Must-Know Baking Tips for Quick Breads, Yeast Breads, and More

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This No Knead Skillet Bread is pillowy soft with a delicious crust, and only 5 ingredients. You’ll never want to go back to store-bought bread after you try this simple recipe!

Where to start on your bread making journey

This is a very comprehensive post with tons of information I’ve gleaned over the years making bread. Where would you like to start first?

Many factors are vital to learning how to bake bread, like the right oven temperature, the correct oven rack position for baking bread, and a good bread recipe. When you’re learning how to make bread, you’ll find that your technique will differ depending on the recipe you choose.

The two major bread categories are yeast breads and quick breads, and we have plenty of homemade bread recipes and tips to guide you for either type. So read on and get helpful tips for baking bread such as traditional yeast bread, banana bread, and artisanal bread.

Easy 5 Star Homemade Bread recipe made with simple ingredients & detailed instructions showing how to make bread! Thousands of comments & reviewers agree this is the BEST homemade loaf for both beginners and expert bakers.

Yes, you can make this recipe in a bread machine! Scroll down to see full Homemade Bread recipe and ingredients, with printable instructions for your bread machine.

A decade ago when I was just beginning to bake confidently, I still struggled with making bread. I tried countless recipes and none of them were quite right. I found this one and never looked back. It uses basic ingredients, comes together fast and I love the bread it makes. It’s soft, chewy with fantastic flavor. Feel free to reduce the sugar if you prefer. Enjoy the process and enjoy that bread!

For many of us, just thinking about soft, doughy, fragrant bread is enough to get our mouths watering. Whether your tastes tend toward hearty whole wheat, crusty baguette, pillowy brioche, or any of the other dozens of bread options, there’s no denying that the yeasty treat is inherently crave-able in any of its varied forms.

While the majority of bread fans undoubtedly rely on the grocery store or local bakery for their bread needs, there are those of us who are passionate about baking at home — especially over the past few years, when a veritable sourdough baking frenzy swept across the world as everyone stuck at home rediscovered the pleasures of cooking and baking projects (via Vox). But as anyone who’s attempted bread baking knows, the process isn’t without its challenges, from using the wrong kind of yeast to under-kneading the dough — any of which can turn out a sodden, under-risen, or otherwise lackluster loaf.

Another common pitfall faced by home bakers of sandwich bread is using the wrong type of dish. The next time you bake bread in a loaf pan, you’re going to want to avoid ones made of glass, and here’s why.

Slow-heating glass can cause uneven rising and baking

You’ve probably noticed two main types of loaf pans on the market: metal (typically aluminum) and glass. Handy for baking sandwich bread, as they will turn out a uniform loaf, loaf pans are an essential item for any baker — but the question is, which type is better for baking bread? The answer, according to Bon Appétit, is metal. The outlet explains that glass is an insulator rather than a conductor, meaning it’s slower to heat up and cool down. All that retained heat can cause bread to bake unevenly — typically cooking faster on the outside while remaining doughy and raw on the inside.

Most yeasted loaves of bread require lots of work and kneading, which makes the dough light and airy. Luckily you can achieve crusty and delicious bread without kneading the dough.

This no-knead bread recipe is great for beginner bread bakers because it requires very little effort. The ingredients take about five minutes to measure and mix, and the bread is quickly shaped and deposited in the loaf pan, ready for baking. It does require two rounds of proofing (or rising), but your patience will yield fantastic results.

Get ready for the amazing smell of bread baking wafting through your house. The bread is perfect for slicing to make toast, sandwiches, or french toast, or to accompany eggs, soups, and pasta dishes.

  • all-purpose or
  • , or honey, optional
  • , at room temperature

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(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

  • Gather the ingredients.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar or honey, if using.
  • Use a whisk or spoon to blend well.
  • Slowly add the water and stir with a wooden spoon or your hands, until well mixed.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set in a draft-free place to rise for 4 hours.
  • Grease an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with butter.
  • Scrape the dough out onto a well-floured surface, such as a silicone mat, parchment paper, or a cutting board.
  • Gently fold the ends to form a rough loaf shape. Drop it into the prepared pan.
  • Cover the pan loosely with a clean, lightweight dish towel, and set in a draft-free place for 1 hour, or until it is approximately double in size.
  • Heat the oven to 425 F. With a sifter or fine-mesh sieve, dust the risen loaf with a little more flour.
  • Bake the loaf for 25 minutes, until it’s a deep golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.
  • Remove from the oven and turn the bread out onto a rack to cool completely before slicing.


  • For best results, measure the flour using the dip and sweep method.
  • You can refrigerate the dough overnight after the first rising, then bring it to room temperature on baking day and proceed with forming it into a loaf shape.
  • The best draft-free place in most kitchens is in the oven. Turn on the light and make sure you don’t turn on the heat while the bread is rising.
  • If you don’t have a loaf pan handy, form the bread into a rough, round shape and bake it on a greased cookie sheet.

