Basic White Bread

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Recipe Courtesy of

Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Difficulty: Moderate

Ingredients Add to grocery list

2-3 cups boiling water for steam bath
3 cups warm water, for dough
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon salt
3 tablespoons instant/rapid rise yeast*
6 cups unbleached bread flour, plus more if needed
1/4 cup cornmeal

*An instant yeast, sometimes called “rapid rise” removes the need for proofing the dough; there is only one rise. Instant yeast is also added with the flour, rather than into the water with the sugar. This yeast is available at your local grocer, or online.





Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 3 medium (8.5 x 4.5 x 2.75 inches) loaf pans. Have 2-3 cups of water boiling for steam bath.

In the bowl of a stand mixer pour the warm water, vegetable oil, sugar, and salt. Start mixer. Slowly add 3 cups of flour, one at a time. Once flour is combined, add yeast.  Add remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time, allowing flour to combine completely before adding more.

Once the flour is combined, the dough should start to pull away from sides of the bowl, and its texture will appear waxy.

Sprinkle counter or cutting board and hands with cornmeal. Remove dough from the bowl. At this point, the dough should be moved as little as possible. The less it is handled, the better it will rise. Divide dough into three equal pieces. Gently fold each piece in half, and place in loaf pan, seam side down.

Pour an inch of hot water into a shallow sheet pan. Place loaves in water, without dough getting wet. Using glasses, or tall bottles, tent a damp cloth over bread and tray, being careful not to let the cloth touch the bread. This tent will help your dough rise and keep out cold, yeast-killing drafts. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, 10-15 minutes.

When the dough has risen, bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is crisp and golden brown.

Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Tools You May Need

Stand mixer with dough hook.

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Reader Comments:


Dear Paula I am man and a lot of baking and cooking. And I have followed your recipes and your tv show. You are just the berries. Keep on truckin !!!!!!!

By Richard Coss on January 21, 2014


This bread turned out WONDERFUL!!! Had a small problem. When the recipe said to cut the dough into 3 loaves my batter was way to loose so I literally dumped it into my baking pans and hoping it would be ok. Don't know if it was the recipe or me but it turned out great! Discovered a new trick the other day for rising bread and it worked with this recipe. Place 2 cups of water in your microwave and heat it on high for 10 minutes. Open the door and place your bread in, close the door and let it rise for the 15 minutes it called for in the recipe (or the time called for in any another recipe). Worked like a charm and have used it for other bread also. The bread really taste like sourdough; used it this am for French toast and it was great. You need to try this because its so simple, doesn't take much time and is delicious.

By Frankie on September 29, 2013

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