The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (2024)

The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (1)

Jamielyn Nye

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This is the BEST easy homemade bread recipe that’s simple to make with super soft and tender results. A slice of this fluffy white bread is perfect for sandwiches and freezes well.

We love to top this bread recipe with butter and homemade jam! Other favorite breads to make include homemade French bread and this no knead Dutch oven bread.

The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (2)

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Table of Contents

  • Easy Bread Recipe
  • Ingredients
  • Variations
  • How To Make Bread
  • Expert Tips
  • FAQs
  • 5 star review
  • Uses for Leftover Homemade Bread
  • Storing and Freezing Instructions
  • More Homemade Bread Recipes
  • Homemade Bread Recipe Printable Recipe

Easy Bread Recipe

There really is nothing better than a warmsliceof bread with butter and homemade strawberry jam on top. While I love making artisan bread, I tend to make this white bread recipe for my family the most!

I learned to make this bread when I was 12 and have been making it ever since. The evaporated milk adds the best flavor and the perfect texture. I even made a brioche bread, but this original recipe will always have my heart!

I’m excited to share all my bread making tips with you. Don’t let yeast intimidate you, this easy bread recipe is fool proof. Seriously there is nothing better in my opinion than a warm loaf of homemade bread to go with dinner or to make a sandwichfor lunch .


The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (3)

Find the fullprintable recipewith specific measurements below.

  • Warm water: The water temperature is key. If it’s too hot, it will kill the yeast. I like to keep it around 105°F.
  • Active dry yeast: Make sure you are using fresh yeast. If your yeast is old, your bread will not rise.
  • Granulated sugar: This adds the perfect sweetness.
  • Butter: The butter adds the perfect flavor.
  • Salt: The salt will bring all the flavors together.
  • Evaporated milk: This is the secret ingredient that really adds the perfect flavor and tenderness. You can substitute with milk if needed.
  • Flour: I’ve made this recipe with bread and all-purpose flour, both will work well. Be careful not to add too much, add slowly at the end.


  • Cinnamon swirl bread: Your family will love the cinnamon sugar swirl!
  • Raisin bread: Follow the cinnamon swirl bread instructions and add up to 2 cups raisins.
  • Whole wheat flour bread: I love to make this variation to use with avocado toast.
  • Homemade bread bowls: These are perfect for soup, dips and more!

How To Make Bread

Follow these step by step instructions and tips on how to form your homemade bread for best results.

The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (4)
  1. Proof the yeast: Let the yeast bubble up in warm water. You want the yeast mixture to be foamy and dissolved before you add to the flour.
  2. Mix together: Add a little more flour and keep mixing until the dough comes off the edge of the mixer. You know it’s done when your finger no longer sticks to the dough.
  3. First rise: While you’re letting the dough rise, cover the bowl with a warm towel and set by a window. You can also turn the oven to 175°F and then turn it off. Then place the bowl inside the oven and let it rise there. Make sure the dough has doubled in size before touching it.
  4. Shape the dough: When the dough is ready to be formed, punch the dough and then cut in half to make two loaves on a lightly floured surface. Press the dough down removing any air bubbles and start kneading for a couple minutes. Form a loaf and tuck the ends under.
  5. Second rise: Stick the two loves in bread pans and then let the dough rise until it has doubled in size or formed the perfect size bread.
  6. Bake: Then it’s ready to bake! Bake until golden brown and then butter the tops.

Expert Tips

  • Weather can affect ingredients: The weather outside can affect the overall consistency of the dough. If it is too humid, your dough may be too sticky. Add in additional flour 1/4 cup at a time until the dough no longer sticks to the sides of your mixer (and your finger doesn’t stick to the dough when you press on it).
  • Temperature can affect the rise: If your house is on the cooler side, your dough can take a lot longer to rise. Whenever I bake bread in the winter, I let it rise in the oven. Turn on the oven for 2-3 minutes, then turn if off to trap in the heat and place your bowl inside.
  • Food thermometer: Using a thermometer is an easy way to make sure the temperature of your water is just right. It should feel like warm bath water, around 105°F.
  • Stand mixer is best to fully knead: Although you can knead by hand, using a KitchenAid stand mixer with a dough hook saves you time and energy. It’s a game changer for making the best homemade bread recipe!
  • Towel: You’ll need a towel to cover the bowl while the dough rises. I love using these flour sack towels because they’re just the right width – not too thick and not too thin.
  • Bread Pans: This recipe makes two loaves, so you’ll need two 9×5″ bread pans. You can also use loaf pans that are ceramic, glass or cast iron.
The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (5)


What kind of yeast did you use?