Recipe Variations

Spice up your bread by sprinkling and gently pressing one of these toppings onto the loaf before baking:

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When you’ve got a little time at home, whipping up some freshly baked bread is one of the most satisfying and simple cooking projects we can recommend. Once you’ve let your dough rise and kneaded it to the perfect consistency, a bread cloche can help it bake into a crispy, crunchy loaf. Traditionally, a cloche is an unglazed stoneware dome that is first soaked in water and then placed over the dough as it’s baking, to mimic the quality of a professional oven. These containers are meant to support the dough while they bake for a perfect rise and crispy crust.

A solid bread cloche should have a tight-fitting lid that can trap steam—giving the bread a crackly, blistered, golden-brown crust. It should also have a heavy-duty bottom that ensures a thick, crispy, golden base.

Pros: This cast iron bread pan has a heavy-duty, tight-fitting lid that helped produce bread with beautiful, golden crust and soft, pillowy insides.

Cons: It’s one of the heavier cloches on our list, so use caution when transferring it in and out of the oven.

Out of the bread cloches we tested, the Challenger Bread Pan yielded our favorite loaf of bread. The loaf had an open and uniform crumb, impressive oven spring, and a crisp crust. The dark cast iron helped achieve a rich color. While it was the heaviest cloche we tested, the handles on the lid made it easy to cover and uncover even when hot, and the short sides made it convenient to safely score the dough without burning your wrists.

We found that the lid completely sealed, which resulted in the perfect amount of moisture. The oblong shape makes it possible to bake both boules and bâtards, and though it’s a single-use piece of cookware, if you’re looking for consistently impressive bread, the Challenger delivers. This is a great buy for enthusiastic and frequent bakers.

  • Material: Cast iron
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Width: 9 inches

Pros: Since the lid doubles as a skillet, you can use this pan for much more than just baking bread, which makes it a great value for the price.

Cons: The shape of this pan only allows you to make one style of loaf, so you won’t be able to make bâtards or baguettes.

Despite the difference in price between the more expensive Challenger Bread Pan and the affordable Lodge, these two were neck and neck when it came down to producing top-quality boules. With a pleasantly springy crumb and a dark, crisp crust the Lodge Cast Iron held its own against the pricier cloches in our test.

This is a heavy-duty piece of cookware that can be used to bake, braise, roast, or fry, and it comes with a pre-seasoned, nonstick surface. Handles on the lid make uncovering the hot Dutch oven easy, though we found that the placement of the handles is not as convenient as the Challenger. While the shape of the Dutch oven restricts you to boules only, having a more multipurpose piece of cookware makes this a great value.

  • Material: Cast iron
  • Weight: 13 pounds
  • Width: 10.5 inches

Pros: This multifunctional tool can perform a variety of tasks like baking, frying and braising, so it’s a great option for someone who isn’t ready to commit to a dedicated bread cloche.

Cons: It’s the most expensive piece of cookware on our list.

Though this is a pricey piece of cookware, the Le Creuset Dutch Oven is a classic piece that a lot of passionate home cooks already have in their kitchen. It’s a multifunctional device that yields a fantastic loaf, which is ideal for home cooks who want to dabble in bread baking without adding another gadget to their collection.

During our tests, we found that the Le Creuset baked a chewy loaf; the quality surpassed bread made in some cloches that were specifically designed for the task. The lid seals tightly, trapping in steam for an open crumb and good oven spring. However, the tall sides make it a little trickier to score than the others. Note that this model features a stainless steel knob, which is oven-safe up to 500 degrees; meanwhile, the phenolic knob on the standard model can only withstand up to 390 degrees. Overall, this is a solid cloche to entrust with your bread baking.

  • Material: Enameled cast iron
  • Weight: 11.5 pounds
  • Width: 10.25 inches

Pros: The scratch-resistant cloche is lightweight and designed to make perfectly shaped boules.

Cons: A single-use kitchen gadget, it can only be used for making one style of loaf.

This dedicated bread cloche is made from Burgundy clay, which promotes gentle, even heat and is oven-safe up to 500 degrees. It has a tight-fitting lid that encourages a moist baking environment, and the scratch-resistant glaze creates a nonstick surface. The Emile Henry Bread Cloche is lightweight, with a handle and short sides that make it easy to maneuver when hot.

Though the surface is nonstick, we found that the grooves in the bottom of the pan can make it tricky to clean. The pan is well-made and produced solid loaves, but the shape of the pan limits you to only making boules. Overall, we found that the loaf had a decent crust, but didn’t compare to the cast iron contenders on our list.

  • Material: Clay
  • Width: 11.25 inches
  • Weight: 6 pounds

Pictured: Emile Henry Bread Cloche testing results.

What Is No Knead Bread?

The process of kneading bread helps form gluten, which gives bread its strength and elasticity. After a recipe for no-knead Dutch oven bread surfaced in 2006, the secret for easy bread making went viral!

Traditionally, no-knead breads are given very long rising times to allow the gluten to form properly. In this recipe, I have found that with two quick rising periods, I got a gorgeous loaf of bread. It is so soft on the inside, with an addictive cheese speckled crust! The entire loaf of bread was gone by the end of the day.

