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Single loaf of white bread cooling on a rack.

The Softest, Fluffiest Homemade White Bread You Can Make

  • Author: Kevin Mayfield
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 2 Loaves 1x
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Oven

Description

Warm, fluffy homemade white bread has been a staple of cooks long before and after mid century because it is that good!


Ingredients

Scale

3 cups warm water (just warm to the touch, not hot)

2 - 1/4 ounce packets of dry yeast 

5 tablespoons unsalted butter (let 3 Tbsps sit for about 30 minutes to come to room temperature)

1/4 cup of sugar

1 tablespoon salt

7  cups of all-purpose flour


Instructions

 

  1. In your mixing bowl, add the packets of yeast and a 1/2 cup of warm water. Stir to mix. Let the yeast activate in the water for 5 minutes. Add the other 2-1/2 cups of warm water along with the 3 tablespoons of room temperature butter, plus the sugar and salt.
  2. Add first 4 cups of flour to the mixing bowl and stir ingredients together. You can mix by hand, but I prefer to use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment.
  3. Mix on a low speed for 10 minutes while slowly adding the next 3 cups of flour. The dough ball should start to take shape and be 'tacky' to the touch, but not wet and sticky. It should 'clean' the sides of the bowl by itself, but feel free to scrape down excess dough if necessary.  I find I may not even need to add the entire 7th cup of flour. But if the dough is still too wet, slowly add the last cup of flour by the tablespoon until the dough ball becomes smooth.
  4. Remove dough from mixer and place on a large, smooth floured surface. Do not knead the dough, just shape it into a ball and add a pinch of flour on it if it is still very sticky to the touch.
  5. Place the dough ball into a large bowl that has been coated in vegetable oil. Roll the dough ball around so that the oil coats it. Cover with plastic wrap.
  6. Place the bowl in a warm place and wait for 50 minutes to an hour as the dough doubles in size.
  7. Place the dough back on the floured surface and split it into two equal balls.
  8. Work one ball at a time to flatten and remove any excess air pockets. Once again, don't knead the dough, just push it down to flatten it. 
  9. Shape into a rectangle about as wide as your 9 inch baking pan.
  10. Roll that up into a tube and tuck the ends under itself and place into a 9" x 5" inch loaf pan that has been greased with cooking spray.
  11. Repeat for second dough ball.
  12. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and brush lightly over the two loaves.
  13. Place both loaves into an oven that has been pre-heated to 400 degrees.
  14. Bake for 30 minutes, rotating once halfway through baking.
  15. Remove from oven and once again lightly brush with remainder of melted butter. Let cool for 15 minutes while remaining in the pan.
  16. Remove from the baking pan and cool on a wire rack before slicing.

Notes

Always use fresh yeast to ensure it will be active. Old yeast may cause your bread to fail.

I like to place my dough in a warm, dark place that doesn't get a lot of air while it's rising, so I place it in an unheated oven.

If the loaves of bread are getting too brown while baking, place a piece of foil over the top to prevent over browning.

Store bread in an airtight container or tight-fitting plastic wrap and eat it promptly. It will get stale quickly since it has no preservatives.

Keywords: White Bread, Fluffy Bread, Moist Bread, Soft Bread, bread from scratch, 5 ingredient bread, easy bread recipe