I use active dry yeast. You need about 2 1/2 teaspoons to make 2 loaves of homemade white bread.

Can I use all-purpose flour?

Yes! I just prefer using bread flour when making this recipe, but all purpose tastes great too. Make sure you accurately measure the flour before getting started.

Can I use regular milk instead of evaporated milk?

Yes you can use regular milk, I just prefer the flavor with evaporated. It makes the bread more rich.

Can I cut this easy bread recipe in half?

Sure! Just simply cut the ingredients in half to make 1 loaf instead of 2.

Can I use a bread machine?

Although I haven’t tried, others have had success using a bread machine to make this recipe. Follow the manufacturer directions for layering the ingredients in the bread maker pan as well as you may need to adjust for instant yeast.

5 star review

“I tried various recipes when I decided to make bread for my family instead of buying it from the store. This one is by far the best! The loaves are soft and fluffy every time. The whole family enjoys it and my kids say it tastes better than store bought. I use regular milk and it turns out perfect.”

The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (6)

Uses for Leftover Homemade Bread

Use your bread in some of these favorite recipes!

  • To make a buttery grilled cheese sandwich.
  • Toasted with chicken salad or egg salad on top.
  • For breakfast as french toast or french toast sticks.

If you have leftover bread that has gone a little hard, don’t pitch it! It’s perfect for making homemade croutons, breadcrumbs, crockpot stuffing or overnight French toast casserole. It’s a great way to stretch the bread even further.

Storing and Freezing Instructions

The bread will keep for up to 5 days if stored in an airtight container or bag. It will also stay fresh if tightly wrapped in foil.

To freeze the bread after it’s been baked, simply let cool completely then wrap in foil or saran wrap. Then stick in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. You can also freeze the doughafter it rises the first time. Just make sure to let it rise again as it thaws.

The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (7)

Love homemade bread recipes? Try these other favorites such as naan bread, dinner rolls or these easy breadsticks!

More Homemade Bread Recipes

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The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (12)

Homemade Bread Recipe

4.97 from 593 votes

↑ Click stars to rate now!

Author: Jamielyn Nye

This is the BEST easy homemade bread recipe that's simple to make with super soft and tender results. A slice of this fluffy white bread is perfect for sandwiches and freezes well.

Prep Time: 20 minutes mins

Cook Time: 25 minutes mins

Rising Time: 1 hour hr 30 minutes mins

Total Time: 2 hours hrs 15 minutes mins

Servings: 32 slices (2 loaves)




  • 2 9×5-inch bread pans


Proofing Yeast

  • 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ½ Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 cups warm water , at 105°F


  • ¼ cup melted butter , plus 1 Tablespoon for brushing on top
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
  • 6-7 cups bread flour , or all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon shortening , or butter

Optional topping: Butter and Jam


    Proofing the Yeast

    • In a small bowl, add the yeast and sugar. Pour the warm water over the yeast mixture and let it sit 5 to 10 minutes, or until nice and bubbly. If it doesn't foam, toss it and start over. The water was either too hot or the yeast was not fresh (check the expiration date to be sure it isn't old).


    • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter, sugar, evaporated milk, and salt on medium low. Mix in the yeast mixture just until combined.

    • Swap out the paddle attachment for a dough hook. With the mixer on low, add 3 cups flour until combined. Add 1 cup flour at a time and stir until combined. After adding a total of 6 cups flour, add 1/2 cup flour at a time until the dough is no longer sticking to the sides. It’s ready when the dough is no longer sticky. You can knead by hand, if needed.

    • Cover the ball of dough and sides of the bowl with shortening. Cover the bowl with a warm towel. Set by a window and let rise 1 hour, or until doubled in size. When it has risen over the bowl, punch it down, and transfer to a floured surface.

    • Spray 2 9×5-inch bread pans with nonstick cooking spray.

    • Knead the dough 2 to 3 minutes. Cut into 2 equal pieces. Using a rolling pin, roll one piece into a rectangle. Starting at the shorter side, roll the dough up and tuck the ends under. Place into a bread pan. Repeat with the remaining piece.

