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How to Make White Bread: A Beginner’s Guide

This recipe may just be the best thing since sliced bread – literally. With a golden-brown crust and a light, airy crumb, this simple white bread is not only delicious, it’s so easy to make! Using only 5 ingredients, it’s perfect for new bakers looking for a tasty recipe to start their bread baking journey.

Learn how to make this Simple White Bread recipe by watching the step-by-step tutorial video, review Gesine Prado’s tips, and get a full printable recipe below.

Simple White Bread Video Tutorial:

Gesine’s Guide to Making Simple White Bread:

Gesine Prado is sharing her Simple White Bread recipe. With only 5 ingredients (flour, water, sugar, salt and Platinum Yeast) and a little hands-on time for kneading and shaping, your kitchen will be filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread in no time!

Start by simply mixing all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

Platinum Yeast enhances the strength of the dough, giving you a beautiful rise every time. It’s better baking make easy!

TIP: Add extra flavor to your bread by using a flavored oil such as almond oil in place of olive oil.

This recipe uses the hand kneading method – no stand mixer needed! (However, if you prefer to use a stand mixer, instructions are provide in the recipe notes section below.)

After mixing, it’s time to knead the dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

TIP: After turning dough out onto the counter, if the dough is sticking to your fingers, simply take some bench flour and do a “dry flour wash” by rubbing your hands together with the flour over a bowl or your garbage can. This prevents your sink from getting clogged up with dough!

As the dough develops during kneading, you’ll feel the ball of dough getting tighter and stronger and in about 10 minutes, the dough will look shiny and smooth.

Kneading Gesine's simple white bread dough

TIP: While kneading, only add in enough extra flour to keep the dough from sticking to the counter. Adding in too much flour will create a tougher and denser bread.

After kneading, place dough in a well-greased bowl. Cover and let rise until double in size, about 1 hour.

After rising, it’s time to shape the loaves. See pictures below for a shaping step-by-step guide, and watch the full video above for more shaping tips and tricks.

Kneading simple white bread

TIP: Once you shape your loaves and place them in the pans to rise, lightly spray the top of the dough with non-stick cooking spray so the dough doesn’t stick to your plastic wrap as it rises.

Bread dough poke test

TIP: You know your loaves are ready to go into the oven when they pass a poke test. Simply dip your fingertip into some flour and give the top of the loaf a gentle poke. When you remove your finger, you should still be able to see an indent where your finger was. If it stays indented and doesn’t spring back up right away, you are ready to bake!

Simple White Bread for Beginners

Simple White Bread for Beginners
Gesine Prado's simple white bread recipe has only 5 ingredients! With and a little hands-on time for kneading and shaping, your kitchen will be filled with the aroma of freshly baked bread in no time!
Yield 2 (8½x4½-inch) loaves
0

Reviews

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (454g) lukewarm water (100°F)
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons (12g) fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon (10g) granulated sugar
  • 5 cups (600g) bread flour
  • 1 (0.25oz) package (7g) or 2 1/4 teaspoons Platinum Yeast

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, add the water, olive oil, salt and sugar.
  • Add the flour to separate bowl and then the yeast. Stir/whisk to combine. Add to the water mixture.
  • Using a wooden spoon or a Danish dough whisk, stir until most of the flour is absorbed into the dough. Turn the dough over with your hands in the bowl a few times to work in the rest of the flour. The dough will look very shaggy.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Set aside a small bowl of flour (‘bench flour’) to use during kneading as needed.
  • Knead the dough by gently flattening the dough into a rough 8×11-inch rectangle. Grab the top half and fold over, folding the dough in half. Use your palm to push dough forward, "sealing" the dough at the fold seam. Turn the dough 90 degrees and fold, seal and turn again. Knead for 10-12 minutes, or until the dough is shiny and smooth and stays put when shaped into a taut ball. Another way to test if the dough is kneaded enough is to poke it with your index finger, and if the dough springs back it is ready. (See notes for stand mixer directions.)
  • Place the dough into an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to double in size in a warm place, about an hour.
  • Prepare pans: spray two 8½ x 4½-inch bread pans with nonstick spray.
  • Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in half (approximate 550g for each half). Press one dough into a rough 8×12-inch rectangle (this also de-gasses the dough). Fold one long side edge over to the middle, repeat with other long edge; pinch seam in middle to seal. Starting at the short edge on the top, gently roll the dough up towards you, pressing down and pushing slightly forward with each turn. Place into prepared pan, seam side down. Repeat with other dough piece. Spray tops of dough with nonstick spray and cover bowl with plastic wrap or a shower cap.
  • Proof loaves until doubled in size and the dough rises to crest or dome slightly above the edge of the loaf pan, about one hour. If an indentation remains after lightly touching the risen loaf, it has risen enough.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Bake at for 30-35 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and the internal temperature of the bread reads 200ºF.
  • While bread is still warm, rub butter over the top of the crust.
  • Remove loaves from pans and let cool on a wire rack.
  • Bread can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week. To freeze bread: wrap completely cooled loaf well in plastic wrap, and then wrap again in foil. Freeze for up to one month.

Notes

Stand mixer directions:
  1. Add water, olive oil, salt, and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  2. Add the flour and yeast.
  3. Mix on medium-low speed until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl, is shiny, and a small piece of dough, stretched thin, does not tear, about 7 to 10 minutes. Continue with step 6.
Recipe was developed using King Arthur bread flour. Adjustments in the amount of flour and kneading/rise times may be needed if using other flour brands.
Recipe by Gesine Prado.

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This dough is perfect for both sweet and savory applications. See how you can take this simple dough recipe to bake up these other delicious favorites.


Gesine Prado

Gesine Prado is a self-taught baker, teacher and author. Visit Gesine’s website for more of her delicious recipes.

Review & Comments

KRC | Reply

5 stars
I made this recipe this morning and it is fantastic. I used a whole grain bread flour so I needed to up the water by a bit, but it all turned out fantastic. The video and instruction are spectacular! Thank you!

Scott | Reply

Made this bread last night for the 1st time ever making scratch built bread! It turned out exactly as was promised!!!
Love and it’s a Do Over for me!!! Thank you!! It was easy to make.

Dorothy | Reply

5 stars
I have been making bread for years and you have some great ideas that I have never tried. Like adding oil and the way you roll the dough for baking. I find homemade bread really is quit easy to make and so much better than store bought bread. After hand kneading for years I finally got a stand mixer and that makes it even easier. I like to make 3 loafs instead of 2, just like the smaller size.

Joanne Burns | Reply

5 stars
Thank you for such a great, informative video. Made this bread today and it’s fantastic. Definitely a keeper and one that everyone should try.

Wendy Hampton | Reply

5 stars
OMG! Such an easy to understand straightforward demo! I have an entirely different feeling about the bread dough process. This is really a clear and easy to understand lesson! Thanks so much for posting on the Platinum Yeast newsletter.

Pat | Reply

Could this be made in a breadmaker on dough cycle and then be baked?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Pat – Yes it can!
Happy baking!

Laurel | Reply

Could I use the sourdough yeast instead of the platinum yeast?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Laurel – Yes, use 1 full packet of Platinum Instant Sourdough.
Happy baking!

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