I’ve always been kind of wary of yeast.
It tastes terrible if you eat it straight, it smells kind of weird when it gets wet and it’s inherently fiddly.
And I’ve tried making bread before. Let’s just say, my family has always been very tolerant of my mistakes and will eat them no matter what, but my past attempts have been absolutely terrible.
I’ve been scared to try again. As it goes with a lot of my cookbooks, I suck up all the information and pore over the books and scour the recipes and absorb the stories a lot of them carry along.
I want to make great food for my family. I am normally excellent at making food for my family, but why am I so scared to go beyond the basic Instant Pot recipes and things I’ve been making forever?
Maybe it’s the time I set the stove on fire while attempting fried green tomatoes when I was 14. I melted the microwave shut and scorched the ceiling.
Maybe it’s the time I made pasta so gummy that only my dad would choke it down and pretend to like it.
Maybe it’s all the times I’ve tried bread.
I want to do amazing things with food. It’s my happy place in the kitchen, but I never wanted to try because I was afraid to fail.
I’ve got some big goals. I have to take leaps to reach them. So I am starting somewhere.
With this basic white bread.
Your basic white bread recipe for beginners!
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (or 1 package)
- 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon melted vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 3 cups bread flour
- Pour warm water into a large bowl.
- Stir in the dry yeast and keep stirring until all of the yeast is dissolved (takes about 2 minutes).
- Add sugar and stir, let this sit for about 5 minutes.
- Add sugar, shortening and milk and stir until thoroughly combined.
- Mix in the first two cups of flour until thoroughly mixed.
- Add additional flour by the tablespoon until dough comes together in one big clump and sticks to the spoon.
- Turn the flour out onto a lightly floured surface and knead with floured hands. Add pinches of flour as needed to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface or your hands. Knead until the dough is no longer sticky and is soft and smooth. (Takes me about 6-10 minutes)
- Put the dough into a buttered or greased bowl (I like glass or pyrex for this), then flip the dough so the top of the dough is greased as well.
- Cover the bowl with a dishtowel and place in a warm spot for an hour to rise.
- Punch the dough down.
- Flip the dough onto a floured board and knead for about 5 minutes. You want the dough springy to the touch.
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Shape the dough into a loaf, and set into a buttered bread pan.
- Cover with a dishtowel and let rise for 45 minutes.
- Score the dough with a sharp knife in 3 slashes.
- Place in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until golden brown.
- Remove the loaf of bread from the pan and let cool on a dishtowel or a rack.
Do let me know if you have any questions – you can check my About Page for my email or reach me on social media!