Helpful Tips when Making Your First Loaf of Homemade Bread

If you’ve never baked homemade bread before, here are a few tips:

Remember to fully knead

The recipe below kneads for 7 minutes and it’s worth it! Kneading dough helps to develop the flavor and texture of the bread, so don’t skimp on kneading time.

Weather can affect your ingredients

If you live in a moist climate, chances are you’ll need at least the recommended amount of flour, maybe even 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup more. Bread dough should be sticky, but still manageable, especially after the first rise. While you’re kneading, the dough should come together and pull away from the sides of the bowl, leaving the bowl mostly clean. I usually aim to have the very bottom of the dough still attached to the bowl. Try not to add too much flour because your bread will be more dense. When you pick the dough up, some will stick to your fingers. After the first rise, it will be easier to handle!

Temperature affects how long your bread takes to rise

If your house is cool, your bread will take longer to rise. In the wintertime when my house is cooler than normal, I like to turn the oven on for 2-3 minutes, then turn it off and let the bowl of dough rise in there. The oven traps the heat for a longtime and it’s the perfect atmosphere for rising dough.

Don’t overwork the dough

Try not to go crazy kneading your bread after the first rise. I usually knead and shape my dough in about 1 minute, then it’s back in the pan to rest, for the 2nd rise. I like to have the pan rise in the oven for this second rise so that I don’t have to worry about moving risen dough. When it’s fully risen, I just turn the oven on and set the timer to bake!

Here are the ingredients for the oven baked recipe, which yields 2 loaves of bread:

— WATER: You need 2 cups warm water. (110° F/45° C) I recommend you take the temperature using a cooking thermometer until you get the hang of how warm the water should be. If your water is too hot, it will kill the yeast and your bread will be dense and flat!

— SUGAR: We add 1/2 cup white sugar. You are welcome to reduce this even further and use just 1/4 cup.

— YEAST: We add 1 TBSP + 2 tsp active dry yeast to the dough to help it rise.

— SALT: You need 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to enhance the flavors in the bread. If you’ve never had bread with not enough salt, it does not taste good! I forgot to add it once. Don’t do that.

— OIL: We used 1/4 cup vegetable oil but you can also use coconut oil or canola oil. I’ve tried it with light olive oil and it just has a strange aftertaste that I don’t love.

— FLOUR: You’ll need 5-6 cups flour. You can use all-purpose flour OR bread flour!

Instant or Active Dry Yeast for Making Bread

If you use instant yeast, you can add it directly to your other dry ingredients when making bread. If you use active dry yeast, you’ll need to first dissolve it in warm water before using it in a recipe. For the sake of ease, I just always buy instant yeast. BUT, this recipe works for both!

The Tests

We put these bread cloches to the test by trying out a trusty, basic sourdough recipe in each. We ranked them by how convenient they were to use and clean and how heavy they were to transfer in and out of the oven. We assessed the quality of the different materials and the effects that material had on the color of the loaf. Lastly, we assessed the shape of the cloche and how effectively each lid trapped in steam as well as the quality of the resulting loaf.

Three of them produced stellar results: The Challenger is best for the baker who’s looking for reliably flawless boules and bâtards; the Lodge is our versatile value pick that resulted in bread just as beautiful and delicious as the kitchen splurges, and the Le Creuset is a reliable workhorse for first-time bakers that you may already have in your kitchen.

Can you Make this bread in a Bread Machine? YES! Here’s how

Bread fresh out of my bread machine!

I’ve found this recipe works really well in a bread machine! I just had the halve the ingredients so it would fit. You can see and print out the recipe below.

How Long To Bake No Knead Skillet Bread

While you’re waiting for the dough to rise, preheat your oven to 450°F (232°C). Once your dough is ready to go, bake it for 45-50 minutes, or until the top of the bread turns golden brown. If you’d like to use a thermometer to be sure your bread is fully cooked, it should read 200°F (93°C). Let the bread cool in your skillet for about 10 minutes, and then transfer it to a cutting board to cool fully before slicing.

Making your Loaf of Bread in a Bread Machine

Place bread pan in machine. Close lid and set bread machine to bake a loaf of basic white bread.

Let bread cool when bread machine has completed the full cycle. (Mine takes 3.5 hours.) Remove from machine & pan. Brush with butter and enjoy!

  • 110 degrees F/45 degrees C
  • active dry yeast
  • all purpose OR bread flour!
  • Place bread pan in machine. Close lid and set bread machine to bake a loaf of basic white bread.
  • Let bread cool when bread machine has completed the full cycle. (Mine takes 3.5 hours.) Remove from machine & pan. Brush with butter and enjoy!

Easy 5 Star Homemade Bread recipe made with simple ingredients & detailed instructions showing how to make bread! Thousands of comments & reviewers agree this is the BEST homemade bread for both beginners and expert bakers.

Our Expertise

Alissa Fitzgerald is a chef, recipe developer, and food writer with over 15 years of experience in the food industry. For this piece, she interviewed Executive Pastry Chef at Shinola Hotel, Jessica Leung, and Executive Chef Fernando Trocca of Mostrador NYC, to find out what the pros look for in loaf pans. She then used their insights, market research, and her own expertise to curate this list.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Water – You need warm water to activate the yeast and bring the dough together.
  • Instant Yeast – The leavening agent used to give the bread rise. Make sure to check the expiration date on your yeast before starting the dough.
  • Flour – Basic all purpose flour is all you need to make this recipe.
  • Salt – A touch of salt is important to help develop the flavor of the dough.
  • Cheddar Cheese – Makes the bread nice and cheesy. Any type of cheddar can be used.


