Go Back
Print Recipe
4.89 from 9 votes

Basic White Bread

The ideal bread for sandwiches and toast. Ingredients are for 1 8- or 9-inch loaf pan. Double the ingredients for 2 loaves.
Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Resting Time2 hrs 30 mins
Course: bread
Cuisine: French
Keyword: bread, easy, yeast


  • a large mixing bowl
  • A greased 8- or 9-inch loaf pan


  • 1/3 cup warm (110°F) water
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons shortening
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, scooped and leveled
  • melted butter for brushing


  • In the mixing bowl, whisk together the water, yeast and sugar. Then add the milk, shortening, salt, and all of the flour. Stir, with a stout spoon, until a stiff, shaggy dough develops -- about 1 minute.
  • Tip the dough onto a non-floured work surface, and form it into a rough ball. Cover with a clean towel while you wash out, dry, and grease the mixing bowl.
  • Hand-knead the dough until it becomes smooth, elastic, and not sticky -- 8-10 minutes. Do not add flour during the kneading process. Form the dough into a ball, place it in the greased bowl, and then flip the dough to grease the other side. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft-free location until the dough doubles in volume -- usually 90 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Deflate the dough and drop it onto the non-floured work surface. Pat out the dough and then form it into a loaf. Put the loaf in the greased bread pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled in volume -- 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F.
  • Bake until the top of the loaf browns appetizingly, and the bread sounds hollow when rapped with the knuckles -- 25-30 minutes. Immediately unmold the loaf onto a wire rack and brush the top with the melted butter. Cool completely before slicing.