Baking homemade bread is a rewarding and delicious way to spend a lazy afternoon. While it does require some time and patience, the process is relatively simple and the end result is a warm, fragrant loaf of bread that is sure to impress. Here’s a recipe for classic white bread that you can customize with your favorite herbs, spices, or seeds:
- 1 1/2 cups of warm water (110°F to 115°F)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 4-5 cups of all-purpose flour
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the warm water, yeast, and sugar. Stir to dissolve the yeast and let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes, or until it becomes foamy.
- Add the melted butter, salt, and 4 cups of flour to the yeast mixture and mix everything together until a dough forms. If the dough is too sticky, add an additional 1/2 cup of flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a ball.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 10 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a greased mixing bowl and cover it with a towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
- Punch down the dough and shape it into a loaf. Place the dough in the prepared loaf pan and cover it with a towel. Let the dough rise for an additional 30 minutes.
- Bake the bread in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
- Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool in the pan for a few minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.
Homemade bread is a delicious and satisfying treat that is perfect for any occasion. Whether you enjoy it as a simple slice with butter or use it as the base for a sandwich, it is sure to be a hit with your family and friends. Enjoy!
by Sara Liamson