Easy Everyday Bread (Master Recipe)

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It's well worth the effort to bake up homemade bread in your own kitchen. And once you learn how to make bread at home, you'll rarely (if ever!) opt for the store-bought kind again.

Easy Everyday Bread (Master Recipe)
Prep Time:
25 mins
Rise Time:
60 mins
Bake Time:
25 mins
Stand Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 20 mins
Servings:
12
Yield:
1 loaf

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup warm water (105°F to 115°F)

  • 1 package active dry yeast

  • ½ cup milk

  • 2 tablespoon sugar

  • 2 tablespoon butter

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • Nonstick cooking spray or olive oil

  • Cornmeal

  • 1 egg

  • 2 teaspoon water

Directions

  1. In a large bowl stir together the 3/4 cup warm water and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat and stir milk, sugar, butter, and salt just until warm (120°F to 130°F) and butter almost melts. Stir milk mixture into yeast mixture until combined. Stir in flour (dough will be sticky). Lightly coat a medium bowl with cooking spray; transfer dough to the greased bowl. Lightly coat a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray; cover bowl with the greased plastic wrap and chill overnight.

  2. Using a dough scraper or spatula, carefully loosen dough from bowl and turn out onto a floured surface. Cover with the greased plastic wrap and let stand for 30 minutes.

  3. Grease a baking sheet; sprinkle lightly with cornmeal. Gently shape dough into an oblong oval loaf. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet, using dough scraper or spatula if necessary. Cover and let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (about 1 hour).

  4. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small bowl whisk together egg and the 2 teaspoons water; brush over loaf. Bake about 25 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in loaf registers at least 200°F. If necessary, cover loaf with foil during the last 5 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning. Remove from baking sheet; cool on a wire rack.

Spicy Sweet Potato Rolls:

Prepare Master Recipe as directed, except make the following substitutions and changes. Reduce warm water to 1/2 cup and use unsweetened coconut milk instead of regular milk. Stir 1/2 cup mashed cooked sweet potato, 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon Thai seasoning (optional), and 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice into yeast mixture before adding the flour. Cover and chill as directed. After the 30-minute standing time, pat dough into an 8-inch square. Cut into sixteen 2-inch squares; place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Let rise as directed. Bake about 15 minutes or until golden brown. If desired, serve with Cinnamon Butter. Cinnamon Butter: In a small bowl stir together 1/2 cup softened butter, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

Smoked Gouda and Ale Loaf:

Prepare Master Recipe as directed, except make the following substitutions and changes. Use ale instead of milk and garlic salt instead of regular salt. Stir 1/4 cup stone-ground mustard into warm ale mixture. Stir 1/2 cup ground toasted almonds, 1/2 cup shredded smoked gouda cheese (2 ounces), 1/4 cup cooked and crumbled applewood smoked or regular bacon, and 2 teaspoons toasted caraway seeds into yeast mixture with the flour. Cover and chill as directed. After the 30-minute standing time, pat dough into a greased 8x8x2-inch baking pan. Let rise as directed. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack. If desired, serve with additional stone-ground mustard. Store in the refrigerator.

Ginger and Rhubarb Loaf:

Prepare Master Recipe as directed, except make the following substitutions and changes. Stir 1 cup chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb, 1/2 cup golden raisins, 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot (1 medium), 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, and 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander into warm milk mixture. Cover and chill as directed. After the 30-minute standing time, shape dough into a 6-inch round loaf. Let rise and bake as directed. If desired, serve with honey.

Garlic-Olive Loaf:

Prepare Master Recipe as directed, except make the following substitutions and changes. Stir 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (2 ounces), 1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese (2 ounces), 1/4 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives, 1/4 cup thawed and well-drained frozen chopped spinach, and 4 cloves garlic, minced, into warm milk mixture. Cover and chill as directed. After the 30-minute standing time, shape dough into an 11-inch-long loaf. Let rise as directed. Bake about 30 minutes.

Apricot-Sage Loaves:

Prepare Master Recipe as directed, except make the following substitutions and changes. Cook 1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium) in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil over medium heat about 4 minutes or until tender. Stir cooked onion, 1/2 cup finely snipped dried apricots, 1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese (2 ounces), and 1 tablespoon snipped fresh sage into warm milk mixture. Cover and chill as directed. After the 30-minute standing time, shape dough into three 3-1/2-inch round loaves. Let rise as directed. After brushing with egg mixture, top with a few small fresh sage leaves (if desired). Bake about 20 minutes. If desired, serve with softened butter and apricot preserves.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

135 Calories
3g Fat
23g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 135
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 24mg 8%
Sodium 219mg 10%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 4g
Calcium 20.2mg 2%
Iron 1.4mg 8%
Potassium 62mg 1%
Folate, total 64.5mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.1mcg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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