Grandma's Perfect Homemade Bread (2023)

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This homemade bread is always a family favorite and can be done so easily with this perfect recipe my grandma handed down to me. Making bread is easier than you think!

My miracle no knead breadis another one of my favorite bread to make but it is also just as easy as this homemade bread. Bread is so rewarding to make and tastes even better than store bought!

Grandma's Perfect Homemade Bread (1)

Perfect Homemade Bread

I am so excited to be sharing my Grandma’s perfect bread recipe with you today! I can’t believe I haven’t put her recipe on the blog until now. I get intimidated by making bread, but I knew it was time to give it a try. So many memories came to me as the bread was baking and the wonderful aroma filled through house. I remember her fresh warm bread was always ready for us when we went to visit. It was gone as fast as she would slice it up. This bread turned out just as amazing as I remember it. It is perfectly soft and reminded me of our favorite bread, Grandma Sycamores!

I am here to tell you that if I can make it, so can you! Don’t let homemade bread intimidate you. It is so much easier than you think! I have included all of the best tips and tricks for you to get the perfect homemade every time.

Bread Ingredients

With these simple ingredients that you already have at home, this bread comes together quickly and easily. If you need to use a thermometer on the warm water that is a great way to make sure it is not too hot or to cold. Using a thermometer is the best way to know. Your yeast is also important to make sure it is

  • Warm Water: The temperature should be around 105-115 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Sugar: Sweeten the bread a bit with this sugar.
  • Salt:Just a pinch
  • Yeast:Make sure your yeast is active and fresh.
  • Flour:All purpose flour works best but if you would like a wheat flour that will work too.
  • Oil: I used olive oil but vegetable oil will also taste great too.

How to Make Homemade Bread

Only 6 ingredients to make a simple homemade bread that is delicious in every way. It is a tried and true favorite that my grandma was so generous to pass down to me. I love this bread so much and love the texture and flavor that it has to offer. The dough is made in a stand mixer but can be done by hand as well. Kneading the dough in-between each rise of the dough helps form the dough but also gets out any air bubbles. Make the perfect homemade bread with this recipe today!

  1. Make dough:In a stand mixer add the warm water, sugar, salt and yeast. Let the yeast proof until it bubbles for about 5 minutes. Using the dough hook start adding the flour one cup at a time until the dough combines and forms a soft dough.
  2. Knead dough:On a floured surface knead the dough until smooth and elastic and form a ball. Add the oil to the large bowl and add the dough to the bowl and cover. Let rise until it has doubled 1- 1 ½ hours.
  3. Form loaves:Grease and flour 2 9×5 inch pans. Punch the dough to release the air. Lay the dough onto a flat surface and cut into two loaves. Roll each loaf up and place into the loaf pans. Let rise until it doubles another 1-1 ½ hours.
  4. Bake dough:Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on the tops. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

Pro Tip from The Recipe Critic

Make sure your warm water isn’t too hot. Temperature needs to be between 105-115 degrees.

Grandma's Perfect Homemade Bread (2)

Tips for Making Homemade Bread

  • Proof the yeast: Add the yeast to the warm water. In about 10 minutes the combination will have tiny bubbles and smell of yeast. This indicates that the yeast is still good.
  • Kneaddough: It is best to have the dough kneaded for a good 5 minutes. This will help flavor and texture the bread will be totally worth all your muscle strength. After the first rise just simply kneading the dough for 1 to 2 minutes is best.
  • Seasonings: Add in your favorite bread seasonings and taste different bread recipes each time you make it!
  • Home temperature: Baking bread is usually done during the winter months when your home is heated. The bread will rise a little quicker and doesn’t take too long. If your home is cooler during the warmer temperatures outside simply know that your bread will take a bit longer to rise. Turning your oven on to help warm the kitchen will help a bit.
  • Climate outside:Yes, the weather does have an affect on bread. Usually places that are more moist will need to add ¼ cup of flour more. While making the dough if you notice the dough is not pulling away from the sides of the bowl easily after the first rise, this will be the time to add in a little extra flour. Do not use more though because the bread will become dense once baked.
  • Baked bread: To know if your bread is baked fully, use a food thermometer just like a meat thermometer. A fully baked bread will be about 190 degrees Fahrenheit. The top of the bread should be a light golden brown color.
  • Storing bread:Store bread in a cool dried place and in a plastic bag that is sealed to help it last longer and stay fresh.