The easiest and best way to avoid sunken bread is to use a cooking thermometer to check the inside of the loaf. Fully cooked bread will register 200°F on a thermometer. My all-time favorite thermometer is the Thermapen. It’s super fast and incredibly durable. Another great cooking thermometer is the ThermoPop which is a more basic version that works just as well!

  • 110° F/45° C
  • active dry yeast
  • all-purpose flour OR bread flour
  • Punch dough down. Knead for 1 minute and divide dough in half. Shape into loaves and place into two greased 9×5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.
  • Bake at 350° F (175° C) for 30-40 minutes. Cool, brush with butter and enjoy!

Recipe yields 2 standard loaves of bread

What Didn’t Make the List

While the Lekue Silicone Bread Baker boasts many features that promise convenience—it’s dishwasher safe and can act as an all-in-one mixing bowl, proofing basket, and baking pan—the bread was disappointing. It was heavy, dense, gummy, and noticeably more sour. While it’s the cheapest of the cloches we tested, we think it’s worth splurging on slightly pricier bakeware for better bread.


Courtesy of Walmart

A Römertopf is a clay pot that gets soaked in water and is used to cook a variety of different dishes, from bread to roast chicken. We found that this method produced a flat, dense loaf, which was our least favorite of the bunch. The bottom crust was charred and crumbly, while the top was unevenly browned and steamed rather than crispy. The loaf itself stuck to the bottom of the pan and had to be pried off. While the Römertopf is a great piece of cookware to have in your kitchen for another purpose (like this Römertopf-Roasted Chicken and Root Vegetables), we don’t recommend it as a go-to for bread baking.

Frequently Asked Questions

My Dough Is So Sticky!

This dough is meant to be pretty sticky! If you check out the video, you can see the consistency of my dough. If you feel that yours is too sticky, you can add a little bit more flour. Every environment is different. If you live somewhere with a lot of humidity, you might need to add a bit more flour to get the perfect dough.

Fresh Baked Bread Tools and Tips

Not sure if you have the right bread baking supplies? Here are some general tips on the right tools, oven temperature, and bread baking times to ensure you have everything ready.

Choose the Right Bread Baking Pan

Artisan-style bread, dinner rolls, French bread, and round loaves can usually be made on a baking sheet. But for standard loaves, you’ll want to use a loaf pan ($13, Kohl’s). A loaf pan helps shape the bread and encourages even browning, a crispy crust, and a tender interior.

Standard loaf pan sizes are 9×5-inches and 8×4-inches. Nonstick pans make it easier to remove the bread and require less fat for greasing. Heavy-duty, quality aluminum pans will last longer and perform better than less expensive pans. Glass pans can get too hot and overcook the bottom of your loaf. If using an inexpensive or glass pan, lower the oven temperature by 25ºF.

Bread Baking in the Oven

If the oven temperature is too hot or too cool when the bread goes in, you’ll end up with a dense loaf. To avoid errors, preheat your oven to the temperature given in your recipe. Use an oven thermometer ($6, Crate and Barrel)to make sure your oven temperature is accurate. If needed, adjust the temperature until it’s correct.

How Long to Bake Bread

Use these new skills and you’ll have professional-looking loaves out of the oven in no time. After you’ve mastered these bread baking skills, learn how to make sourdough bread (and the starter!) from scratch. Or try baking a cake or your own donuts for breakfast.

Basic Steps for Making Yeast Bread Recipes

You’ll need warm water, granulated sugar, instant OR active dry yeast, salt, vegetable or canola oil and flour. That’s it!

Dissolve the yeast and activate it by Proofing

This is a simple process that takes about 5 minutes. You can see a picture below what yeast looks like when it’s proofed. It’s possible to kill yeast if you use too hot of water, so aim for slightly warmer than luke-warm, or about 105°F. Combine warm water, yeast and 1 TBSP of the granulated sugar in your mixing bowl. Give it a quick stir and then let it sit for 5 minutes. You’ll begin to see the yeast puff up until it covers the entire surface of the water.

Add remaining ingredients and mix

Add the rest of the sugar, the oil, salt and flour (You can use all-purpose flour OR bread flour!), then mix using an electric mixer until it’s well combined, about 2 minutes. You can mix by hand but it will take longer.

Knead the Bread

You might be thinking, “Wait! It’s already mixed!” Ha! Not so fast! Going through the process of kneading bread dough is crucial for bread with great texture. Kneading dough allows gluten to form which enables dough to rise better, be lighter and fluffier. you can knead by hand or with a mixer. I use the dough hook on my mixer and knead for 7 minutes. If you knead by hand, you’ll want to knead for 10-11 minutes, depending on how consistent you are.

