Bread seems like the sort of thing that should be left to professional bakers. From garlic bread to our favorite sandwiches, a fresh loaf of bread is something we often like to purchase. We don't really give it a second thought - it's always just there in stores, in all its glorious forms. But bread isn't a convoluted food to make. It's actually much less of a headache than previously thought. That's precisely why you should make your own homemade bread! It doesn't take very long and you can skip those pesky lines in the bakery.

How To Make Homemade Bread

two bowls of dough rising under a cloth

What You'll Need

  • 2 1/4 cups of warm water
  • 1/4 cup of melted butter
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of active dry yeast
  • 6 to 6 1/2 cups of flour

Steps

  • Place the sugar and yeast into a large bowl. Add the warm water and let the yeast and sugar dissolve. The yeast will start bubbling almost immediately and you should let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. Don't add in the other ingredients until the yeast looks bubbly and foamy.
  • Once the desired texture is achieved, add the melted butter, salt, and 3 1/2 cups of flour. Mix everything with a wooden spoon until smooth. (You can also use your typical mixer paddle until everything is smooth.)
  • Slowly add the remaining flour one cup at a time to the bowl. If you're using an electric mixer, attach the dough hook and mix on low speed. If you're manually making your bread, knead the dough for 7-8 minutes and continue to do so until the dough is smooth.
  • Roll the smooth dough into a ball. You'll know the dough is ready when it doesn't stick to your fingers or the side of the bowl anymore.
  • Place the ball of dough into a well-oiled bowl and turn to coat everything. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let it sit for about 30-60 minutes or until the dough has risen about an inch from the top of the bowl.
  • After the dough has risen, punch it down. Knead for about 1-2 minutes and then place it on a floured surface.
  • Divide your dough in half and form the pieces into loaves.
  • Place each loaf in a greased 9x5 baking pan.
  • Leave the dough for another 30-35 minutes until it has risen an inch from the pan again
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Once the dough has risen, place into the oven and bake for 30-35 minutes at 375 degrees F.
  • After the allotted time, remove your bread and leave it to cool. Once it's cool, brush with butter and enjoy.

How To Make Homemade Whole Wheat Bread

a womans hands kneading dough

Of course, not everyone wants to make white bread at home and there are many different kinds to create in your kitchen. A healthier option is kneading some whole wheat bread from scratch.

What You'll Need

  • 3 cups of warm water
  • 1/3 cup of honey
  • 1/3 cup of cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of active dry yeast
  • 7 to 7 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour

Steps

  • In a large bowl, mix the yeast and warm water until the yeast dissolves. It will start to bubble, but leave it for about 5-10 minutes until the yeast becomes bubbly and foamy.
  • Once the desired texture is achieved, add the oil, salt, honey, and 4 1/2 cups of flour. Mix everything with a wooden spoon until smooth. (You can also use your typical mixer paddle until everything is smooth.)
  • Slowly add the remaining flour one cup at a time to the bowl. If you're using an electric mixer, attach the dough hook and mix on low speed for 5-8 minutes. If you're manually making your bread, knead the dough for 7-8 minutes and continue to do so until the dough is smooth.
  • Roll the smooth dough into a ball. You'll know the dough is ready when it doesn't stick to your fingers or the side of the bowl anymore.
  • Place the ball of dough into a well-oiled bowl and turn to coat everything. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let it sit for about 30-60 minutes or until the dough has risen about an inch from the top of the bowl.
  • After the dough has risen, punch it down. Knead for about 1-2 minutes and then place it on a floured surface.
  • Divide your dough in half and form the pieces into loaves.
  • Place each loaf in a greased 9x5 baking pan.
  • Leave the dough for another 30-35 minutes until it has risen an inch from the pan again.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Once the dough has risen, place into the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees F or until golden brown.
  • After the allotted time, remove your bread and leave it to cool. Once it's cool, brush with butter and enjoy.
whole wheat dough on a cutting board

Additional Methods

When it comes to homemade whole wheat bread, you can switch up the type of sweetener you use. Some people like to swap their honey for equal parts granulated sugar or 4-5 tablespoons of molasses.

You're also more than welcome to use equal parts all-purpose flour as opposed to the whole wheat kind. It's all up to you and your personal tastes.

Different Homemade Bread To Try

As we mentioned before, there are a large number of breads you can make from the comfort of your own home. If you're looking to try something a little more adventurous then you should consider the following recipes.

Cheese Bread

cheese bread on a white background

Okay, so I know it's not exactly a healthy option to order my subs on cheese bread, but darn it all if cheese doesn't make things better. Incorporating cheese bread into your recipes at home will surely spice things up and make those sandwiches much more hearty.

Sourdough Bread

This homemade bread only calls for four ingredients, which already shaves off some of the hassle. Sourdough is a classic and it can easily be created with just some sourdough starter, salt, water, and flour. It can also be used in a wide selection of recipes from stuffing, sandwiches, pudding, and bread bowls.

Banana Bread

I mean, who doesn't want to make yummy dessert breads at home? There are variations to your classic banana bread that makes things a little sweeter, such as tossing in some chocolate chips. However you slice it, homemade banana bread is a treat we can't afford to live without.

Multigrain Bread

multigrain bread loaf on a dish towel

Multigrain bread is often the loaf we choose when we're looking for something with a little more flavor. It's pretty simple to make and the only thing you need to stock up on is the grains you want to include for your personal recipe.

Something you need to be careful about with this bread, however, is how healthy it is. Seeing "multigrain" sure implies a healthier option, but really all that means is that the loaf has more grains than other kinds of bread. When compared to something like whole wheat, it's not exactly a healthier option.

No-Knead Bread

If you're not accustomed to making bread, kneading is something you might not be too familiar with. Given that it's such a big step in making homemade bread, knowing how to knead properly is pretty crucial. The good news is that there are no-knead bread loaves out there that make the process much easier.

someone making dough into balls

Bread isn't the easiest thing to make, but once you find a recipe you love and get the hang of all the steps, it's a breeze. Nothing offers the same kind of comfort that homemade bread does so if you're looking to expand your recipe book and create things from scratch, bread is right up your alley.

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