THE BEST HOMEMADE BREAD RECIPE

I have to confess, I’m kind of a bread addict. I love any kind of bread, from tender and flaky biscuits, to french breads, to pillowy soft rolls. My very favorite kind of bread, though, is a fluffy white loaf of homemade bread.

Years ago, I taught myself to bake perfect bread, and it has totally changed my life! I make most of my family’s bread these days, and I love that it not only tastes better than store-bought, it’s also super easy and makes me feel accomplished. As long as you plan ahead a little for rise times, it’s really not very much work, and well worth the effort.

I have to confess, though, I was terrified to try making bread for the first time all those years ago. I had several failures in a row, and was convinced that I would never master even a basic loaf. Have no fear, though! I’m here to share all my best bread-making tips with you and show you that this is an easy bread recipe.
INGREDIENTS
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
2 1/4 cups warm water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp oil
5 1/2 - 6 1/2 cups flour
butter for topping (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast in the warm water with a pinch of sugar. When the yeast is bubbly and foamy, add the sugar, salt, oil, and 4 cups flour, and mix until smooth.
Add remaining flour, ½ cup at a time, to form a soft, smooth dough. The dough should stick just slightly to your finger when touched, but not be overly sticky. Knead 5-7 minutes, until smooth, then roll into a ball.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn over once to coat the top with oil and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise one hour, or until doubled.
When the dough has risen, punch it down gently and divide in half. Roll each half of the dough into a long rectangle about 8 inches wide. Roll the dough up, starting at the short edge, to form a cylinder that is approximately 8 inches wide. Repeat with remaining dough.
Place the dough, seam side down, into lightly greased bread pans, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise one hour, or until the dough is ½ - 1 inch higher than the top of the pan.
Preheat the oven to 375. Bake 30-35 minutes, or the loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Brush with melted butter, if desired. Remove to a cooling rack and cool before slicing. MAKES 2 LOAVES.



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