First Rise

Place your lovely smooth, elastic bread dough in an oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or a clean towel. I think plastic wrap works better because it traps hot air inside and thus, my dough requires a shorter first rise. Be sure to spray the side of the plastic wrap that will touch the dough with oil!

Punch Dough and Shape it

Punching the dough down quickly releases any air pockets that have developed and helps your bread have a more consistent rise and texture. Shape your dough by rolling it gently into a ball and rolling it 2 or 3 times on the countertop so that the ball is more oblong. I usually punch down and shape the dough quickly, then place in a greased bread pan.

Second Rise

I like to do my second rise in a warm oven that’s not turned on. I turn the oven on just before I punch my dough down, then turn it off once I place the dough in the oven for the 2nd rise. It’s really only on for a minute or two, which is fine! The second rise will help shape your loaf of bread and takes about 30 minutes.

Bake the Bread

You’re nearly there! Bread bakes for about 30-40 minutes. You know what I do to make sure my bread is perfectly cooked? I use a digital cooking thermometer! Fully cooked bread will be 190-200 degrees F. Bread recipes that include milk will need to cook until 200 degrees, but since this one doesn’t, I take it out once it reaches 190 degrees. The top will be golden brown.

My all-time favorite cooking thermometer is the Thermapen. It’s super fast and incredibly durable. Another great thermometer is the ThermoPop which is a more basic version that works just as well!

Cool the Bread

Cool baked bread in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then overturn pan and turn loaf out onto a cooling rack or folded towel to finish cooling. If you leave the bread in the pan for much longer than that, you’ll steam it, which may cause some parts of your loaf to go soggy. No one likes soggy bread!


No knead skillet bread will keep at room temperature for up to 4 days in a container or bag. You can also store it in the freezer for up to 3 months in a sealed freezer bag or wrapped well in plastic wrap. Then when ready to eat, just allow the bread to thaw out at room temperature for a few hours.

Other Delicious No Knead Recipes To Try

Before You Begin! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the warm water with the yeast. Set aside.
  • Generously oil your skillet, including the sides. Use a spatula to loosen the dough from the sides of the bowl and transfer the dough to the skillet. Use the spatula to even out the dough so that it fills the skillet. Cover the skillet with a kitchen towel, and set it aside to rise for another 30 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C). Bake the bread for 30-45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. Let the bread cool in the skillet for 10 minutes, then carefully remove it from the skillet and allow it to cool fully on a cutting board before slicing.
  • I used a 10″ cast iron skillet to make this recipe. If you use a smaller size, the loaf will end up taller. If you use a bigger size, the loaf will end up thinner.
  • You can make this bread without cheese for a plain loaf. You can also get creative and use ingredients that you would like in your bread. Spices, garlic, onion, hot peppers, dried fruit, etc are all great examples of ingredients you can use in your bread.
  • Always check the expiration date on your yeast and make sure it hasn’t expired. All your yeast products whether it’s in a jar or a package should be stamped with a “Best if Used by” date. Always make sure you check this date, even when you purchase the yeast, who knows it could have been on the shelf past its expiry date.
  • Why is my bread chewy: Usually your bread will be chewy when there isn’t enough gluten formation or you’re using a low-protein flour.
  • Why is my bread dense: Usually bread will be too dense when there is too much flour. Keep in mind this dough will be pretty sticky, do not add more flour than specified. Other factors that come into play are humidity and age of flour. Little yeast, long rise, sticky dough are keys to a good, light loaf.
  • I don’t have a cast iron skillet, what can I use instead: If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, you can use a Dutch Oven lined with parchment paper.  A 4 quart Calphalon soup pot would also work.
  • How do I know when my bread is done baking: Tap the bottom! Take the bread out of the skillet, turn it upside down and give the bottom a firm thump with your thumb, or a knock and if it sounds hollow it’s done. If using an instant thermometer, the internal temperature should be around 200F.

Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.

Why You’ll Love This No Knead Skillet Bread

  • Perfect for Beginners! This easy 5-ingredient cast iron bread requires no kneading! It’s one of my most foolproof bread recipes as well as one of my favorites.
  • Soft and Cheesy! The delicious cheesy bread comes out of the oven perfectly golden brown with a super soft texture on the inside and a crispy crust on top.
  • Family Favorite! Perfect with a bowl of chili along with dinner or dipped in some marinara sauce as a snack, everyone loves cheese bread.

Enjoy this bread recipe? Here are even more recipes for homemade bread to try

Quick Bread Recipes

Easy 5 Star Homemade Bread recipe made with simple ingredients & detailed instructions showing how to make bread! Thousands of comments & reviewers agree this is the BEST homemade bread for both beginners and expert bakers.

Can I Double This Recipe?

You can definitely double this recipe! You will need a bigger skillet, preferably 12″ so that the dough doesn’t rise and bulge over the edges of your skillet. Add another 10-15 minutes onto the baking time. You can make sure the bread is completely done by taking its internal temperature at the thickest part. The thermometer should read 200°F (93°C).

What Is the Difference Between No Knead Bread Baked in a Dutch Oven Vs a Skillet

The difference is big. When baked in a Dutch oven, you’re baking the bread with the lid on for the first 30 minutes. During this time, steam forms inside the Dutch oven, resulting in the wonderful crust we all know and love.

