There’s something deeply satisfying about making your own homemade bread. It takes me back to when I was a little girl and I would watch in awe as my grandma made homemade bread. I made my first batch of homemade bread 31 years ago, and I’ve made it so often that I could probably make it with my eyes closed. The aroma that the homemade bread sends through the house is amazing! I guarantee you’ll never want to go back to store-bought white bread after you’ve tried this recipe!
Our delicious Farmhouse Homemade White Bread is made with the following ingredients:
- Butter (or some other type of fat)
TIPS FOR MAKING THE PERFECT HOMEMADE BREAD
Use a stand mixer.
Makes the whole process easy because you only have to let it mix for about 3 to 4 minutes. If you don’t have a stand mixer you can knead the dough by hand, but it takes quite a while to develop the gluten in the dough this way. If you knead by hand, don’t knead more than 7 to 10 minutes. Over kneaded bread will cause the bread to become very dense. Nobody likes dense bread.
Second Rising is important.
The first rise is important to allow the yeast and gluten to develop. This plays a huge role in the flavor of your homemade bread. The second rise is important to get a beautiful rise and airy light bread loaf.
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BREAD RISE FASTER
HOW CAN I MAKE MY BREAD RISE MORE
- Problems With The Yeast. Check the expiration date. Remember not to add the yeast to hot water. Make sure the water is very warm.
- The room is too cold or not warm enough. This can be a problem in the winter months when your house is a little cooler. If your room is not warm enough you can always rise your bread using our oven method above.
- You haven’t kneaded the dough long enough. In a stand alone mixer it should take approximately 3 to 4 minutes. By hand it should take approximately 7 to 10 minutes.
AVOID LETTING YOUR DOUGH RISE TOO LONG
You can let your dough rise for up to three days but no longer than that. If the dough rises more than three days the yeast will eat up all the sugar in the dough and turn into alcohol. This will affect the flavor of the crust.
CAN BREAD DOUGH RISE OVERNIGHT?
CAN I BAKE MY BREAD EVEN IF IT HASN’T RISEN
CAN YOU LET IT RISE TOO LONG
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T LET IT RISE ENOUGH
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T HAVE A BREAD PAN
If you don’t have a bread pan, press the two ends closer together, and place the loaf on a greased baking sheet. When baking, the loaf will spread out a bit and create a more oval-shaped loaf. It will have the look of artisan bread or a classic French bread.
WHAT HAPPENS IF I KNEAD MY DOUGH TOO MUCH
WHAT DO I DO IF MY YEAST DOESN’T FOAM
CAN I PLACE MY RISEN DOUGH IN THE REFRIGERATOR
CAN I LEAVE MY BREAD ON THE COUNTER OVERNIGHT AFTER IT HAS BEEN BAKED
HOW CAN I TELL WHEN MY BREAD HAS RISEN ENOUGH
HOW DO I MAINTAIN FRESHNESS OF MY HOMEMADE BREAD
CAN I MAKE MY BREAD DOUGH THE NIGHT BEFORE
HOW TO STORE MY BAKED BREAD
- Usually, when left out uncovered, bread will form a crust and become quite stiff and stale. There’s a reason restaurants serve their bread in cloth-lined baskets. Aside from a charming visual, the cloth protects the bread from drying out. Bread shouldn’t be left out for extended periods of time.
2. Store your bread in a breadbox. Bread boxes are actually quite an ideal way to store bread, as they allow bread to breathe without exposing it to so much air that the bread dries out. If you do not have a bread box, you can cover the bread with a clean, dry kitchen towel and then put it in a paper bag. This method allows the bread to breathe but still protects it from the elements.
3. Freezing bread is the best way to keep homemade bread fresh for longer periods of time. Wrap the cooled, dry bread thoroughly in plastic. Be certain there is no moisture or condensation. The bread can be stored in the freezer for up to 2 months (you can store longer, but the flavor may suffer).
Tip: slice the bread before storing, saving you time: Sliced bread thaws quicker, and you can be easily placed into the toaster for quick warming. It is also easier to take out a piece or two instead of having to thaw a whole loaf.
The worst way to store bread? In the fridge
When it comes to using the refrigerator for storing fresh bread, just say no. The refrigerator will dry out your bread. While it’s fine to put a prepared sandwich in the fridge for a few hours, storing your bread (sliced or unsliced) in the refrigerator gives it an unappealing texture and is not suggested.
Option 3: Store the bread in plastic
Plastic can be the best or the worst way to store bread. When bread is double-wrapped in clean plastic and stored in a cool, dry place, plastic can extend bread’s life. This is especially helpful in drier climates, where bread can dry out quickly.
However, if there’s even a drop of moisture present, the water can incubate in the non-breathable plastic, making the bread mushy or worse, moldy.
Fixing stale bread
- Add a slice of apple to the packaged bread: The apply may soften bread enough to give it a second chance.
- Microwave magic: Place slices of bread on a moistened (but not wet) paper towel, and microwave for 10 seconds.
Give stale bread new life
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, bread goes stale.
If it’s too crispy to be enjoyed as-is, consider giving it new life as part of a French toast casserole or as homemade croutons.
Homemade bread crumbs can also be used for a number of different recipes. This way, your bread can still be a component in some good eating.
- Dissolve the sugar in the warm water.
- Add the yeast and stir well.
- Let sit for 10-20 minutes on the counter until foamy.
- In the mixing bowl pour in the melted butter and stir in the salt. Make sure the butter is not hot.
- Add the water/sugar/yeast mix to the mixing bowl and then add the flour all at once.
- If using a stand mixer and dough hook set it on the low setting and mix for about 3-4 minutes.
- Put dough in a large oiled mixing bowl in a warm area to rise for 60 minutes or doubled in size. Make sure to cover the bowl with a tea towel for this time. You can use the oven method to rise your dough faster. Simply preheat your oven 200 degrees and then turn it off. Set your bread dough on the middle rack and let rise until doubled in size. Keep the dough covered with your tea towel.
- After 60 minutes punch dough down and split into two equal amounts and put in oiled loaf pans.
- Put pans in warm area to rise again for 60 minutes or doubled in size - Covered. Use can also use the oven method as above.
- Once dough has risen put in the oven on the second lower rack setting and turn the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until lightly golden brown and it sounds hollow when you tap the top of it.
- Remove from oven and brush the tops with melted butter. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, transfer to a wire baking rack to finish cooling completely. Slice and enjoy!