Easy Homemade Bread Recipe

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
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This easy Homemade Bread Recipe uses a plastic ziplock bag to make perfect, extra soft, white sandwich bread every time. It is so simple to make, even the kids will love helping!

An Easy Homemade Bread Recipe

Let’s be honest – fresh baked bread has a smell that can win over just about anyone’s grumbling stomach! With more time on their hands, many people have taken to making more homemade foods during these crazy times. Fresh home, baked bread has been one recipe that many people have had their hand in. However, you need the right recipe to make it happen!

With this simple recipe for easy homemade bread in a bag, you will be wondering why you haven’t made bread at home before! This recipe is so easy, that even my kids love to help with making it. We used this perfect homemade bread recipe to make the best PB&J sandwiches and now it’s a staple we have been making every week.

Freshly baked loaf of bread on cutting board.

Why I Love This Bread Recipe

Warm homemade bread is definitely a comfort food for many! Whether you’re wanting a nice slice of bread to go with dinner, or something to welcome in visitors, this easy bread recipe doesn’t require a lot of work and creates perfect soft sandwich bread without a bread maker!

  • So easy kids can help. I love that this recipe is so easy my little kids can almost make it themselves. Of course I help with warming up the milk on the stove, but overall they can do most of the steps by themselves.
  • Very little clean up. Since this recipe does not require any special machines (bread maker, stand mixer, hand mixer, etc), there is very little clean up needed. If you use the ziplock bag instead of a bowl, there is even less to clean!
  • Milk instead of water. This bread recipe uses milk instead of water. The fat in the milk makes the bread more tender and gives the bread a better flavor than using just water. Milk also has natural sugar in it, which helps the yeast grow and makes the bread a perfect after school snack bread – tasty, warm and homemade!
  • Customizable. This bread is a great base recipe for different flavors of bread. If you wanted to, you could add raisins and cinnamon when you roll the bread before the final rise. Or how about some fresh herbs like rosemary or thyme.
Yeast being poured into a plastic bag.

What Equipment Do I Need?

This is an easy bread recipe that doesn’t require any fancy or massive equipment – no need for a stand mixer with special attachments! This just requires a few basic ingredients and a resealable gallon plastic bag. 

  • Gallon Size Resealable Plastic Bag: If you don’t have a ziplock bag, you can use a bowl if you prefer.
  • Rolling Pin
  • Loaf Pan: You will need a 9×5 loaf pan for baking the bread.
  • Tea Towel: A thin/light weight kitchen towel to cover the bread while it rises.
  • Thermometer: I use a candy thermometer that clips to the side of the pan, to make sure you heat your milk and oil to the correct temperature. 

You will also need a place to roll out the dough, like on your counter top or a cutting board.

Simple Ingredients

Thankfully making homemade bread doesn’t require a ton of ingredients. In fact, most of the ingredients you need are pantry staples!

  • Flour: For this recipe I use regular all purpose flour. If you want, you can also use bread flour. Bread flour has a higher percentage of protein which makes the crumb a little tighter. All purpose flour will create a softer bread.
  • Yeast: Yeast can get a bit confusing with all the different names. For this recipe, I recommend using an instant yeast. Depending on the brand, it can be labeled as fast rising, instant yeast, rapid rise yeast, or fast acting yeast. Your yeast will need to be fresh, because the recipe below does not call for proofing the yeast. You add it straight from the package to keep things easy. 
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Salt
  • Whole Milk: I recommend using whole milk for the higher fat content, which in turn creates a richer taste and softer crumb. However, you can use 2% or fat free milk.
  • Vegetable Oil

Why Use Milk Instead Of Water

This easy bread recipe uses milk instead of water. The fat in the milk makes the bread more tender, with a softer crumb, and I think it gives the bread a better flavor than using just water. However, if you only have water, you can use it instead. 

Kneading homemade bread dough in a plastic bag.

How To Make Homemade Bread

If this is your first time making bread, don’t be nervous! I promise this recipe is super simple and I will walk you through it step by step.

Dry Ingredients: In a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag, combine yeast, sugar, salt and 1 cup of flour. Seal bag and shake to combine.

Warm: In a small saucepan, heat the milk and oil over medium-high heat, until it reaches 110°F to 115°F degrees. It should NOT boil – you can touch the liquid at this point, but it should be warm to the touch. You do not want to kill the yeast with too hot of liquid.

Combine: Open the zip-top bag and pour the warmed milk and oil into the bag. Reseal the bag and use your hands to work the bag to combine the ingredients. 

Kneading bread dough with flour by hand.

Add Flour: Add the flour, about ½ cup at a time, working the bag with your hands between each addition, until a soft dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bag.

Knead Dough: Sprinkle a clean countertop generously with extra flour and remove the dough from the bag. Knead the dough on the counter for 5 minutes, with your hands. Add additional flour as you knead, just until the dough is smooth and elastic. 