    • Preheat oven to 375°F and place the rack in the middle of the oven.

    • Let the loaves rise about 30 minutes. When it looks like a good loaf of bread, place in the oven and bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until golden on top and cooked through. If the tops are browning too fast, tent the top with foil.

    • Remove from the pans to a cooling rack. Brush the tops with butter.Slice once slightly cooled. Enjoy with butter and jam, if desired.


    Thermometer: Using a thermometer is an easy way to make sure the temperature of your water is just right. It should feel like warm bath water, around 105°F.

    Milk: If you don’t have evaporated milk you can use whole milk but make sure it is at room temperature.

    Stand mixer: Although you can knead by hand or a dough whisk, using a KitchenAid stand mixer with a dough hook saves you time and energy. It’s a game changer for making homemade bread!

    Towel: You’ll need a towel to cover the bowl while the dough rises. I love using these flour sack towels because they’re just the right width – not too thick and not too thin.

    Flour: I prefer to use bread flour for this recipe, but you can definitely use all-purpose flour as well. If you’d like to use wheat flour, I suggest using my whole wheat bread recipe.

    Rising tip: Turn the oven to 175°F. Turn off the oven and let the dough rise in the oven with the door slightly cracked.

    Storage: The bread will keep in an airtight container or brown bag on the counter up to 5 days .

    Freeze: Let the loaves cool completely then wrap in foil or saran wrap. Place in a freezer bag. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw the night before serving.


    Calories: 114kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 235mg | Potassium: 38mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 54IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 0.2mg

    Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

    Course: bread

    Cuisine: American

    Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!

    Categorized as: American, Bread, Freezer-Friendly, Nut-Free, Reader Favorites, Vegetarian, Yeast Bread

    The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (13)

    Jamielyn Nye is the founder and recipe creator at I Heart Naptime. She is also the author of the I Heart Naptime Cookbook. Here you will find easy family-friendly recipes for every occasion.

    More about Jamielyn Nye

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    Add a comment


      • Christina
      • The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (18)

      Amazing bread. Will never go back to store bought. I make mine with 3% milk instead of evaporated and it still comes out perfect!

      • Reply
      • Heather Beden
      • The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (19)

      Amazing bread. My family loved it. How could I tweak this recipe to make it go into a bread maker?

      • Reply
      • Deb
      • The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (20)

      It’s my first time making this bread, it was so easy and the finished product is amazing! I love the size of each loaf, texture is soft and flavour is delishious! I’m going to make another batch tomorrow for give aways. I’ve tried alot of recipes and yours is hands down the BEST! This is now my go to white bread recipe, thank you! For anyone reading my comment, I used regular AP flour but followed the rest of the recipe to a T and it turned out perfect. :)

      • Reply
      • Deb
      • The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (21)

      This bread is so good! Easy to make also!

      • Reply
        • I Heart Naptime Community

        I’m so glad you enjoy the bread Deb! :)

        • Reply
      • Maricela
      • The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (22)

      This recipe is great and so easy to follow. The bread is delicious and worth the time.

      • Reply
      • Elaine
      • The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (23)

      This is excellent. I messed up by forgetting the 1/4 cup sugar and cut back on the salt. Although it turned out excellent. Thank you!

      • Reply
      • Alyson
      • The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (24)

      Absolutely delicious and so easy to make! Thank you for a great recipe!!

      • Reply
      • Chris
      • The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (25)

      Literallly the best sandwich bread ever!

      • Reply

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    The BEST Homemade Bread Recipe - I Heart Naptime (2024)


    Is it better to make bread with milk or water? ›

    Water vs.

    Milk changes bread recipes by producing a softer loaf, due to the milk fat content, which also gives bread a richer flavor. Bread made with milk browns more easily than bread made with water, as lactose or milk sugar will caramelize as it bakes.

    What gives bread the best flavor? ›

    Several tasty ingredients like honey, olives and even bananas are used regularly to ramp up the classic bread recipe's flavor. Not only are these ingredients delicious, but when chosen wisely, they can also boost your bread's nutritional value.

    What does milk do in bread recipe? ›

    In the finished product, milk will make bread that has:
    • Greater volume (improved capacity to retain gas)
    • Darker crust (due to the lactose in the milk)
    • Longer shelf life (due partly to the milk fat)
    • Finer and more “cottony” grain.
    • Better slicing due to the finer grain.

