You do not have to bake homemade bread or really to cook at all to be a Homemaker but there is NOTHING quite like the aroma and flavor of fresh bread. With grocery stores shelves not exactly reliable these days – I would even argue that baking bread at home has become an ESSENTIAL skill. I have shared recipes for sourdough, honey whole wheat and also a super easy Artisan French Bread BUT this Traditional Homemade White Bread recipe is by far the favorite. It is moist, slightly honey sweet, super flavorful and turns out perfect every time. I PROMISE it is not as hard as you think. Let’s bake bread together!
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Traditional Homemade White Bread: A VERSATILE Family Favorite
Nearly every woman in my family has and knows how to make this white bread recipe. It is known as “speedy roll dough” and I’m not quite sure where the orginal recipe came from.
As a young kid, I remember my Aunt making them and bringing them to every holiday and family function in the form of piping hot dinner rolls. They were often snatched BEFORE dinner could even start. EVERYONE loves this recipe and can’t wait to grab one and slather it with butter or better yet. . . . HONEY butter!
I started making this bread as a young wife. . . so I guess I have been making it for over 10 years. YIKES!! I always thought bread baking was complicated but was SURPRISED to find out how easy it really is.
I have made a couple tweaks to the original Traditional Homemade White Bread recipe:
- Mainly substituting white sugar with honey and sometimes replacing some of the white flour with whole wheat to make it a little more healthy.
- I also choose to use butter instead of shortening because I just think BUTTER IS BETTER and overall a more natural, less processed and waaaaaay more flavorful way to go.
- Sometimes I will replace the warm water with milk to make a richer, more nutritious loaf but MOST of the time I just use the warm water.
You can make SOO many beautiful things with this Classic White Bread Dough.
How about a loaf of soft white bread for sandwiches or toast. . .
Maybe deliciously soft rolls for a family or holiday dinner?
OR *SWOON* Decadent cinnamon or orange rolls for breakfast or brunch! Yes Please!
Fry bread or maple bars – Ham & cheese roll-ups or “pigs n’ blanket” – EVEN Pizza Crust!
Maybe a Traditional Homemade White Bread video tutorial is more your speed? Watch that here.
SWEET – OR – SAVORY this Classic White Bread dough can be used for so many scrumptious dishes.
Once you learn how easy it is to make, I encourage you to turn this dough into all kinds of wonderful treats and meals for your family.
5 tips/tricks to Make Better Bread!
1. Make sure your yeast is FRESH & ACTIVE
- Consider keeping bread yeast in fridge or even refrigerator. ALWAYS let the yeast dissolve and “bloom”. In other words, let it become “active” or bubbly in the sweetened water component of your recipe before adding it to the flour. This helps you to know your yeast is good and will provide a lovely, risen loaf.
- If your yeast does not bloom. Throw it out and start over with fresh yeast.
A note on Yeast: Fresh versus Dried & Active versus Rapid Rise.
- Bread yeast comes in 2 main categories
- Fresh “Cake” Yeast is more common in professional kitchens. It is moist and usually kept refrigerated.
- Dried or “Regular” Yeast can come as Active Dry or Rapid Rise. Rapid Rise Yeast is known as “Bread Machine” or “Instant Yeast” and dissolves a lot faster with a faster rise time.
- It does not really matter what kind of yeast you use. The same rules apply, let it dissolve and make sure it is active before adding to your recipe. I have not noticed a huge difference in the rise times either. I most often use Active Dry yeast.
2. Use Butter! Butter IS Better . . .
- I choose to use softened butter for the fat in this recipe. You could use shortening or lard if you prefer. I have used coconut oil with amazing results but it does give a hint of coconut flavor. This is fantastic for sweet rolls.
3. Let dough rise in a warm spot.
- Cover dough and let rise – warmer the spot the better just not hot enough to cook the dough. 72-80 degrees F is perfect.
- Some ovens have a “proof” setting to create a warm cave for dough to rise.
- Many times covering and leaving in an oven with the oven light on is just enough extra warmth.
- Preheating the oven and placing pans on the top of the oven near the back is also a great warm location.
- In the winter next to a wood stove or heater is perfect.
4. For soft, shiny crusts rub warm loaves with butter fresh out of the oven.
- This creates a wonderfly glossy, soft, chewy instead of crunchy crust on rolls and bread.
5. Consider a stand mixer to to whip this recipe up in a FLASH.
- Stand mixers are an investment BUT they are so useful in a Homemaker’s kitchen. I will NEVER have a kitchen without a Kitchenaid Mixer. There are so many attachments to make cooking easier – pasta makers, meat grinders, cheese graters – you name it.
- You can certainly make this Classic White Bread in a large bowl, mixing and kneading by hand but the dough hook on a Kithchen Aid Mixer makes making bread SO EASY!