In a skillet, since we bake the bread uncovered, this skillet bread doesn’t really get the chance to develop that super crispy crust. The texture for this skillet bread is also a bit different, because of the rising process as well. The original No Knead Bread takes about 12 to 18 hours to rise giving the bread plenty of time to form gluten.

Expert Tips

  • Check the date on your yeast. Make sure that your yeast has not expired. The main reason that bread recipes fail is due to old yeast.
  • Warm water is a must. The water must be warm for the yeast to activate properly. Water that is too cold or too hot can cause issues with the activation process.
  • Doubled in size. It’s important that you give the dough the time it needs to double in size. This can take a longer or shorter period of time depending upon the temperature of your home.
  • Allow it to cool. Do not attempt to slice the bread until it has cooled completely. Doing so too soon can smush the bread and alter its texture.

How to Store Homemade Bread

You’ll want to store leftover bread in an airtight container. I bought bread bags off Amazon and LOVE them!

How can you tell if bread is fully baked?

I like to use a food thermometer. Mine is digital, so it’s very easy to use. Fully cooked bread will be 190-200 degrees F. Bread recipes that include milk will need to cook until 200 degrees, but since this one doesn’t, I take it out once it reaches 190 degrees. The top will be golden brown.

Our Favorite

Overall, we found that the Challenger Bread pan was the easiest to use, clean, and care for, and it produced our favorite loaves of bread. The lid sealed completely to lock in the right amount of moisture, and the cast iron material imparted a crispy, golden crust.

Loaf pans are incredibly useful tools for baking everything from meatloaf to banana bread. As you’ll likely use a loaf pan for quick breads and cakes more than anything, we chose our best overall with baking in mind. Made of alloy steel, the Chicago Metallic Commercial II Loaf Pan is the right material for conducting heat and even baking.

How to Make 5 Star Homemade Bread

In a large bowl, or a stand mixer, dissolve the sugar in the warm water. I just combine the two and whisk it slightly to dissolve the sugar. Stir in yeast. Allow to proof until yeast resembles a creamy foam, about 5 minutes.

Add in the salt and oil. Begin to mix, using a rubber scraper or the dough hook on your stand mixer. Add the flour one cup at a time, reserving the last cup of flour to see if you need it. You might not use all of the flour. The dough should pull away and clean the bowl, sticking on the bottom in a small circle about the size of a quarter. If your dough does this with just 5 cups of flour, do not add more. However, if your dough still sticks to the bowl, add more a couple tablespoons at a time until it cleans the bowl, sticking in just a small circle on the bottom.

Now knead dough for 7 minutes. Set a timer as a full knead is important! Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn dough to coat. Cover with a damp cloth. Allow to rise in a warm area until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Punch dough down. Knead for 1 minute and divide dough in half. Shape into loaves and place into two greased 9×5 inch loaf pans. Allow to rise for 30 minutes, or until dough has risen 1 inch above pans.

Bake at 350° F (175° C) for 30-40 minutes. Cool, brush with butter and enjoy!

Easy No Knead Skillet Bread Recipe

You don’t need to be a professional baker to make incredible homemade bread! Especially with a recipe so simple like this one. Better yet, you don’t even need to tire yourself out kneading the dough. Using ingredients that you already have hanging out in your kitchen, I’m here to show you how to make the easiest recipe for bread that’s so soft and delicious.

In the past couple weeks, I’ve been experimenting some more with no knead bread, since my no knead bread is one of the most popular recipes on the blog. Many of the questions I get is in regards to different pots and pans you can use. While Dutch Ovens can be quite pricey, you can get a good cast iron skillet for a very decent price.

How To Make No Knead Skillet Bread

This bread recipe requires just a few basic ingredients and so little effort! Just make sure to activate your yeast properly and it is sure to come out perfect!

Prepare The Yeast

To begin, let’s prepare the yeast! To do this, mix the yeast together well with the warm water in a large bowl. For the best results, it’s important that the water is within the (95°F-105°F)  temperature range, so you may even want to test it with a digital cooking thermometer. Then set it aside for now.

Make The Dough

It’s time to start making the dough. Stir the flour, salt, and shredded cheddar cheese together in a separate medium bowl until it’s well combined.

Then add the flour mixture to the yeast in the large bowl. Now mix everything together with a wooden spoon until a sticky dough forms.

Let The Dough Rise

Now, the dough needs time to rise. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel. Then set it in a warm environment for about an hour. The dough is done rising when it has doubled in size.

Form The Bread

Once the dough has doubled in size, generously grease a 8″ to 10” cast iron skillet with olive oil or vegetable oil. Now, use a spatula to loosen the dough from the sides of the bowl and transfer it to the skillet. Then use the spatula to evenly distribute the dough in the skillet. Finally, cover the bread once more with a kitchen towel and set it aside for another 30 minutes to rise again.

