I love bread. I love the smell of bread baking. I love pulling the soft inner from the crust. I love it warm with a little butter and a cup of herbal tea. I love the childhood memories it brings back - walking in my best friends front door and smelling fresh bread all the time. So one day not too long ago, I decided that I wanted to start making my own bread.
I love this bread recipe. It's flexible, it's easy and it makes the best bread! We love making bread - buttermilk oatmeal bread, banana bread, corn bread - we love it all - but this simple yeast bread is one of our absolute favorites. It takes about three hours to make, but most of that time is allowing the dough to rise.
I started making this bread as a constructive way to get out my frustration. It is a great way to diffuse stress - just make sure you don't over-knead or you will have hard bread!
So, without furthur ado, Homemade Yeast Bread!
Easy Homemade Bread
¾ Cup warm water
1 Package active dry yeast
1 ½ Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
½ C Milk
1 Tbsp vegetable shortening, melted
1 Tbsp Molasses
1 Tbsp honey, warmed
3 Cups flour, divided. (I have made it with all wheat, but I prefer to use half wheat and half white)
Nuts, cinnamon sugar, chocolate chips or anything else you want in your bread (optional)
- Combine warm water and yeast. Stir until yeast is dissolved.
- Add sugar, salt, milk and melted shortening. Stir until well blended. Add honey and molasses (These are very important if you are using wheat flour. Nuts are also optional at this point.)
- Stir in 1 cup flour until well blended. Add second cup of flour. Stir until well blended.
- Add flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough chases spoon around the bowl. Turn dough out onto floured board. Add flour and knead gently until a soft, not sticky, dough is formed, (Do no over-knead or you will have hard bread!)
- Butter a medium size bowl. Place dough in bowl, turn dough over so top is buttered. Cover with a dry towel and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour. (I put mine on top of the fridge.)
- Punch down dough. Turn out onto floured board and knead gently, adding flour if necessary. (If making cinnamon swirl bread spread dough out flat and generously sprinkle cinnamon over bread. Don’t be afraid to use plenty of cinnamon! Roll dough – like a sleeping bag – to form a loaf and fold edges under)
- Form dough into a loaf and place into a buttered loaf pan, cover with a dry towel. Preheat oven to 375 and let dough rise for 30 minutes.
- Bake 40 minutes until loaf is golden brown. Cool in pan for at least 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
- Slice and enjoy plain or with butter.