Grandma's Perfect Homemade Bread (3)

What to serve with homemade bread

Homemade bread is warm and delicious! Comforting and tasty side dish or have it fresh out of the oven as a snack. Enjoy this bread with a simple layer of butter over top or with my homemade strawberry jam. This bread recipe goes perfectly with any dinner as a side or make a quick sandwich for lunch. It is so easy to make and everyone will love the fresh, warm flavor of homemade bread.

Grandma's Perfect Homemade Bread (4)

Storing Homemade Bread

Usually our baked bread does not last long enough to even store it or keep out longer than that day. Now though is a great time to have some on hand and be prepared when my family does need bread. With growing boys and a bigger family, all together we are needing more groceries and bread is one of them.

  • How to keep bread fresh:Simply place the loaf of bread or sliced bread in a ziplock bag or a sealed bag of some kind to keep the air out. Each time you open the bag make sure to continually close it off from the air getting into the bag and leaving it dried out. It is best to keep the bread unsliced until you are ready to eat. This is will help the bread last longer. Shelf life of homemade bread is about 5 to 7 days.
  • Make ahead:Even though it is hard to make the dough ahead of time, I like to take a day and just make a few batches of this bread recipe from my grandma.
  • Storing inthe refrigerator: Bread does last longer in the refrigerator once stored.
  • Can you freeze bread:Yes! Bread does freeze well. It is best to store tightly and correctly then place in the freezer until ready to serve. Let thaw overnight before serving.

Grandma's Perfect Homemade Bread (5)

More Bread Recipes to Enjoy

  • Focaccia Bread Recipe
  • Perfect Naan Bread
  • Cheesy Olive Bread
  • Cinnamon Swirl Cream Cheese Banana Bread
  • Blueberry Zucchini Bread with a Lemon Glaze

Grandma's Perfect Homemade Bread (6)

Grandma's Perfect Homemade Bread (7)

Grandma's Perfect Homemade Bread

4.88 from 24 votes

This homemade bread is always a family favorite and can be done so easily with this perfect recipe my grandma handed down to me. Making bread is easier than you think!

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Total Time 3 hours 45 minutes

Author Alyssa Rivers

Servings: 16 Slices



  • 2 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons oil I used olive oil


  • In a stand mixer add the warm water, sugar, salt and yeast. Let the yeast proof until it bubbles for about 5 minutes. Using the dough hook start adding the flour one cup at a time until the dough combines and forms a soft dough.

  • On a floured surface knead the dough until smooth and elastic and form a ball. Add the oil to the large bowl and add the dough to the bowl and cover. Let rise until it has doubled 1- 1 ½ hours.

  • Grease and flour 2 9x5 inch pans. Punch the dough to release the air. Lay the dough onto a flat surface and cut into two loaves. Roll each loaf up and place into the loaf pans. Let rise until it doubles another 1-1 ½ hours.

  • Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown on the tops. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.



My grandma's original recipe didn't use a stand mixer. You can add the ingredients to a large bowl and combine until the dough has formed and is smooth. Then proceed to knead it on a floured surface.


Serves: 16

Calories171kcal (9%)Carbohydrates33g (11%)Protein4g (8%)Fat2g (3%)Saturated Fat1g (5%)Sodium185mg (8%)Potassium44mg (1%)Fiber1g (4%)Sugar3g (3%)Calcium7mg (1%)Iron2mg (11%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Bread, Side Dish, Snack

Cuisine American

Keyword bread recipe, homemade bread, homemade bread recipe

Tried this recipe?Mention @alyssa_therecipecritic or tag #therecipecritic

Grandma's Perfect Homemade Bread (8)


What is the secret to making good bread? ›

A general rule of thumb when bread baking is to keep your yeast, salt and sugar separate from each other when adding to your mixing bowl. The sugar and salt can both kill the yeast which will reduce the effectiveness of the yeast if they come into contact at the early stages of bread baking.

What makes homemade bread light and fluffy? ›

Carbon dioxide is responsible for all the bubbles that make holes in bread, making it lighter and fluffier. Because gas is created as a result of yeast growth, the more the yeast grows, the more gas in the dough and the more light and airy your bread loaf will be.

What is the secret to super soft bread? ›

The first way to soften breads is to add fat somehow. Liquid fats are your best bet from sandwich breads or soft rolls. It could be as easy as replacing some if not all of the water in the recipe with whole milk.

What are 4 key things to remember when making bread? ›

Follow these tips for bread that comes out right every time.
  • 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.

How do I make my bread taste like a bakery? ›

Quickly, try adding a malt or honey into the mix to level up your bread's flavor. Malt, a sweetener that is available in powder and liquid form, can easily be added to almost any bread recipe. When choosing a malt to use, it's essential to use a non-diastatic version.

