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.
Single Loaf Bread Recipe Kitchenaid Stand Mixer
A super-simple loaf of bread.
1 hour, 45 minutes
If the dough is too shaggy (meaning it looks a bit furry), add more flour. If it's too hard, add more water. You'll get a better idea of how the dough should look and feel as you bake more loaves.
If you want the bread to be extra-crusty, remove it from the pan, and turn the oven off. Put the bread back in the oven, right on the rack, and let it rest, with the oven door slightly ajar. Let the bread cool as the oven does.
- 1 /1/2 tsp instant yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 C lukewarm water
- 2 3/4 C to 3 C all purpose flour
- semolina or cornmeal for the baking pan (about a tablespoon or two)
- Put the yeast, sugar, salt, water, and flour into the bowl of your Kitchenaid mixer. Mix for about 30 secnds to one minute on speed 2 using the paddle attachment. When it's done, it should pull away from the sides of the bowl and form a ball of dough.
- Swap the paddle for the dough hook and knead for 3-5 minutes on speed 2. The dough should be smooth and elastic, and bounce back when you press down on it.
- Remove the dough from the bowl. Grease the same bowl with a bit of canola oil (I use about a capful). Put the dough back in the bowl and turn it over and around until it's coated with the oil.
- Cover the bowl with a plastic bag and put it in a warmish spot or in a cool oven (heat to 200 degrees for 10 minutes, then turn it off).
- Let the dough rise until it doubles in size (1-2 hours).
- Gently push down the dough. Keep it round if you like, or shape into a long oval (like Italian bread).
- Put that in a shallow baking pan or baking sheet sprinkled with semolina or cornmeal. This helps keeps it from sticking and adds a bit of extra crustiness.
- Let it rest for 45 minutes, covered. When it's risen enough, the dough will no longer bounce back when you press on it.
- Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Slash the top of the bread, and spray (a plant sprayer will work fine) or brush (use a pastry brush) it with warm water.
- Place in the middle of the oven and bake the bread for 25-35 minutes.
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
Norpro Bench Scraper/Chopper
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.
Saf Instant Yeast, 1 Pound Pouch
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
Kitchenaid Potato Bread Recipe
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!).
Kitchenaid Bread Recipes
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.
Kitchenaid Honey Oat Bread Recipe
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.
One Loaf Kitchenaid Sandwich White Bread
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.
Single Loaf Challah Recipe for Kitchenaid Stand Mixer
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.
Milk and Honey Whole Wheat Bread Recipe
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.