Preheat The Oven And Bake

While the dough is rising, preheat your oven temperature to 450°F (232°C) to get it ready for baking. Then when the dough has doubled in size once more, put the skillet into the hot oven and bake the bread for 30 to 45 minutes or until golden brown on top. You can also use a digital cooking thermometer to make sure that your bread has come to 200°F (93°C), which means it’s fully cooked. Then when it’s done, allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes in the skillet before carefully transferring it to a cutting board to finish completely cooling. Then once it’s totally cooled off slice and serve.

How to Bake Yeast Bread

Lightly grease the whole pan, even if it’s a nonstick pan. You might also see instructions for baking bread on a sheet pan ($36, Kohl’s) sprinkled with cornmeal, which helps keep the bread from sticking.

Prep the Bread Dough

While some loaves go into the oven with no embellishment, others get an egg wash or butter brushed on and a sprinkle of seeds or herbs.

  • Egg Wash: Whisk an egg or egg white with 1 tablespoon water, and brush it on the loaf just before baking for a shiny, golden crust.
  • Butter or Olive Oil Brush: Brush softened butter or olive oil atop the loaf before baking to add flavor and color.
  • Milk Bath: Brushing a loaf with milk before baking gives the baked bread a tender, golden crust. For a sweet bread recipe, sprinkle with sugar if desired.
  • Toppers: The egg wash helps toppers adhere to the loaf when added before baking. Seeds such as poppy or caraway seeds, crushed dried herbs, or rolled oats make tasty and attractive baked bread toppers.

The key to yeast bread is “oven spring,” which is the yeast’s final burst of expansion or fermentation. Once this occurs, the loaf sets up and starts to brown, creating the crust.

Test Kitchen Tip: If you bake several loaves at once, use one extra-large baking sheet instead of two smaller ones. Or bake one pan at a time, placing the second sheet in the refrigerator until 15 minutes before baking time. If you bake two smaller pans at once, not enough air will circulate around the bread, causing uneven baking.

Check for Doneness

Tap yeast bread lightly with your fingers to test for doneness. It will sound hollow when it is done. If the loaf is browning too fast but doesn’t sound hollow, cover the bread while baking by creating a tent out of foil to help prevent burning. Yeast breads containing butter and/or sugar often need this step.

Baking Artisanal Breads

To get the crisp, chewy-brown crust desired in these old-world-style breads, replicate a wood-fired oven in your own oven.

Select a Bread Recipe

When choosing a bread recipe, consider what complements the rest of your menu or use ingredients you have on hand to inspire your bread choice.

Step 2. Make Oven Adjustments

Adjust two oven racks’ positions for baking bread so one is in the lowest position and the other is in the middle of the oven.

Bread Baking Tip: Place a broiler pan on the bottom rack while the oven preheats. When the pan is hot, carefully add about 1 cup hot tap water. The steam helps create a crisp, crackly crust.

Step 3. Bake the Bread

You can bake the bread on a baking sheet, pizza pan, or directly on a bread stone. If using a bread stone, the best oven rack position for baking bread is the middle. Preheat it for 30 minutes. Use parchment paper to transfer the dough to the bread stone (leave it on the parchment). Once the bread is in the oven, you can spray water to mist inside the oven and on the loaves. This also helps to give your bread a nice, crisp crust.

Test Kitchen Tip: A bread stone replicates a hearth, especially when used with steam. Artisanal breads are usually formed into freestyle rounds or loaves, so no loaf pan is used.

How to Bake Quick Breads

Instead of using yeast, quick breads (think muffins, scones, and corn bread) use baking soda and baking powder as leavening agents. These breads don’t take as long to prepare and don’t require proofing time.

Grease the Pan

Even if your loaf pan is nonstick, grease it to ensure the quick bread dough bakes evenly and doesn’t stick. Use a clean pastry brush to lightly spread vegetable shortening over the bottom and slightly up the loaf pan’s sides (about ½ inch). The ungreased portion allows the bread to maintain its height as it rises.

Test Kitchen Tip: Always grease pans with shortening unless the recipe specifies butter. Shortening is all fat, but butter has some water, which might cause sticking.

Prepare Your Recipe

Combine the ingredients necessary to make your chosen quick bread. (Our zucchini bread or pumpkin bread recipes are favorites.) When making quick breads like banana bread, the recipe will instruct you to prepare the dry and wet ingredients separately. Be careful not to overmix the batter once you combine the two bowls—too much mixing can make your loaf heavy and uneven.

Take a quick look at your loaf 10 to 15 minutes before the minimum baking time. If it’s browning too quickly, cover it loosely with foil. Remove the foil once the baked loaf is placed on a cooling rack.

Test Kitchen Tip: The center is the last part of a quick bread to cook. Insert a wooden toothpick near the center; your loaf is done if it comes out clean. The very center will firm up while the bread is cooling.

Cool Bread

Let the loaf rest for 10 minutes on a cooling rack so the bread can set up before it’s removed from the pan. Run a spatula or butter knife between the pan sides and the loaf to loosen the loaf. Invert the pan to remove the baked bread. Allow quick bread to cool completely before storing in an airtight container or bag.

