How to make homemade amish bread from scratch with tips, step-by-step recipe, and video.
I don’t know why, but something about homemade bread just makes me feel extremely domestic. Basically like an actual pioneer woman braving the cold and walking for miles to the town mill with my grains in a sack over my shoulder.
I’ve learned that bread making is an art, and takes practice to perfect and get your own methods and system down. But this is the perfect starter recipe and such a versatile bread that basically everyone will love. Its perfect for sandwiches and those who have an aversion to earthier breads (like my husband).
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Watch My Video on How to Make Bread
There are so many life lessons in bread making. Like how a little bit of yeast distributed throughout a large amount of flour can make the whole thing rise up and fulfill its true potential to be amazing and beautiful and enriching to the lives of those who consume it. Just like a little bit of Jesus and prayer distributed throughout our lives can do all those things and so much more.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like the yeast a woman used in making bread. Even though she put only a little yeast in three measures of flour, it permeated every part of the dough.” Matthew 13:33
Funny story – when I made bread for the first time and got to the part where you “punch it down” after it rises (proofs), I wanted to make sure I really got it good and punched it at least ten times…..no chill! My bread ended up pretty deflated and I called my mom to confirm my suspicion that I’d gotten a little carried away with the punching. She and I had a good laugh and I learned that its only necessary to punch it once.
There are three proofs in this recipe. First, the yeast proofs in the water and milk mixture which takes about 10 minutes depending on the temperature inside your home. Second, the dough proofs for an hour until it doubles in size. Third, the shaped loaves of dough proof inside the bread pans before baking. All of these proofing steps can be done on the countertop in warmer months. But in the winter it could take a really long time, so I proof in my oven. Your oven may have a proof setting, if so use that. If not, set it to 105F. Sometimes I will set my bowl covered with a tea towel on the hearth in front of our wood stove to proof if we have a fire built.
Kneading is an art. There are a few times throughout the bread making process that you’ll have to knead the dough. You can do this by hand with no tools other than a mixing bowl and spoon, like I did in the video. Or you can use a stand mixer which works really well. I’ve had my Kitchen Aid for over 6 years and that thing is a beast. Its my go to when I’m multitasking like crazy or just pressed for time. But I will say, I am partial to hand kneading. I’m partial to anything done by hand, really. But also thankful for modern conveniences and appliances!
I recently switched out my old wilton pans for these cast iron beauties and wish I would have done so long ago! Cast iron is the most durable, healthful, and classic way to cook food. There’s a bit of a learning curve with care, but it’s worth it and they get better with time. These came pre-seasoned and I just coast them with coconut oil to make them nonstick before placing my shaped loaves of dough in for the final proofing. I’m in the process of switching all of our cookware out for cast iron and will probably be grabbing a couple more of these so I can do a double batch of four loaves at a time.
My kids love fresh bread, right out the oven, smeared with grass fed, unpasteurized butter. The. Best. No matter what they’re doing they always come running when I holler that the bread’s done. And I always tease them a little about whether or not they helped enough to have a piece, or if I should keep it all to myself like the Little Red Hen. To which they protest with eyes wide “I helped!” or “I get the biggest piece!” And then starts battle royale over who actually gets “the biggest piece.” So precious, little people are.
Total Time: 3 hours Yield: 2 loaves
- 1 cup water 110F
- 1 cup whole milk 110F
- 2/3 cup honey or sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (I always use pink Himalayan)
- 1/4 cup olive oil or melted coconut oil
- 5-6 cups bread flour
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- If your oven has a “proof” setting, turn it on. If not, set your oven at 105F.
- warm water and milk to no higher than 110F, any higher will kill the yeast
- dissolve honey in water & milk mixture in the bowl of your stand mixer
- whisk in the yeast
- set aside for 10 minutes or until the top looks foamy
- whisk in oil and salt
- turn the mixer on to low with the dough hook attachment, and begin adding flour, one cup at a time until the dough pulls away from the bowl
- continue kneading for about 5 minutes
- oil a large bowl and place the dough inside, then place into the oven on proof or at 105F for an hour, or until it has doubled in bulk
- Punch down the dough, then knead for a few minutes and divide the dough in half using a sharp knife.
- Form each half into a ball, cover with towel and let rest for five minutes
- Shape each ball into a loaf and place into 9×5 greased pans
- Brush the tops of each loaf with melted butter and let rise for 30 minutes or until the dough has risen an inch or so above the pans
- Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, or until loaves sound hollow when the bottoms are tapped
- Cover the loaves with a clean tea towel to cool for a while, and then serve or store
Notes: I usually double this recipe to make four loaves every Monday. This stays good and lasts us all week and I have a whole loaf left to make French toast casserole each Sunday. Wrap or freeze your bread to store after it cools completely.
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