The smell of homemade bread is reason enough to dive into the world of baking it. And, because this recipe for Classic Amish White Bread is so easy, you just might give up buying store-bought white bread forever.
I mean really, is there a better aroma than freshly baked homemade bread? Nah, I don't think so.
And when it's coming from your own oven in your own kitchen, made from dough you yourself mixed from scratch, it smells and tastes even better.
Homemade bread can be intimidating, I can't lie. There are definitely bread recipes out there that I can't even look at because they give me anxiety just thinking about attempting them, but this recipe is certainly not one of them. Neither is this Condensed Milk Bread, if I'm being honest. You can dive into baking with this recipe too and not feel intimidated.
Go ahead, dive in! The water's warm over here in the deep end of the Amish white bread-making pool. You'll never look back down that grocery store bread aisle again.
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How to Make Amish White Bread
To make this recipe, you need only a few ingredients, most of which you probably already have in your pantry.
If you don't already, buy yourself a bag of yeast rather than those little packets. I like Saf-Instant Yeast.
This yeast comes in a big vacuum-sealed bag and once opened, it keeps really well in the fridge for a good long while. I also choose to use King Arthur Bread Flour. It has a high protein content which produces higher, loftier loaves. Yum!
The perfect homemade bread for Toast
I started making this Amish White Bread recipe about 6 months ago and since then, I've made it just about every two weeks. My kids love this bread! If you enjoy baguettes, with a crunchy exterior and soft inside, I highly recommend Vietnamese Bread, it's cooks up a great ham sandwich as well as for toast or grilled cheese.
They eat this Amish loaf toasted for breakfast slathered in their favorite butter, the salted whipped kind (I buy organic so I can say to all the butter nay-sayers, "well, at least it's organic!"). They eat it as an after school snack, again, slathered in whipped butter.
And sometimes they have it for dinner slathered in butter and fried in a pan with a couple slices of good ol' American cheese melted in the middle. Now, I have yet to get them to eat it with the crust intact. You win some, you lose some...
But, I do know for a fact that the crust on this homemade bread is buttery, soft, and definitely a hit, at least amongst those of us over the height of 48 inches tall!
Tips for Making Homemade White Bread
A few tips for making this recipe:
- Start by dissolving the sugar in warm water - it's important that the water is about 110 degrees F otherwise the sugar won't dissolve fully and the yeast won't bloom well (aka, get all foamy and active). I use a whisk to incorporate the sugar then sprinkle the yeast on top and give it a quick stir
- To proof the dough (don't be scared! It's actually quite easy and just involves a lot of patience), drizzle some vegetable oil into a clean bowl (I use a silicone brush to spread the oil all around the bowl) then take a kitchen towel, run it under warm water to saturate it, wring it out, and place it over the bowl to cover the dough. Set your oven to 350 degrees F for one minute (no longer!), turn the oven off, and stick the covered dough inside with the oven light on. This creates a great environment in which to proof your dough
- Here's a great tutorial on shaping the dough into loaves
- Remove your proofed loaves from the oven about 10 minutes before they've fully risen so that you may preheat the oven for baking, otherwise you risk over-proofing your dough if you wait until the second proof has completed before preheating
If this is your first attempt at baking your own bread, let me know how it turned out! I think you'll find it worth the effort. Enjoy!
Looking for more homemade bread recipes? Give these a try:
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- 2 cups warm water 110ºF / 43ºC
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 6 cups bread flour
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the sugar in the warm water, stirring with a whisk to ensure the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Sprinkle the yeast on top of sugar water and give a quick stir.
- Leave the yeast to proof in the sugar water until bubbly foam forms on top, approximately 5-10 minutes.
- Turn the mixer on low and with the paddle attachment, mix in the salt and oil.
- While the mixer is running on low, add flour one cup at a time just until incorporated. Do not over mix
- Turn dough out onto clean work surface dusted with flour and knead for 2-3 minutes until smooth.
- Brush a large clean bowl with vegetable oil, place dough in bowl and turn to coat lightly in oil on all sides.
- Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise in a warm spot (see 2nd note below for creating a good proofing environment for your dough) until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour.
- With a silicone brush, oil two 9x5 inch loaf pans with vegetable oil. Set aside
- Once dough has doubled in size, remove damp cloth and punch dough down to remove air bubbles.
- Turn out onto a clean work surface very lightly dusted with flour and knead again for a few minutes.
- With a bench scraper or very sharp knife, divide in half (does not have to be exact).
- Working with one half at a time, flatten slightly into an oval shape.
- Fold top third of the dough down to the middle of the dough (like you’re folding a letter) and with the palm of your hand, gently press the seam down to close.
- Turn the dough 180 degrees so the folded portion is now closest to you and fold top third down to the middle of the dough, pressing the seam gently with your palm to close.
- Fold dough in half by taking the top half and folding it over the bottom half and use your palm to press seam together (for video on how to do this, click here).
- Place each loaf into its own oiled loaf pan.
- Cover both loaf pans with damp cloth and place in warm spot to rise for 30-60 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
- When dough has about 15 minutes left in its second rise, preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Once fully risen, bake for 30 minutes.
- Allow to cool in pans for about an hour then remove and allow to fully cool on cooling rack.
- Slice, slather with whipped butter, and enjoy!
- Be sure your water is warm otherwise the sugar will not dissolve fully - To proof the dough, set your oven to 350 degrees F for one minute (no longer!), turn the oven off, and stick the covered dough inside with the oven light on. This creates a great environment in which to proof your dough
- Here's a great tutorial on shaping the dough into loaves
- Remove your proofed loaves from the oven about 10 minutes before they've fully risen so that you may preheat the oven for baking
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