Antara Sinha, the author of this piece, is a cooking editor with four years of experience writing for brands like Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, and Cooking Light Magazine. She used her own expertise as well as the results gathered during testing to make these recommendations. Recipe editor and developer Paige Grandjean evaluated the bread cloches on this list, baking sourdough loaves in each one and rating them on quality and convenience. In her six years working at the Meredith Food Studios, she has tested and developed more than 2,500 recipes for over 15 nationally distributed magazine brands including Food & Wine, Real Simple, Eating Well, Southern Living, and People.

Read Next: The Best Cast Iron Pans Guaranteed to Last a Lifetime

Bread Machine Ingredients

You’ll use the same ingredients, only HALF of them, so you can fit them in a 1-lb bread machine.

— WATER: You need 1 cup warm water. (110° F/45° C)

— SUGAR: We add 1/4 cup white sugar. You are welcome to reduce this even further and use just 1-2 tablespoons.

— YEAST: We add 2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast to the dough to help it rise.

— OIL: We used 2 TBSP vegetable oil but you can also use coconut oil or canola oil. I’ve tried it with light olive oil and it just has a strange aftertaste that I don’t love.

— FLOUR: You’ll need 3 cups flour. You can use all-purpose flour OR bread flour!

Factors to Consider

Before using, always wash your pans with mild soap in warm water to remove any residue or particles from the packing plant. While many loaf pans may say dishwasher safe, washing by hand is mostly recommended to keep them in like-new condition. When hand washing, always use a gentle soap and sponge or towel and never scouring pads or abrasive agents.

When baking, take all precautions to grease even your nonstick pans. Lining your pans with parchment paper can be just as effective as butter or spray oil, if not more. This helps baked goods release more easily, and you’ll thank yourself when you’re cleaning up.

While glass and stoneware tend to be more resilient against knives, silicone pans can tear or scratch. Using only wood utensils is a great way to keep pans in the best condition. Also, when cutting or slicing baked goods, always use a cutting board.

While there are many different types of loaf pans, in a professional setting you’re most likely to see loaf pans made of stainless steel, aluminum, or aluminized steel. These have the sharpest corners and the straightest lines, which are what professional chefs look for in a loaf pan.

Home chefs have the luxury of being able to choose between performance and appearance and can also use glass or ceramic loaf pans almost interchangeably. Nonstick silicone pans are the happy medium between glass and metal but still may need to be placed on a sheet pan before you put them in the oven.

If you bake often and enjoy sharing your perfectly browned cakes with crisp corners, opt for a classic metal version. If a casual snack cake that will stay on the counter is more your speed, you can use a glass or ceramic pan just as well.

  • What is the difference between a bread pan and a loaf pan?“There is no difference between a bread pan and a loaf pan. They are one and the same to chefs,” says Trocca.
  • Do you use parchment paper to make a loaf pan nonstick?“Depending on what I’m making, I’ll usually use non-stick spray with parchment paper on the base. Parchment is such a nice secret because it makes things so much easier to take out and clean,” says Leung.Whether you use parchment paper can also depend on the bread, according to Trocca. “If it is sourdough, just use oil. When making richer breads like brioche or milk bread, use butter and flour, and add a piece of parchment paper to the bottom with larger sides to pull it off the tin easily,” he says.
  • Any tips for getting your cakes out in one piece?“Make sure to properly cool your product down so that it keeps its shape and comes out in one piece,” says Leung. A loaf pan needs at least five minutes to cool, according to Trocca.“The last thing you want is for your work of art to just crumble or deflate before presenting it,” says Leung. “With breads, it’s a little easier to handle, but if making banana bread or babka, I will cool it down, run a small paring knife or offset spatula along the edges and then gently flip it out. If using parchment, you can generally just pick the whole thing up in one go.”

Bread cloches come in a variety of different styles, from clay Römertopfs to cast iron boule bakers to versatile, multifunctional Dutch ovens. Having a devoted bread cloche is an easy way to make restaurant-quality fresh bread at home, but a Dutch oven can serve as a multipurpose solution as well. Before selecting the best bread cloche for you, make sure to assess how often you’ll use it and what style of bread, from baguette to bâtard to boule, you intend to use it for. If you prefer circular boule styles, a Dutch oven is a viable option. If you want something with more room to play with shapes like a longer baguette or a rectangular loaf, you’ll need a cloche that allows for different styles.

The design and overall ease of use play a huge factor in selecting a bread cloche, and we took both into consideration in our testing. Low-sided pans make it safer to score the dough without burning your wrists on the hot pan, and convenient handles are a must when handling pre-heated cast iron.

Traditionally, bread cloches are made from unglazed stoneware that gets soaked in water. The dome shape helps trap in moisture, and the steam gives the bread its crispy texture. However, bread cloches can also be made from cast iron, silicone, and ceramic, and we tested one of each. Though silicone is flexible and can yield different shapes, we preferred the durable and heavy-duty cast iron, because the dark material imparted a rich, golden color on the bread.

A tight seal is essential for creating crusty bread, so we evaluated each cloche on its accompanying lid. Bread cloches should have a solid, heavy-duty cover that traps in moisture and doesn’t let steam escape. Our least favorite loaves were baked in cloches that leaked steam, resulting in flatter bread.

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