This single loaf bread recipe is just about the easiest loaf of bread ever. I adapted it from the King Arthur recipe site (which is a treasure trove of baking know-how). They call it hearth bread. That recipe, however, makes two loaves, which is just too much for one person. So, I reduced the quantities and made one single loaf recipe instead.
A Kitchenaid stand mixer makes the whole process much easier and faster. If you don’t have one, you can do it the old-fashioned way and knead it by hand.
At its simplest, bread is flour, water, yeast, and salt, with maybe a bit of sugar to give the yeast something to munch on. You can get crustier bread by brushing it with water or egg white. Make it softer with milk, or add new flavors (like honey or sesame seeds). However, those basic few ingredients are all you really need. It may seem intimidating if you haven’t done it before, but it’s really not. After a while, you get a “feel” for how the dough should look and feel and can correct any mistakes.
The bread is easy, but the instructions in the original recipe were a bit confusing. They gave several different variations on how to bake the bread (depending on how crusty you like it) and was a bit tricky to navigate through all the different options. So, I have shared the version/combination I found works best for my taste.
Update: King Arthur eventually decided that the original instructions were both too confusing, and were causing many people to end up with burned bread! The new method ditches the pan of water, and leads to a delicious, crusty loaf of bread. I tried it out and the results were much better. If you want the bread to be extra-crusty, let it cool in a turned-off oven (instructions are in the notes section of the recipe).
They also say to make it a long “Italian bread” shape (which makes it a bit crustier), but I left it round because I liked the way it looks.
Tip: Use Saf Instant Yeast to make your bread. It’s a one pound package, which will make a lot of loaves of bread! Much more economical than the little packets. It also starts to work right away. You don’t have to wait for it to proof.
Tools and Ingredients for this Recipe
I’d been making do with a knife or using my hands to pick the dough up off the counter. Then I decided I’d had enough. This bench scraper is not expensive, and it’s worth every cent. The dough comes right up. It’s easy to divide or measure (sometimes I make two mini-loaves) and a lot less messy.
If you’ve been getting those pricey individual packets, just stop. This is a much better solution. It’s a lot cheaper per loaf, you save time, and you can make dozens of loaves of bread. It also works faster than standard yeast. Win-win.
More Single Loaf Kitchenaid Bread Recipes
Once you’ve mastered simple bread, move on to a shaped loaf. Potato bread is light, airy, and hides a secret serving of vegetables (vitamins!).
White bread, whole wheat, French bread, multigrain, and lots of other recipes all together. With links to bread videos and special pans for making those baguettes.
It’s breakfast in a bread! The oats increase the protein and add vitamins too. But you won’t feel deprived, because it tastes great. Smells wonderful too.
Perfect for sandwiches, this bread is light, tender, but still sturdy enough to hold up to a pile of meat and cheese, chicken salad, or good old PB and J.
Challah is traditionally served on Friday nights, as part of the Sabbath meal. The usual version is long and braided. However, for the High Holidays (Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur) we make them round to symbolize the fact that the years go around and around, repeating the seasons.
Rich, slightly nutty, and soft too. The honey and milk tenderize the bread, help it brown, and of course, add lots of flavor. It’s easy to make as well. Just dump everything in a bowl, stir, knead, rise, and bake. This is two mini-loaves (in the photo), but you can make just one if you prefer.