What are the 7 common bread making mistakes and how do you prevent them? ›

The 7 Common Breadmaking Mistakes You're Probably Making
  1. Failing to Weigh Your Ingredients Accurately. ...
  2. Mistakenly Adding Salt DIRECTLY on top of Yeast. ...
  3. Incorrectly Adding Too Much Liquid. ...
  4. Not Covering Up Your Dough At All Stages of Breadmaking. ...
  5. Inadequately Proofing Your Dough. ...
  6. Failure to Create Steam in the Oven.
Jan 16, 2020

How do bakeries make bread so soft? ›

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.

Does oil or butter make softer bread? ›

Baking with oil produces moist and tender baked goods.

Because oil is liquid at room temperature, it produces exceptionally moist baked goods. Butter, on the other hand, is solid at room temp, and therefore baked goods made with it are (arguably) a tad more dry.

What does adding an egg to bread dough do? ›

But besides the nutritional benefits there are a few other good reasons to use egg in breadmaking. It makes the bread lighter and fluffier. The reason for that is the fat in the yolk that inhibits gluten formation just as any other fat would. This results in a looser dough that can expand and puff up more.

What happens if you knead bread too long? ›

The overworked dough will often feel tight and tough. This means that liquid molecules have been damaged and won't stretch properly, causing the bread to break and tear more easily. Conversely, a dough that is underworked will be harder to form into a ball shape.

Why is my homemade bread not soft and fluffy? ›

The flour could have too low a protein content, there could be too much salt in the bread recipe, you did not knead it or leave it to prove for long enough or you could have killed the yeast by leaving the dough to rise in a place that was too hot.

What makes the bread soft and bouncy? ›

Yeast ferments the sugar present in the dough into carbon dioxide. The CO2 released from the yeast fills the dough and increases its volume. Once, the bread has baked, the heat causes the bubbles to break and makes the bread light and fluffy.

How long should you knead bread? ›

Kneading for 10-12 minutes by hand or 8-10 minutes in a mixer are the general standards; if you've been massaging the dough for that length of time, you can be pretty confident that you've done your job.

What is the most important ingredient in bread? ›

Wheat flour is the key ingredient in most breads. Flour quality is particularly important in breadmaking as the quality of the flour will have a significant impact on the finished product. When flour is moistened and stirred, beaten or kneaded, gluten develops to give dough `stretch`.

What are the only two essential ingredients necessary to make bread? ›

And can you bake bread without it? There are really only four things you need to make bread: flour, water, yeast, and salt. The reason for the first three ingredients is pretty obvious — of course you need flour and water to form a dough, and then yeast to make it rise.

Why do you spray water on bread before baking? ›

Spraying water when putting the the dough in the. oven helps keep the crust soft to allow maximum. oven spring.

Why do you brush bread with milk before baking? ›

MILK: Brushing with milk will help to color the crust, the sugars in the milk helping to brown it. WATER: Water is often sprayed or brushed onto bread before it is placed in a very hot oven, and during baking, to give the bread an extra-crisp crust.

What gives homemade bread its flavor? ›

Butter and especially stronger oils, such as walnut, can also add flavor to bread. Dry milk powder adds flavor to bread and can soften its texture, as in the case of this basic white sourdough. Add it to dough with the flour.

What are the 5 essential ingredients in bread? ›

The 5 bread ingredients are:
  • flour.
  • yeast.
  • sugar.
  • salt.
  • oil.
Sep 16, 2022

Should I cover bread when baking? ›

Covering the loaf traps the small amount of water we put on the dough, causing your homemade sourdough to steam. The steam stops your loaf from drying out on the surface too early from being exposed to the hot air inside the oven and forming a premature crust, limiting oven spring.

What happens if you don't knock back dough? ›

Once dough has risen to double its size, it must be pressed down or turned to prevent it from overproofing. If bread is allowed to rise to more than double its size, the gluten will stretch to the point of collapse and will no longer be able to hold the gas bubbles that provide necessary structure for the loaf.

What ingredient makes bread more moist? ›

Fats keep your bread moist. If your loaf was too dry, try adding a tablespoon or two more oil next time you make it. Likewise, water does more than hydrate your dough. It helps yeast do its thing, activates gluten and determines the volume of your loaf—all crucial for the right results.

What flour is best for bread? ›

All-purpose flour is best used for: cookies, muffins, bread, pie crusts, pancakes, biscuits, pizza dough, and pasta.

Does kneading dough make it softer? ›

An excess of flour can create a stiff, dry dough. A perfectly kneaded dough springs back when poked with your finger and will feel soft and silky in texture.