Rest: Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 10 minutes. 

Rolled bread dough on a counter top with two hands rolling it

Roll: Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12×7-inch rectangle. Beginning from one short end, roll the dough up tightly into a log. 

Rise: Place the dough into a 8.5 x 4.4 inch loaf pan that has been greased with non-stick cooking spray. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

Bake: Bake the bread at 375°F for 30 minutes or until done. Cool the bread for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

Bread being carried on a cooling rack by a girl.

Tips For Success

  • Milk vs Water: Use whole milk instead of water. As I mentioned, the fat in the milk makes the homemade bread more tender and gives it a better overall flavor.
  • Fresh Yeast: Make sure your yeast is fresh. This homemade bread recipe does not call for proofing the yeast. You add it straight from the package, so your yeast needs to be fresh.
  • Warm Space For Rising: The best place to let dough rise is a warm area in your home. On a warm day, your kitchen counter will probably work just fine. My mom used to let our bread dough rise in the laundry room when the dryer was going to help warm the room. If your kitchen is cold, your oven is actually a great place. Preheat your oven to 200°F for 1-2 minutes to get it nice and toasty, then turn it off and add your dough to rise inside the oven.
  • Butter The Top: While it is still warm, allow a tablespoon of butter to melt over the top of the crust. Do this before cutting the homemade bread and you will barely need any butter when you slice into it! It will absorb a little and the taste goes a long way.
Up close image of a slice of homemade bread.

How To Store Homemade Bread

Homemade bread is best that first day, with a crispy crust and perfectly soft center. However, if stored properly, it will stay delicious for 3 to 4 days.

To store your homemade bread, wrap it in foil, in an airtight container, or in a plastic bag, and store it at room temperature. It’s important to store your bread in something air tight to maintain the moisture in your bread.

Once stored, the bread will lose the crisp outside and become softer as the moisture in the bread moves towards the surface. If you like the crisp edges, you can always toast it lightly before serving.

Slices of sandwich bread on a cutting board with a tea towel.

Can I Freeze This Bread?

If you won’t eat your bread within those first few days, your best option is to freeze it.

Make sure the bread is completely cooked and that you wrap the bread completely air tight before freezing it. I personally like to wrap my bread with saran wrap and then place it in a freezer friendly ziploc bag.

Freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw by placing on the counter at room temperature or by warming in the oven or toaster. If you slice your bread before freezing it, you can easily grab out exactly how many slices you need.

More Easy Yeast Recipes

Sliced homemade bread with a tea towel.
4.5 from 100 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Yield: 1 loaf

Easy Homemade Bread

This easy Homemade Bread Recipe makes a perfectly soft, and tender, white sandwich bread with minimal effort. So easy the kids can help!
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Additional Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time2 hours 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ to 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 envelope, .25 ounce or 2 ½ teaspoons fast acting dry yeast
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Instructions 

  • In a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag, combine yeast, sugar, salt and 1 cup of flour. Seal bag and shake to combine.
  • In a small saucepan, heat the milk and oil over medium-high heat, until it reaches 110°F to 115°F degrees on a thermometer. It should NOT boil – you can touch the liquid at this point, but it should be warm to the touch. You do not want to kill the yeast with too hot of liquid.
  • Open the zip-top bag and pour the warmed milk and oil into the bag. Reseal the bag and use your hands to work the bag to combine the ingredients.
  • Add the flour, about ½ cup at a time, working the bag with your hands between each addition, until a soft dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bag.
  • Sprinkle a clean countertop generously with extra flour and remove the dough from the bag. Knead the dough on the counter for 5 minutes, with your hands. Add additional flour as you knead, just until the dough is smooth and elastic. 
  • Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 10 minutes. 
  • Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 12×7-inch rectangle. Beginning from one short end, roll the dough up tightly into a log. 
  • Place the dough into a 9×5 inch loaf pan that has been greased with non-stick cooking spray. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Bake the bread at 375°F for 30 minutes or until done. Cool the bread for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.

Video

Notes

Yeast: This recipe uses fast acting dry yeast. (Other common names: RapidRise Yeast, Instant Yeast, Fast Acting Yeast) Your yeast will need to be fresh, because the recipe below does not call for proofing the yeast and will not rise properly if the yeast is old.
Storage: Store bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 to 4 days.
Freeze: Ensure bread is fully cooled and then wrap bread in saran wrap and then foil (or a ziploc freezer bag) before freezing. If you slice your bread before freezing it, you can easily pull out a slice or two, as desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 291kcal, Carbohydrates: 55g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 4g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Sodium: 160mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 4g

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56 Responses
    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      Hi Debbie, usually it is not a direct 1:1 swap, but I am not an expert on gluten free baking. I’d recommend searching a gluten free homemade bread recipe using almond flour to guarantee your success. I’d hate for you to waste ingredients!

