This easy yeast bread recipe is perfect for beginners. It contains ingredients you probably
already have in your house and can be ready in 3 hours (that’s pretty fast in the world of bread making).
The first time I made this easy yeast bread, the result looked more like a scone than bread. However the second time, and every time after, I been able to make two perfect loaves! Just know, if you don’t get it right the first time, just give it another shot and before you know it, you will have great bread every time!
What’s nice about this recipe is you do not need any fancy equipment. Just some ingredients you probably already have, good old fashioned elbow grease, a bowl, oven proof bakeware, and your off.
What you need to know before you start
- If salt and yeast come in direct contact the salt will kill the yeast. To avoid this I start with the water, than add the sugar, salt and then yeast.
- Yeast, is like Goldie lox and the water temperature needs to be just right to active it. Luckily, just right is in a large range. I aim for the water to be between 95 – 105. However, if you do not have a thermometer just run the water until it is warm. Warm water should active the yeast without killing it.
- You can use all purpose or bread flour for this recipe. I used bread flour, but either one would work.
- The recipe calls for 6 cups, however that might vary depending on your climate. I would say you will want to use between 5.5 and 6 cups. Once you reach the 5 cup mark add the flour in slowly until you achieve the desired texture.
Let’s get to making this easy yeast bread that is perfect for beginners
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 cups warm water
- 6 cups flour
- Cornmeal (optional)
See, super simple. I bet you already have most of that in your pantry!
Mixing the ingredients: Start by adding the sugar, salt and yeast to the warm water. Once mixed, allow for this to stand for five minutes. During this time the yeast will become activated and it should look like this (kind of foamy).
Next, using a spatula and then your hands, add in the flour one cup at a time until you reach the fifth cup. After the fifth cup start adding in the flour a little at a time (about an 1/8 of a cup). As you mix the flour, the dough will be lumpy and sticky. Continue to use your hands to mix all the ingredients picking up all the flour in the bowl. The dough should be rough and lumpy at this stage.
Kneading the dough: Once the flour is incorporated, it is time to begin kneading. Here is how your knead:
- Lightly flour or oil a flat surface
- Place the dough on that surface in a ball
- Using the palm of your hand, push the dough away from you
- Fold the dough in half and turn 90 degrees
- Using the ball of your hand, push the dough away from you again
- Fold the dough in half and turn 90 degrees
- Repeat this process until the dough is smooth and shiny (about 7- 8 minutes)
Rising the dough: After you have completed kneading, place the dough in a bowl, cover with a warm damp towel and let stand for 1 – 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in size. Once doubled, knock the air out of the dough and briefly knead to release any air bubbles. (The key word here is briefly. As in gently once or twice.)
Shape the dough: You can choose whichever shape you prefer. For this batch I used more of a loaf to go with a French Onion Soup I was making. However feel free to shape it into what works best for you. Once shaped, cover with cling wrap and let stand for an hour.
Baking the dough into bread: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place a roasting pan on the bottom rack and fill it with boiling water. This creates steam which forms the crusty outer shell of the bread. Place the bread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 20 -24 minutes depending how how crusty you prefer the outer shell.
Remove from the oven and cooling on cooling racks for 30 minutes. After that your bread is ready!
In the mood to bake something different? Try one of these recipes instead
Easy Yeast Bread — Perfect for Beginners
- In a bowl, mix water, yeast, sugar and salt. Allow to stand for five minutes. During this time the yeast will activate.
- Using a spatula, add in the first five cups of flour, one cup at a time.
- Add the remaining flour in an 1/8 of a cup at a time using your hands and picking up as much of the flour as you work the dough.
- On a lightly floured or oiled surface, knead the dough for 5 – 7 minutes.
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel until dough doubles in size (between 1 – 1.5 hours).
- Remove the dough and knock the air out. Cut the dough in half, then shape it, and using your knife, slash the top of the dough with 3 -4 times diagonally.
- Place the dough on a cookie sheet, cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 and place an aluminum roasting pan on the bottom of the oven. Fill 1" deep with boiling water.
- Brush the tops of the dough with cold water.
- Bake bread for 35 – 45 minutes.