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Close up of thin sliced homemade white bread loaf
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Basic White Bread Dough

Basic white bread recipe for either oven or bread machine, for use as french bread, boule, or sandwich bread
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 2 lbs
Author: Erin


  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast


  • In a liquid measuring cup, add yeast to the lukewarm water; stir and let sit 5 minutes until a layer of bubbles appear. In a medium bowl, combine the yeast and water mixture with all other ingredients until a dough ball forms. Turn dough ball onto a generously floured surface and knead for a full 10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and cover in a warm, non-drafty area. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. (Alternatively, this can be done in a bread machine, by selecting the 'Dough Cycle'. The end of the cycle is the end of the first rise.)
    Homemade white bread dough, in a greased bowl, rising until doubled in size
  • Turn dough back out onto a floured surface and form a French Loaf, Boule, or a simple sandwich bread loaf. Slit the surface of the loaves by either splitting it down the middle, or slashing shallow slits along the length.
    Raw white bread dough, shaped into a sandwich loaf, set in a greased, metal bread loaf pan and ready to rise and be baked
  • Let rise again, until doubled in size, another 30-60 minutes.
    Homemade white bread dough in loaf pan with split top ready to be baked
  • If desired, brush with beaten egg or egg white right before baking, for a golden, squeezably crackly crust. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
    uncooked, raw but formed French bread