    What is the secret to light bread? ›

    Add Sugar

    Sugar acts as a liquifying agent in the dough. Adding sugar weakens the gluten structure, absorbs water, and eventually makes the bread lighter and softer.

    Is it better to use oil or butter for bread? ›

    The spongy texture and moist flavor that oil creates can be a boon to certain recipes. Not to mention oil is cheaper and easier to work with. Butter will always provide superior flavor and that melt-in-your-mouth texture. In many recipes, combining the two gives the best of both worlds.

    What does adding egg to bread dough do? ›

    Egg has protein, fat, water and while the fat and water soften the crumb, the protein helps with strengthening the gluten and capturing more CO2. Eggs are also helping with leavening the dough which adds to the rise. Doughs that have more egg usually rise more, so go ahead and play around a bit!

    What makes bread super soft and fluffy? ›

    There's something magical about the bread you get at your local bakeries - they're always sooo soft and fluffy. Many of these breads, especially packaged ones, are made with a ton of chemical additives such as calcium propionate, amylase, and chlorine dioxide which help keep them soft, light, and fluffy for days.

    Why does bakery bread taste so good? ›

    Second, store-bought bread is often made with a combination of flours, such as wheat flour, enriched flour, and malted barley flour, which can provide a better flavor and texture than using a single type of flour.

    Does bread taste better the longer it rises? ›

    Quickly proofed bread tastes like wheat flour. Because that's mostly what it is. But long rising bread has a chance for the yeasts (and bacteria, too, in the case of sourdough) to eat the starches and burp out all sorts of flavorful byproducts, in addition to the CO2 we rely on to leaven the bread.

    Can you use juice instead of water to make bread? ›

    Yes. You can make bread without water. But you need to replace that liquid with something else, like pineapple juice or milk. I've made bread using one or the other for years and had great results.

    What milk is best for bread? ›

    Whole milk may be a better choice for baking if you prefer a richer texture. Whole milk contains more lactose than 2% milk, which means it will produce a denser loaf of bread or cake. However, 2% milk can also be used in baked goods if you don't mind the slight sweetness that is present.

    What happens when you put too much yeast in bread? ›

    Too much yeast could cause the dough to go flat by releasing gas before the flour is ready to expand. If you let the dough rise too long, it will start having a yeast or beer smell and taste and ultimately deflate or rise poorly in the oven and have a light crust.

    What is the secret to fluffy homemade bread? ›

    You want to rise the dough so that the yeast still has enough energy in it to work in the oven to give you a nice, light, fluffy loaf of white bread. Lightly cover the loaf pans with plastic wrap - do not make it too tight as you don't want the dough to rise up and get trapped in the plastic wrap.

    What is the secret of making good homemade bread? ›

    12 tips for making perfect bread
    • Use the right yeast. ...
    • Store your yeast properly. ...
    • Treat salt with care. ...
    • Take your time. ...
    • Try different flours. ...
    • Consider vitamin C. ...
    • Practice makes perfect. ...
    • Don't prove for too long.

    Does letting bread rise longer make it fluffier? ›

    Does Rising Bread Affect Its Texture? For a fluffy bread texture, the key is to let the bread rise long enough.

    What would be the benefit of using milk instead of water when baking bread? ›

    Using milk instead of water in your yeasted bread is an easy way to add a touch of sweetness, making it ideal for challah, dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls, and hot dog buns. Milk sugars not only add a hint of sweetness but also result in a softer, more uniform crumb and ensure a nicely browned crust.

    Is it better to use milk or water in yeast rolls? ›

    It does affect the texture a bit, though. Bread made with water will not be as soft or fluffy as bread made with milk, the crumb won't be as fine, and it will go stale faster as well.

    Why is milk better than water for baking? ›

    And I realized that the whole reason people use milk in baking (instead of something like water), is its high protein content. Protein adds structure (i.e. causes desserts to be fluffy and gives them a delicate crumb) and encourages browning.

    What happens if I substitute water for milk in bread? ›

    Using water as a replacement leads to a "cleaner" taste as the it doesn't obfuscate the taste of the other ingredients which were used. So basically: add liquid to your dough, which kind can usually be ignored 2.

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