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      Hi Anna! I apologize, but I am not a gluten free baker and I do not specialize in it. I wouldn’t want to steer you wrong or have you waste ingredients, so I would recommend searching for a gluten free bread recipe to make sure you get a recipe that will work for you!

  1. Dolene

    Using this recipe, could you do a sugar/cinnamon sprinkle before rolling up to put in the loaf pan?? Maybe some raisins to make cinnamon raisin bread?? Fresh baked bread is one amazing smell, but add that cinnamon smell and you have raised the bar!!!

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      Hi Judi! Yes, you can use fat free skim milk. Whole milk will give the bread a little better flavor/texture, but skim milk is definitely fine to use as well. I am not well versed on gluten free baking, I only have a general understanding. I would recommend searching for a gluten free bread recipe instead. I would hate for you to possibly waste ingredients.

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      Hi Holly! I don’t yet, but I am working on testing my sourdough recipe to try to get it perfect to share. Hopefully soon! :-)

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      Hi Sam, I personally do not have any experience with Rye flour. I have used wholemeal flour a few times, but don’t think it would be great in this recipe. I would recommend looking for a bread recipe that specifically is made to use those flours. I would recommend checking out the recipe section on King Arthur Flour website. Good luck!

  2. Erin Onda Lutz

    Have you made with bread flour by chance, and if so how much leavening?

    I made a loaf with AP yesterday and making a loaf today for my inlaws. I posted my pic on your Facebook page today. It is a phenomenal and easy bread recipe!! I have made many types, recipes using different yeasts and this is the best and easiest. I may try a little less sugar so more of an Italian style vs Paska sweet bread next time. If you have a thought, would appreciate.

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      Hey Erin! So glad you enjoyed it! You can use bread flour – bread flour has a higher percentage of protein so it gives your bread a more chewy quality! And yes, it will also work with a little less sugar, but you will need a little sugar to feed the yeast. Hope this helps! :-)

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      Hi Amanda! Yes, you can use buttermilk in place of the milk. Just know that buttermilk can cause yeast breads to rise slower, so be patient!

  3. Uma Devi

    Hi Jessica, I made this bread using the bread machine and I must admit, it’s my family’s favourite now. To add on, I let abt 2 tablespoons of butter melt on the baked bread. It tastes soooooo good! Thanks for sharing.

    1. leanne

      Hi Uma , it wasn’t over cooked or to dry using bread machine ? I wanted to use it but thought the cooking time would be too long ? Thanks :-)

  4. Wilda Meadows

    I’ve been making bread for several years and this is as good as any I’ve ever made. I didn’t use the bag, just a bowl and wooden spoon. So easy and excellent texture.

  5. Allie Quinn

    This bread is so yummy, it turned out amazing! This turned out better and way softer than bread I make with my bread maker. The loaf is on the small side but that actually works perfectly for my family. It baked so beautifully (just like your sample one)  I wish I could post a picture here but it won’t let me! Thanks for sharing this method! 

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      So glad you enjoyed it Allie! I am working on getting a site redesign that will allow readers to share photos of their recipes!! :-)

  6. Michelle Keller

    This looks like a good recipe, but you need to look at & correct your directions on the printable direction sheet. The first directions are missing & then the part about adding flour & needing is repeated.

      1. Maury

        I guess the novelty of it would be good for 1 time, but who wants to dig bread dough out of a ziplock bag. I would use recipe but in a bowl.

  7. Beverley

    I’m still learning how to make bread – but I want to ask if heavy whipping cream can be used instead of whole milk in this recipe?

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      Hi Beverly! Heavy cream will not work in this recipe, you could use milk (or almond milk, coconut milk, etc) or even water. But heavy cream will not produce a good loaf of bread. Hope this helps!

  8. Jessica

    This looks so great! Could it by chance be modified with 2% milk? That’s all we have and was curious of the impact. 

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      Yes! You can even make it with water. Whole milk is best for the milk fat for flavor, but 2% will be good too!

  9. Dianne

    The text and the recipe don’t match. Seems to be extra steps in recipe that looks more complex than the text. Also, the recipe doesn’t say to put it back into the bag. Please make clear which one we are supposed to Follow.

        1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
          Jessica

          Yes, you can, but just know that buttermilk may make your bread slower to rise. So just be patient if you use buttermilk!

  10. Susan

    I hesitate to ask, because I like the ingredients, but have you ever made it without the bag? I’ll pass on it if you’d advise against just doing it by hand.  Just wondered.

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.
      Jessica

      If you slice it into 14 slices, each slice will have 55g of carbs. You can see the full nutrition information right below the recipe. Thanks! 

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Jessica
For the past 15 years, Jorge & Jessica have loved getting to share their families' favorite recipes with all of you. They live in Florida with their 3 kids.