the best bread recipe

When you’re the mother of three little girls who my girls are twenty seven love bread and when they were little would choose it, hands down, over all other food, you bake a lot of homemade bread. I was constantly on the hunt for the next great bread recipe. Yesterday, in my humble opinion, I wrote the best bread recipe of my cooking career. In saying that, let me describe what great bread in my kitchen looks and tastes like. My favorite shape is rectangle. The crust is crispy. The interior is soft. The taste is neither too fresh nor too salty but somewhere in the middle. Honey is my sweetener of choice. Then there’s the stuff…I love a nutty after taste that seeds and multi-grain flour produces. Finally, it needs to have a touch of dried fruit for moisture and a hint of perfume. So if that sounds good to you, this is your recipe.

No doubt, when my daughters read this post they’ll accuse me of bread blasphemy. Their favorite bread is classic, don’t mess with perfection, white bread made by my mom. Even though I used Mom’s bread recipe, it never tasted exactly the same. The girls would gobble it down and say, “good Mom, but not like Nan’s”. Notice they were clever enough not to say, ‘not as good as Nan’s’. They knew where their bread was buttered!

With all the literature available today on the need for as much whole grain as possible in our diets, I can’t limit my bread making to white flour. So my darlings, although this bread is chocked full of stuff, it will be the bread your children will be served in my kitchen. And the recipe you never quite get right…

I’m going to love being a grandmother!

Best Homemade Bread

Makes 2 loaves

¼ cup warm water
5 teaspoons active dry yeast

Place in small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, place: this can be done by hand

1 cup large flake oatmeal
¼ cup wheat bran
¼ cup golden raisins
½ cup butter
3 tablespoons honey
1 ¼ cup boiling water

Allow to sit until butter has melted – stir often.
Then add:

1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
¼ cup pepitas
3 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons salt

Stir well then add yeast mixture, stirring again.

Using the dough hook attachment, add 3 cups multi-grain bread flour.
Add an additional 3 cups all purpose flour in half cup increments.
Knead for 5 minutes.
Dough will be slightly sticky.
Butter a large mixing bowl to raise dough in.
Cover and allow to double in bulk.
Punch dough down, knead slightly and raise again until doubled.
Shape loaves and place in greased bread pans: cover and raise until doubled.

Preheat oven 375*F

Bake loaves for 45 minutes
Remove from oven onto a cooling rack.

THE LOVE: Give your bread the time it needs to raise properly.

printable recipe

one year ago: maple marshmallows

two years ago: spatch-cocked chicken with roasted apricots and crispy herbs

Thanks for reading.

  • Anonymous

    Hands Down your best post yet. Your photos are biteable

  • Penny Wolfe

    I swear I can smell the bread! Yum!

  • Anonymous

    Oh – I can smell it now….I sometimes wish I didn’t like bread sooo much.

  • Anonymous

    I remember home made bread and molasses…fresh out of the oven.

  • Sara Marie


  • Meggie

    So yummy! I am going to make this bread this weekend! xoxoo

  • Your bread looks sooooo good! I remember baking bread with my mom when I was little, it was the best!

  • Bread and I can’t seem to get along. I love eating it but have yet to successfully bake a really good loaf of bread. I just trust my farmer’s market bakeries. I’ll try this once my kitchen cools down a bit. Or maybe we could make some sort of deal? You bake me bread and I’ll supply you with endless jam? Just put up honey apricot preserves… 🙂

    • That sounds like a great deal! Do you have a stand mixer? The machine takes all the guessing and work away…

      • I do. I think the biggest problem is my apartment temperature fluctuates so much. I keep my yeast in the cabinet but should probably just buy it fresh each time I want to make bread. I’m always afraid storage in the fridge is too cold.

        • You’re right, just buy a packet each time you want to make bread. The heat in your apartment would be perfect raising the bread but baking it could be difficult…

  • Linda Brown

    I love your blog! I sent it to my sister in Northern California ~ she’s trained as a chef. I, sadly, am not but this last post has convinced me (almost) to try to bake bread, for the first time in my life. Thanks for the inspiration. Linda in Ottawa ( a friend of Diana’s)

    • What a tiny world we live in! So nice of you to reach out. If you own a stand mixer, bread making is almost effortless.
      Good luck!

  • Anonymous

    This looks deeeelicious! I don’t have a stand mixer, do you think this would turn out if I do it all by hand?

    • Absolutely! I have a shoulder issue so when I can use a machine I do. By hand works perfectly!

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