What happens if I use melted butter instead of softened in bread? ›

The same goes for butter that is too warm. Melted or liquid butter will thin out your batter, giving you ultra-flat cookies or cakes that are dense and uneven.

Is bread better made 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.

Which oil is best for bread making? ›

  1. 2 Best Oils for Bread Dough. Report this post. Max Wilson. ...
  2. Coconut Oil. Coconut oil is arguably the best oil you can use in your bread dough recipe – or any baked good for that matter. ...
  3. Canola Oil. One of the major reasons canola oil is so popular in baking and cooking is its neutral flavor.
Apr 26, 2021

What does olive oil do to bread dough? ›

Does olive oil make dough softer? Yes - adding olive oil to sourdough bread will result in a softer crust and crumb. The oil as a lipid coats the flour and inhibits the gluten network resulting in a softer, tighter crumb and softer crust. This can be a desirable outcome if you do not like tough, chewy sourdough crusts.

What does milk do in homemade bread? ›

Milk is used to add flavor. It enriches the dough and gives the bread a creamy color, soft crumb and a golden crust.

What does milk do in bread making? ›

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

How do you know when to stop kneading dough? ›

After kneading the dough for several minutes, press it with your finger. If the indentation stays, the dough still needs more work. If it springs back to its original shape, your dough is ready to rest.

Why do you let the dough rest after kneading? ›

This rest allows the starches and the gluten to expand and fully absorb the water, which makes the dough easier to handle and can shorten the time needed to fully knead the dough. This is especially helpful in dough that is very sticky, like ciabatta.

How long should bread rest after kneading? ›

After yeast dough has risen, you need to gently punch it down and knead it a few times to release the gases created by the yeast. Next, shape the dough into a ball and let it rest, covered in plastic wrap or an inverted bowl, for about 10-15 minutes before proceeding.

Does more kneading make softer bread? ›

Kneading dough develops and lengthens the gluten strands making the bread chewier and giving it more structure and a more define shape when it bakes. For a softer bread, you need to knead it less. For a fluffier airier bread use more liquid and either more initial yeast or/and a longer fermentation time.

Why is my bread always heavy and dense? ›

Dense or heavy bread can be the result of not kneading the dough mix properly –out of many reasons out there. Some of the other potential reasons could be mixing the yeast & salt together or losing your patience while baking or even not creating enough tension in the finished loaf before baking the bread.

What makes homemade bread tough and chewy? ›

The flour you used may have contained too much protein. Protein is one of the ingredients that help yeast bread brown. Use bread flour that is purchased at a grocery store or a national brand of all-purpose flour.

What is the best temperature to bake bread? ›

It all counts towards baking the perfect loaf of bread. The ideal oven temperatures for baking bread ranges anywhere between 350 and 475°F (180 and 246°C), optimizing both caramelization and the Maillard reaction (which we'll get into) providing the perfect color and texture in the final product.

What happens if you under knead dough? ›

Under-kneaded dough doesn't spring up as much in the oven, resulting in a flat-looking loaf with a dense texture. It may also tear when you try to cut slices. This bread is still perfectly edible (and makes great french toast!), so just remember to knead a little longer when you make your next loaf.

Why does my homemade bread fall apart when I slice it? ›

Too much flour and not enough water can cause crumbly bread – people often do this if the dough is too sticky and they add more flour rather than kneading through it. Other culprits can be overproving or not kneading enough – the things you need to do to get a good structure.

How do you make bread lighter and fluffier? ›

All it takes is a small amount of dough enhancer per loaf to create a much lighter and fluffier result. Using a dough enhancer like Vital Wheat Gluten works to improve the texture and elasticity of the dough and elongate the strands of gluten. Doing so allows more room for the gas in the dough to develop and rise.

Is it better to knead bread by hand or mixer? ›

Kneading dough by hand can be messy, and many home cooks add a lot of extra flour, which can compromise the texture of the baked loaf. So while hand kneading can be a gratifying process, we recommend using a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment for this task.

Is hand kneading better than machine? ›

While some enjoy the rhythmic motion of kneading by hand, there are advantages to using a stand mixer. Using a stand mixer takes less time because you can mix and knead the dough in the same bowl. Machine kneading is also easier on the wrists and hands.

What are 3 characteristics of good bread? ›

Slightly moist, tender and Moist, tender and light Soft, springy texture, flaky crumb, with a medium crumb, with medium fine, tender and slightly moist fine grain. evenly distributed air with fine grain, thin- spaces. walled cells.


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