What you need:
- 2 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
- 1/2 to 2/3 cups of honey (depends on how sweet you want your dough)
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 C softened butter
- 6 1/2 cups All-purpose (AP) bread flour
How to make Traditional Homemade White Bread Dough:
In a small bowl, dissolve honey in warm water and sprinkle yeast on top. Set aside for at least 5 minutes and allow yeast to soften and become bubbly.
In bowl of stand mixer add 2 cups of bread flour with 1 tablespoon of salt.
FYI: my salt here is PINK Himalayan sea salt.
Once yeast is active and bubbly, pour it into bowl of mixer with flour/salt and mix well with the DOUGH HOOK attachment of a stand mixer.
- If you don’t have a stand mixer you could certainly make this by hand in a large bowl. Just stir ingredients together with a spoon then knead by hand.
NEXT mix in eggs and softened butter at medium speed or by hand until MOSTLY incorporated.
Add 2 more cups of AP flour and mix well by hand or with dough hook of stand mixer at low speed. – continue to scrape sides and mix.
- Add another 2 cups of AP Four (This should be 6 cups total so far!)
- You will likely add another 1/2 cup or more of AP four, mixing in between additions. Add a little at a time until the dough comes together in a nice firm, not too sticky ball. In a stand mixer, you know it is ready when it begins to pull CLEAN away from the sides of the mixing bowl.
If mixing by hand remove the dough form the bowl to a lightly floured counter. Knead by folding in half and pushing down flat on the surface, folding and pushing down again. Repeat for 10 kneads. Add flour as you need to if dough is too sticky.
- Knead until dough is Smooth, elastic and not sticky.
Form finish dough into a tight ball by tucking all sides under.
Oil, spray or butter your bowl and return dough, cover with tea towel and allow to rise in warm place. – FIRST RISE 30 minutes. You want the dough to almost double.
After dough has risen, punch down, remove from bowl flatten slightly on lightly floured surface and knead by folding in half, then into half again.
- Form dough into final shape for baking. You can shape and tuck under sides to form a long loaf or take small golfball size amounts of dough, forming into balls for rolls.
NOT: For Cinnamon Rolls – flatten dough into rectangle and slather with cinnamon, sugar, vanilla and butter and rollup and slice for cinnamon rolls or bread!
- Place your shaped dough into a buttered or greased loaf pan, baking dish or sheet pan. Set aside for FINAL RISE 30-45 minutes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
For a Loaf Pan: Bake for 20-25 minutes or until brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
For Rolls: Check them at 15 minutes to be sure not to burn them.
Remove from oven, rub the top with butter and allow to cool before removing from pan and slicing.
Try MORE Delicious and EASY Bread Recipes:
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- 2 C of warm water
- 1/2 to 2/3 C Honey
- 2 Tbsp Active Dry Yeast
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 C softened butter
- 6 1/2 C All Purpose (AP) Bread Flour
- In a small bowl, dissolve honey in warm water and sprinkle yeast on top. Set aside for at least 5 minutes and allow yeast to soften and become bubbly.
- In bowl of stand mixer add 2 Cups of AP flour and the salt.
- Once yeast is active and bubbly, add it to bowl of mixer with flour/salt.
- Using the dough hook attachment (or a spoon if making by hand) mix all ingredients until mostly combined.
- Add eggs and softened butter and mix again medium speed or by hand until MOSTLY incorporated.
- Add another 2 cups of AP flour and mix well, scraping sides of bowl as you go.
- Add another 2 cups (6 total) of AP Flour and mix/knead, scraping sides of bowl.
- Add another 1/2 or more AP Flour in 1/4 cup increments. (just a little at a time) You are looking for dough to become firm, elastic and no longer sticky - it will pull away CLEAN from the sides of mixer bowl and all flour will be well mixed.
- Remove from bowl and form into a tight ball. Oil/butter bowl and return dough to bowl, cover with tea towel and allow to rise in warm place. - FIRST RISE 30 minutes.
- Punch dough down, remove from bowl, fold twice in half and form into final shape for baking.
- Butter/grease a loaf pan and place dough inside. Set aside for - FINAL RISE 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until brown and loaf sounds hollow when tapped. If you are making cinnamon rolls or dinner rolls they cook faster. Check them at 15 minutes to be sure not to burn them.
- Remove from oven, rub tops of loaves or rolls with a bit of soft butter and allow to cool before removing from pan and slicing.
- If making sweet rolls, allow them to cool just slightly before icing them.
- May substitute butter with shortening, lard or coconut oil - substitute 1 for 1 with any of these.
- May use white sugar or brown sugar in place of honey.
- Feel free to replace up to half the quantity of white four in the recipe with whole wheat for a more nutritious loaf.
- Try replacing water with whole milk to up the richness, flavor and protein/nutrition content of this bread.