredients: The weather outside can affect the overall consistency of the dough. If it is too humid, your dough may be too sticky. Add in additional flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of your mixer (and your finger doesn’t stick to the dough when you press on it).
- Temperature can affect the rise: If your house is on the cooler side, your dough can take a lot longer to rise. Whenever I bake bread in the winter, I let it rise in the oven. Turn on the oven for 2-3 minutes, then turn if off to trap in the heat and place your bowl inside.
- Food thermometer: Using a thermometer is an easy way to make sure the temperature of your water is just right. It should feel like warm bath water, around 105°F.
- Stand mixer is best to fully knead: Although you can knead by hand, using a KitchenAid stand mixer with a dough hook saves you time and energy. It’s a game changer for making the best homemade bread recipe!
- Towel: You’ll need a towel to cover the bowl while the dough rises. I love using these flour sack towels because they’re just the right width – not too thick and not too thin.
- Bread Pans: This recipe makes two loaves, so you’ll need two 9×5″ bread pans. You can also use loaf pans that are ceramic, glass or cast iron.
I use active dry yeast. You need about 2 1/2 teaspoons to make 2 loaves of homemade white bread.
Yes! I just prefer using bread flour when making this recipe, but all purpose tastes great too. Make sure you accurately measure the flour before getting started.
Yes you can use regular milk, I just prefer the flavor with evaporated. It makes the bread more rich.
Sure! Just simply cut the ingredients in half to make 1 loaf instead of 2.
Although I haven’t tried, others have had success using a bread machine to make this recipe. Follow the manufacturer directions for layering the ingredients in the bread maker pan as well as you may need to adjust for instant yeast.
5 star review
“I tried various recipes when I decided to make bread for my family instead of buying it from the store. This one is by far the best! The loaves are soft and fluffy every time. The whole family enjoys it and my kids say it tastes better than store bought. I use regular milk and it turns out perfect.”-Amanda
Uses for Leftover Homemade Bread
Use your bread in some of these favorite recipes!
- To make a buttery grilled cheese sandwich.
- Toasted with chicken salad or egg salad on top.
- For breakfast as french toast or french toast sticks.
If you have leftover bread that has gone a little hard, don’t pitch it! It’s perfect for making homemade croutons, breadcrumbs, crockpot stuffing or overnight French toast casserole. It’s a great way to stretch the bread even further.
Storing and Freezing Instructions
The bread will keep for up to 5 days if stored in an airtight container or bag. It will also stay fresh if tightly wrapped in foil.
To freeze the bread after it’s been baked, simply let cool completely then wrap in foil or saran wrap. Then stick in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. You can also freeze the dough after it rises the first time. Just make sure to let it rise again as it thaws.
Love homemade bread recipes? Try these other favorites such as naan bread, Dutch oven bread or these easy breadsticks!
More Homemade Bread RecipesBrowse all
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Homemade Bread Recipe
- 2 9×5-inch bread pans
- 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ½ Tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 cups warm water , at 105°F
- ¼ cup melted butter , plus 1 Tablespoon for brushing on top
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
- 6-7 cups bread flour , or all-purpose flour
- 1 Tablespoon shortening , or butter
Optional topping: Butter and Jam
Proofing the Yeast
- In a small bowl, add the yeast and sugar. Pour the warm water over the yeast mixture and let it sit 5 to 10 minutes, or until nice and bubbly. If it doesn't foam, toss it and start over. The water was either too hot or the yeast was not fresh (check the expiration date to be sure it isn't old).
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter, sugar, evaporated milk, and salt on medium low. Mix in the yeast mixture just until combined.
- Swap out the paddle attachment for a dough hook. With the mixer on low, add 3 cups flour until combined. Add 1 cup flour at a time and stir until combined. After adding a total of 6 cups flour, add 1/2 cup flour at a time until the dough is no longer sticking to the sides. It’s ready when the dough is no longer sticky. You can knead by hand, if needed.
- Cover the ball of dough and sides of the bowl with shortening. Cover the bowl with a warm towel. Set by a window and let rise 1 hour, or until doubled in size. When it has risen over the bowl, punch it down, and transfer to a floured surface.
- Spray 2 9×5-inch bread pans with nonstick cooking spray.
- Knead the dough 2 to 3 minutes. Cut into 2 equal pieces. Using a rolling pin, roll one piece into a rectangle. Starting at the shorter side, roll the dough up and tuck the ends under. Place into a bread pan. Repeat with the remaining piece.
- Preheat oven to 375°F and place the rack in the middle of the oven.
- Let the loaves rise about 30 minutes. When it looks like a good loaf of bread, place in the oven and bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until golden on top and cooked through. If the tops are browning too fast, tent the top with foil.
- Remove from the pans to a cooling rack. Brush the tops with butter. Slice once slightly cooled. Enjoy with butter and jam, if desired.
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
This is my favorite bread recipe. Sometimes I add a egg and a little more flour. Thank you for sharing.
lovely bread toasted with homemade blue berry jam
I have been making this bread for the last 5-8 years and it has only gotten better with age. The only thing I have ever changed is making it by hand start to finish. I can’t wait to teach my son how to make this recipe and keep it in the family.
That makes me so happy! I’m so glad this recipe has been a success for you!
Can I use instant active yeast? If so, what do I need to do differently?
I am curious about this as well.
This bread turned out fantastic! Thanks so much for sharing! I wish I could share a picture.
Can I double this recipe?
Yes you can, as long as you have a big enough bowl :)
This is the first out of trying multiple recipes that I was successful in making a wonderful tasting bread with perfect texture.
Can this bread be made glutten free?
I haven’t tested it with gluten free flour, but I would make sure to use a cup-4-cup flour. Let us know how it goes!
I was thinking of making cinnamon rolls and putting them in the fridge overnight before baking, so that we can have them fresh in the morning. Has anyone done something similar?
I’ve made this multiple times over the years and it is always my family’s favorite…especially for Sunday night as a light dinner with eggs if we had a late lunch. Yummy as a sandwich, with butter, jam or just warm by itself. It is always gone in one day!!!
Made this bread today, turned out perfect. Froze one loaf and had some of the other loaf with homemade soup today. Wonderful!
So glad you enjoyed the homemade bread recipe!