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How to make bread at home: Best quick and easy bread recipes

Best quick and easy bread recipes
(Image credit: Getty Images)

I won’t loaf around. I know you’re here because you’re wondering how to make bread, and are in search of the best quick and easy bread recipes. 

Whether you’ve decided to improve your culinary skills with the free time you have stuck at home, or are sick of fighting for the last baguette and brioche at your grocery store, right now is a prime time to learn how to make bread yourself. In this guide, we'll give you five easy bread recipes and tell you what ingredients you'll need to bake a loaf at home. 

Bread making isn’t hard per se, although it can seem intimidating if you’ve never touched a packet of yeast, or if your dough hook is tucked away in your KitchenAid mixer box somewhere. It’s not as difficult as you may presume, as long as you assess a few things before getting started.

First you’ll need to know what ingredients you’re working with. Yeast is a standard need for the majority of the best quick and easy bread recipes, so if you have a non-expired packet in your pantry or are able to pick one up at the market, you’re in a good position to bake your carb-loving heart out. 

But yeast, like hand sanitizer and toilet paper, seems to be a hot commodity these days. Among the all best bread recipes we’ve gathered below, we included savory and sweet no-yeast options that go against the grain with a smooth, batter-like consistency rather than a traditional dough form. One of them puts your browning bananas to use, too.

If you're really pressed for time, you'll find the best no knead quick bread recipe below, too. You’ll want to make it every week if a crunchy crust, chewy texture and tangy taste sounds like your kind of thing. 

And for those with limited inventories, there’s even a 3-ingredient easy bread recipe for delicious, wrap-ready flatbread. Cooked on a stove stop, this yogurt-based delight is as crispy and bubbly as naan. 

Most of the best quick and easy bread recipes require an oven, as well as measuring cups, mixing bowls, spatulas, spoons and a bread pan or dutch oven. Having a stand mixer, plastic wrap, wire cooling rack or dedicated bread oven are useful, too, but not required.

See all of the best quick and easy bread recipes below.

Best quick and easy bread recipes

(Image credit: Taste of Home)

Basic homemade bread

If you’re learning how to make bread for the first time and want to do it right, this basic homemade bread recipe from Taste of Home is an excellent place to start. This white loaf is simple, yet as versatile as the store bought kind. Though the dough will need some time to rise, it requires less than 10 minutes of kneading and only spends 30 minutes in the oven. If you have all the ingredients at your disposal, this is the best bread recipe to replace your tried and true Wonder variety for lunch sandwiches.

Ingredients

• 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
• 2 1/4 cups warm water
• 3 tablespoons sugar + 1/2 teaspoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon salt
• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 6 1/2 cups bread flour

  • Step 1: Dissolve yeast and 1/2 teaspoon sugar in warm water in a large bowl. Let stand until bubbles form on the surface. Whisk together remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, salt, and 3 cups flour in a second bowl.
  • Step 2: Stir oil into yeast mixture. Pour into flour mixture and beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form a soft dough.
  • Step 3: Knead dough on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1-1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Step 4: Punch dough down and divide in half. Shape each into a loaf. Place in 2 greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pans. Cover and let rise, 1 hour.
  • Step 5: Bake at 375-degrees until golden brown and bread sounds, 30-35 minutes. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Best quick and easy bread recipes

(Image credit: Ciao Chow Linda)

No-knead bread

This no-knead bread recipe from Ciao Chow Linda doesn’t require brutalizing your dough to get a delectable, airy texture. You’ll still need yeast, but only 1/4 teaspoon worth, so you can really stretch it out. Standard yeast packets offer 2 1/4 teaspoons of the rising bacteria, so this is the best bread recipe if you’re trying to make your supply last a long time.

This bread recipe comes with a fun bit of history, too: The sourdough-like loaf originated with Jim Lahey of New York City’s Sullivan St. Bakery, and Mark Bittman made it famous when he wrote about it in the New York Times. This rendition is a bit saltier, but employs the same day-long rest period that results in a perfect loaf.

Ingredients

• 3 cups flour
• 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 5/8 cups water, or more as needed
• Cornmeal, optional

  • Step 1: Place the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add the water as needed and stir with a wooden spoon. You want “dough that looks like it wouldn’t hold together into a ball if made outside the bowl, but not so loose that it looks like a batter.”
  • Step 2: Cover in plastic wrap and let rise for at least 12 hours, if not 18-20 hours.
  • Step 3: Flour your hands and your work surface, turn the dough onto the board and fold it over on itself. Let it rest for 15 minutes.
  • Step 4: Shape dough into a ball and place it on half of a linen or cotton towel that has been sprinkled with cornmeal or flour. Sprinkle the top with more cornmeal or flour and cover with the other half of the towel. Let it rise another 2 hours.
  • Step 5: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and place an oven-safe pot or dutch oven inside. Let it heat with the lid on for 30 minutes.
  • Step 6: Remove pot from oven, take off lid and flip dough from towel upside down into the pot. Cook covered for 30 minutes, then uncovered for another 30 minutes.
  • Step 7: Remove from the oven and let cool.

