Easy Homemade Bread Recipe

20 Slices
2 hr 20 min

Are you looking for an easy bread recipe to make at home? This is the perfect simple bread recipe made with only five ingredients! This easy recipe is ideal for bakers of all skill levels. If this is your first time, have no fear, I will walk you through step-by-step how to make this easy homemade bread.

Slices of bread next to butter.
Slices of homemade bread.


Ingredients used in making the recipe.

Picture Steps

How to Shape into a Boule (Round)

Prep: Pat the dough into a rectangular shape.

Shape: Imagine the dough as having six sides. Grab one of the six sides, lift and pull it into the center. Repeat with all sides until the dough begins to take a round shape.

Tighten: Flip the dough over. Place your hands on each side of the dough. Slice the dough under your hands and turn. Repeat until a tight circle shape forms.

How to Shape into a Baguette

Prep: Pat the dough into a rectangular shape.

Shape: Grab two corners of the same side of the rectangle, lift the dough and fold it into the center. Grab two corners of the other side of the rectangle, lift the dough, and fold it into the center. Gently tuck the sides of the dough in.

Roll: Roll the dough back and forth to tighten and smooth it out the dough.

Easy Homemade Bread Recipe
Recipe details
  • 20  Slices
  • Prep time: 2 Hours Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 2 hr 20 min
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  • ▢ 1 and 2/3 cups (370g) warm water between 95F and 105F
  • ▢ 1 tablespoon (11g) sugar
  • ▢ 2 and 1/2 teaspoons (15g) salt
  • ▢ 2 and 1/4 teaspoons (7g) instant yeast
  • ▢ 4.5 to 5 cups (540g) all-purpose flour
  • ▢ 2 tablespoons (10g) cornmeal (optional)

Mix Ingredients: In a large bowl mix warm water, sugar, and salt. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and let sit for 7 - 10 minutes to activate the yeast. After the yeast has been activated, add the flour to the water one cup at a time. The dough will be shaggy and very messy.
Knead: By Hand: Lightly oil or flour a flat work surface. Turn the dough onto the work surface and knead until the dough is shiny and smooth. To knead, form the dough into a rough ball, and use your palm to push the dough away from you. Form back into a ball, turn 90 degrees and repeat until the dough is smooth and shiny. This takes between 7 - 10 minutes. By Stand: Place ingredients in a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Turn the mixer on low-medium speed and mix until the dough forms a ball on the dough hook and there is no dough on the sides. This takes about 7 minutes. After kneading: Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover it with a damp towel for one hour or until the dough has doubled. This is the first prove or also called the first rise.
Shape and Second Prove: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with cornmeal (optional) on top of the parchment paper. Insert your fist into the center of the dough to gently knock the air out. Divide the dough into two sections. Shape the dough into your desired shape (see below for pictures on how to shape a baguette or boule). Place oil plastic wrap over the bread and let the dough rise for 45 minutes. Part way through this step preheat your oven to 450F/225C. To test if the dough is ready for the next step, gently poke your finger into one of the loaves. If the indentation springs back, your dough needs to rest longer. If your dough slowly rises back with some of the indent remaining, your bread is ready for the next step.
Slash: Use a sharp knife to make 3 or 4 slashes in the bread and let the dough rest for five minutes. While the dough is resting, Bring 1 - 2 cups of water to a boil (I use the microwave). Place the water in a roasting pan, cast iron pan, or other oven-safe option. Then very quickly open the oven door, and place the pan with the boiling water on the bottom rack.
Bake: Place the bread in the oven on the rack above the water and bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it on the bottom. Cool for 30 minutes before serving. * Always open and close the oven door quickly so the oven stays very hot. I have people stand out of the way due to the heat. If wearing glasses, take them off to prevent fogging.
  • Baked Storage Instructions: Place in an airtight container and store on the counter for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to five days. The crust will soften while storing.
  • Dough Refrigerator Instructions: If you plan on making the bread later, follow the instructions before the first rise. The dough can be stored this way for one day. When ready, remove from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature (2 -3 hours). Once the dough has risen, punch it down and pick it up at step 3, shape and second prove.
  • Baked Freezer Instructions: Allow baked bread to cool thoroughly. Tightly wrap in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container for up to three months.
  • Dough Freezer Instructions: Follow instructions through shape before the second prove. Wrap the shaped dough in plastic wrap and store it in an airtight container for up to three months. Thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator. Then sit on the counter for 2 - 3 hours at room temperature to complete the second rise. Continue with the instructions starting at step four.
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  • Ann Carr Ann Carr on Nov 25, 2022

    Question - can wholemeal flour be substituted for all purpose flour? I am diabetic controlled by diet, as medication does not suit me.

    • Sinful Kitchen Sinful Kitchen on Nov 25, 2022

      Hello Ann, I have not tried and I am not sure. King Arther is a great resource. On their site it says? 113g of whole wheat flour for every 1 cup (120g) of white flour called for in your recipe.