The smell of homemade bread is reason enough to dive into the world of baking it. And, because this classic Amish White Bread Recipe 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.
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Why you’ll love this easy bread recipe
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.
Here are more reasons to love this recipe:
- Perfectly soft and chewy Amish bread is a great recipe for beginners or to make with kids. It’s virtually fail-proof
- Because it’s preservative-free and super simple, it’s so much better and fresher than a store-bought loaf
- A bit of sugar makes this slightly sweet white bread an every morning go-to for toast covered with butter and berry jam
- No special equipment needed. If you don’t have a stand mixer you can easily knead it by hand
- This recipe makes two loaves, one to keep and one to share!
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!
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!
My family also loves baguettes, with a crunchy exterior and soft inside. I highly recommend trying this Vietnamese Bread. It makes for great ham sandwiches as well as for toast or grilled cheese.
🧾 Ingredients & Substitutions
- Sugar: a little granulated sugar makes this bread just a tiny bit sweet. Did I mention it makes the most perfect French toast?
- Yeast: I like instant yeast for this recipe. You can substitute active dry yeast but be prepared for a slower rise time
- Water: warm water helps the yeast wake up and become active. Hot water will kill the yeast, so keep the temperature under 110°F
- Bread flour: for a good, chewy texture you can’t beat bread flour. But you can substitute an equal amount of all-purpose flour if you don’t have bread flour
- Kosher salt: I use kosher, but any salt will work. If your salt has a finer grain than kosher salt, you’ll need to adjust the amount. For example, you only need half as much table salt
- Vegetable oil: substitute any neutral-tasting oil, like avocado or grapeseed oil. Avoid those with a strong flavor like olive oil or seed oils
How to make homemade 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!
Add the salt and oil to the yeast mixture and use the mixer’s paddle attachment to combine. Then, with the mixer running, add one cup of flour at a time. Mix only until just incorporated. You don’t want to overmix or your dough will be tough.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, 2-3 minutes.
Coat a large clean bowl with vegetable oil. Add the dough to the greased bowl and flip it over so all sides are coated in oil.
Cover the dough with a damp towel or plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour. A barely-warm oven is a good place to let your dough rise.
Cut the bread dough in half with a sharp knife.
Flatten each round half of dough into an oval shape. Fold the top third of the dough down to the middle of the dough (as if you’re sealing an envelope). Use the palm of your hand to gently press the seam closed.
Turn the dough 180 degrees (the folded portion will now be closest to you). Fold the top third down to the middle and press the seam together.
Place each half of dough in an oiled bread pan. Cover both pans with a damp towel and let rise a second time in a warm place. When fully risen, the dough should be about an inch above the top of the pan. This should take 30-60 minutes.
When the dough is nearly risen, remove the pans from the oven (if that’s where it’s rising). Preheat the oven to 350°F. Once the dough finishes rising, bake for 30 minutes.
Cool the baked bread in pans for an hour. Then remove to cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing. Yes, this takes some patience, but you’ll be rewarded with the most amazing fresh bread. Time to grab the butter and dig in!
Pro 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!
What is the difference between active dry yeast and instant yeast?
As its name suggests, active dry yeast must be activated with warm water sugar. As long as it foams after a few minutes in the water, you’ll know it’s alive and your bread will rise. Instant yeast has a longer shelf life and doesn’t need to be proofed in liquid. You can mix it directly into the dry ingredients.
What makes bread light and fluffy?
When yeast consumes sugar, it produces air bubbles that make the bread dough rise. Letting the dough rise in a warm (but not hot) environment helps the bread rise faster and creates more air pockets. The more air pockets you have, the lighter and fluffier your bread will be.
Like this recipe? Follow me on Pinterest for lots more recipes just like this one! And don’t forget to pin this recipe for later by clicking on one of the images below the recipe. Or, click on any of the images in this post to save to Pinterest.
Looking for more homemade bread recipes? Try these:
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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