Best quick and easy bread recipes

(Image credit: Baker Bettie)

Basic quick bread (no yeast)

This is the best quick bread recipe because it doesn’t require yeast, and can be prepared with minimal time needed. You won’t spend hours waiting for the dough to rise like you might with most homemade bread variations. That said, this quick bread from Baker Bettie doesn’t produce a typical texture. Instead, baking powder gives it the consistency of a banana bread.

You’ll also want to think of this bread recipe as a blank canvas. It’s adaptable, meaning you can add ingredients as you wish. See if you have sun dried tomatoes, basil, cheddar cheese or olives laying around for a savory spin on this quick bread. 

Ingredients

• 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 3 large eggs, room temperature
• 1 1/2 cups milk, room temperature
• 6 tablespoons canola oil
• Spices or mix-ins, optional

  • Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350-degrees and prepare a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with pan spray or lined with parchment paper. 
  • Step 2: Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and any other spices and herbs you might be using in a large mixing bowl. 
  • Step 3: Whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, and any other flavor extracts or liquids you may be using in another mixing bowl. 
  • Step 4: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir using a spoon or a rubber spatula until mixture is a thick batter consistency. Fold in additional ingredients if using. 
  • Step 5: Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Best quick and easy bread recipes

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Easy banana bread

When you have a few bananas going brown, look no further for the best quick and easy banana bread recipe. This one from Emma Christensen (via The Kitchn) uses minimal ingredients to achieve a perfectly moist batter in all of 10 minutes.

What's special about this banana recipe is that its forgiving, meaning you can swap out ingredients based on what you have on hand. Half the flour can be replaced with any other whole-grain flour, while brown sugar or another sugar substitute can stand in for white sugar altogether. And if you really want to extend the shelf life, you can turn stale banana bread into bread pudding. 

Ingredients

• 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 2 large eggs
• 1/4 cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 3 medium bananas, very ripe
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup chopped nuts or chocolate chips, optional

  • Step 1: Pre-heat oven to 350°F line a loaf pan with parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the long sides to form a sling. Spray the inside with cooking spray.
  • Step 2: Combine or cream the melted butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and mix until smooth.
  • Step 3: Whisk the milk and vanilla into the batter, then mash in the peeled bananas using the end of the whisk or a dinner fork.
  • Step 5: Add the flour, baking soda and salt. Stir until combined. Fold in nuts or chocolate chips if using.
  • Step 6: Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 50 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

Best quick and easy bread recipes

(Image credit: Bigger Bolder Baking)

3-ingredient flatbread

Have some yogurt that’s about to go bad? If you’re willing to think outside the crust, this 3-ingredient flatbread recipe from Bigger Bolder Baking shows you how to make naan-style wraps using your stovetop, and yes, yogurt. One batch makes six flatbreads, which you can eat right away or store and reheat as needed. The other two key ingredients are flour and baking soda, although you can add in some seasoning if you have it handy. Butter, garlic, parsley and salt is a crowd-pleaser, but feel free to experiment. These flatbreads go great with Indian food, and can be used in place of tortillas or pitas, too.

Ingredients

• 1 cup full-fat plain or greek yogurt
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • Step 1: Combine flour and baking powder In a large bowl. Add in the yogurt 1/4 cup at a time and mix until the yogurt has absorbed the flour and reaches a sticky dough consistency. You might not need all the yogurt. 
  • Step 2: Place formed dough on a floured surface. Divide dough into 6 balls. 
  • Step 3: Roll each ball out to an 8 x 8 circle. Try to make the circle thin and even. 
  • Step 4: Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Coat evenly with pan spray or butter.
  • Step 5: Cook dough one by one in the heated skillet. Allow the flatbread to toast and bubble up, cooking for about 2-3 minutes on each side.

What you need to make bread

Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set with Lids: $39.99 @ Bed Bath & Beyond
This 3-piece Cuisinart Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl Set comes with 1.5 qt., 3 qt., and 5 qt. size mixing bowls. It's perfect for combining your bread-making ingredients together. View Deal

KitchenAid Artisan 5 qt. Stand Mixer: $279.99 @ Bed Bath & Beyond
The cult-favorite KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer suits all your baking needs. It features 10 different mixing speeds and comes with a dough hook for reaching the ideal bread consistency. While a mixer isn't necessary — you can still mix all the ingredients by hand — it makes things a lot easier.View Deal

Loaf Pan: $16 @ Home Depot
Most breads can be baked in a loaf pan. This 8.5 x 4.5-inch option works for recipes that call for either 9 x 5-inch pans and 8 x 4 -inch ones, making it a versatile choice.View Deal

Lodge Round Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven: $70 @ Home Depot
A dutch oven is an excellent vessel for baking bread at home, especially for the no-knead bread recipe. It ensures a browned, crunchy crust and soft, chewy interior. Consider using it to make a pot roast after.View Deal

Stainless Steel Measuring Cups and Spoons Set: $30 @ Home Depot
For $30, this set gives you all the measuring cups and spoons you could need for your kitchen. If your current ones are old and mismatched, consider swapping them out for this affordable collection.View Deal

Non-Stick Pan Set with Cooling Rack: $25 @ Home Depot
Are your baking pans ready to retire? Replace them at a low price, plus add a wire cooling rack to your inventory. The rack allows air to circulate freely to cool your baked goods after they leave the oven.View Deal