There are many bread machine recipes out there, but if you're looking for just basic and simple homemade white bread - this is the perfect recipe for you!
This is my reliable, "boring", proven recipe for a basic white bread. And, I also provide tips on how to make a homemade white bread less dense in a bread maker. In this recipe, all you do is spend 5 minutes to add ingredients to the bread pan and the bread machine does all the work, on an automatic cycle that is already programmed. That's the whole purpose of the bread maker, right? The end result is a tasty loaf of white bread just of the right density.
I do believe that the day will come when I will use a bread machine for something more sophisticated, but for once this week I am sharing the recipe that doesn't require too much thinking or meddling. Sometimes it's just nice to make certain foods almost on auto-pilot, especially for basic stuff, like white bread.
In the last 3 months I hardly bought any store-made bread, baking about a loaf every week at home, using bread machine recipes. And, I've noticed a couple of trends/issues when making bread: sometimes the bread comes out way too dense, or the loaf does not rise enough and, as a result, comes out even denser. So, here I will describe the homemade bread recipe that works for me to produce a less dense bread in a bread maker, using a basic cycle.
While making bread in a bread machine, make sure to consider these points:
- When you measure flour using cups, make sure not to pack flour too dense in a measuring cup, otherwise you will end up with much more flour than you need, and, therefore, the bread will come out denser. Measuring flour correctly will solve a lot of "dense" issues. The trick that works for me is that I use ⅓ measuring cup to carefully scoop all flour I need into the bread machine (usually about 3 cups), without over-packing it. Another way would be to weigh flour, which I don't do, but it's a solution.
- Use bread flour, not regular all-purpose flour for all bread machine recipes. Bread flour contains a higher percentage of gluten than regular all-purpose flour. Using bread flour will produce taller, less dense loaves. If you use all-purpose flour (which has smaller percentage of gluten than bread flour), your loaves will be flatter and denser.
- When adding yeast, make sure you add it last, and add it on top of dry ingredients (flour). Make sure the yeast does not reach wet ingredients. Basically, make a small indentation on top of flour and add the yeast to the indentation, just like this:
And here is the simple white bread recipe. I started with the recipe that came in a little booklet together with my Williams-Sonoma bread machine, and I tweaked the ingredient measurements based on my preferences. It takes 10 minutes to prepare all ingredients together, and then it takes 3 hours and 15 minutes to bake the bread in a bread machine.
Bread Machine Recipe: How to make homemade white bread less dense
- 1 cup and 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 ¼ cups white bread flour
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Important note about properly measuring flour using measuring cups:
- The proper way to measure flour using measuring cups is to aerate it first. This is done either by sifting flour, or aerating it by fluffing it up and whisking it well, then spooning it into the measuring cup, then carefully removing any excess flour with a knife. If you just stick that measuring cup in the bag of flour and scoop some out, you will get a lot more flour than what the recipe calls for. Do aerate the flour, or you will end up with dry dough!
How to make bread in a bread machine:
- Add water and oil into the bread pan. Add salt, sugar. Add flour.
- Make a small indentation on top of flour and make sure it does not reach wet ingredients. Add the yeast to the indentation.
- Keep yeast away from the salt.
- Insert the bread pan into the bread machine, press it down to snap. Close the lid.
- Use Basic bread, 1.5 lb loaf, medium crust cycle (3 hrs 15 minutes)
- When bread is done, remove the bread pan using oven mitts. Turn over the bread pan and shake it to release the loaf. Let the loaf cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed. It should not be used as a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This is the softest bread I have made. Instead of sugar though I use honey.
I Made it and I really enjoyed the simplicity of this recipe and the bread was amazing!
Can I use soy milk instead of water or 50/50?
Hello! How much is one serving?
Perfect recipe! Thank you!
After years of making bread in a machine and not being satisfied with the results of any , we tried your recipe . In the last three days made a loaf in the machine, made a loaf and baked it in the oven and made a batch of cloverleaf rolls . This recipe makes the best white bread and rolls that we have ever tried , even better than mom's.Thank you
Can I use milk instead of water?
I found that adding 1 tablespoon of vital wheat gluten to each cup of flour to the basic recipe also adds that softer, less dense consistency. I keep a small bag of it in the refrigerator in a sealed container along with my yeast. That way it stays fresh (as does my yeast) and it is handy to use when I'm making bread.
vital wheat gluten? please explain. Thank you.
Hi Julia! Love your recipe! How can I adjust to 900g?
I made this and it turned out beautifully. Thank you for the tip of sifting the flour before adding to the machine, it was not dense at all. The only thing was that it lack the flavor, I know it's white bread but I wanted more of a flavor, any suggestions? I will definitely make it again. I made a BLT while it was still warm, and of course I had a buttered slice right out of the machine.
Karen, I am so glad this recipe worked well in your bread machine! Thanks for this positive review! 🙂
Here are some other (more flavorful 🙂 ) variations that you can do using this recipe:
➡️ 1) Cinnamon raisin bread. You can add about 3/4 cup raisins (even pre-plumped ones) and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the flour (dry mixture). And, proceed with the recipe as is.
➡️ 2) Cheese bread. If adding cheese, I would use about 1 cup of shredded cheese (use Parmesan or Asiago) and add it together with the DRY INGREDIENTS (bread flour). Add the bread machine yeast last. The yeast should not touch the liquid ingredients.
➡️ 3) Bread with herbs. Another variation is to add about 1 tablespoon of Rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon of Italian seasoning (or some other combination of dry herbs, such as thyme) to the flour mixture.
➡️ 4) Garlic bread. Add the crushed or minced garlic (about 2 or 3 tablespoons) together with the LIQUID INGREDIENTS, then add dry ingredients (just like the recipe states), then add the yeast last (making sure the yeast is not touching the liquid ingredients).
My husband has to eat white bread only due to kidney disease plus no salt. Has anyone tried this recipe without the salt?
Hi Julia my name is Bill should the water be tepid to help the yeast thank you
Hi Julia! Absolutely love your recipe! I recently obtained a bread machine that caters to 1500g. How do I adjust your recipe for this weight? Looking forward to your response
I think if you just double the recipe it would work out! 1500g is about 3.3lbs and her recipe is for 1.5lb loaf. If you wanted to be more precise, you could multiple every ingredient by 2.2.