In today’s post: This basic bread dough recipe is easy to make and tastes amazing – and you can use it to make 6 different types of rolls too!
I know that most people don’t have time to make their own bread anymore. I’m cool with that. I don’t bake bread weekly, nor do I bake most of the bread we eat. But every once in a while it is SO WORTH IT to make your own bread! Seriously, there is nothing like hot fresh bread to really make a meal special.
If you’re a repeat reader of It’s Always Autumn, I really hope you’ve tried my basic bread dough recipe. I promise it’s not as hard as you think, and you will be delighted by the pillowy soft bread you can cook in your own kitchen. The best part of my favorite bread dough recipe is that it’s super adaptable, meaning you can use it to make all sorts of things: basic rolls, buttery crescent rolls, garlic breadsticks, full loaves, cinnamon rolls and raspberry rolls!
After I show you everything you can make with this basic bread dough, I hope you’ll be convinced to give it a try for yourself!
Basic Bread Dough Instructions
Because making bread can be intimidating, I’ve made a couple of longer instructional videos that show you exactly what to do! This is an easy basic bread dough – no strange ingredients or intimidating instructions (like scalding milk). Just follow along with the video and you’ll do great.
Watch this video if you’ll be making the dough using a KitchenAid:
And watch this video if you’ll be making the dough using a Bosch:
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Basic Bread Dough Recipe
Here’s the recipe card for my basic bread dough recipe. This recipe card gives instructions for making the dough into a loaf of bread. If you want to make a loaf of bread, please visit this post for lots of extra details and step by step help: How To Make Bread
- 1 cup Warm Water
- 1 tablespoon Active Dry Yeast
- 2 tablespoons Butter softened
- 1 Egg
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 3 1/4 cups All Purpose Flour
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- Add warm water and yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add the butter, egg, sugar, salt and 2 cups of flour.
- Using the dough hook attachment, turn the mixer on low and allow ingredients to begin mixing. (Butter does not need to be fully incorporated at this point.)
- Gradually add the 3rd cup of flour as dough continues to mix.
- Dough should begin to pull away from sides of bowl as it mixes. Gradually add approximately 1/4 cup more flour. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the bowl and come together in a single mass. It will be slightly sticky to the touch.
- Turn mixer up (as directed in mixer instructions for kneading dough) and allow to knead for 5 minutes. Dough should feel smooth and elastic.
- Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface and pull into a ball. Place in greased bowl and loosely cover with greased plastic wrap. Allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 60-90 minutes.
- Punch dough down and turn out again onto lightly floured surface. Shape dough into a rectangle that's approx 8×12 inches.
- From one short side, roll dough into log shape and pinch seam. Place in a greased 9×5 loaf pan. Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap.
- Allow dough to rise again until doubled, about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Bake approximately 30 minutes until top of bread is well browned and loaf sounds hollow when tapped on.
- Turn loaf out onto a cooling rack to cool. Brush top with melted butter if desired. Cool completely before slicing for best results.
But don’t stop here! I actually prefer baking bread as rolls or breadsticks (instead of in a loaf) because you get less crust and more pillowy soft goodness in a smaller package. Plus it’s very hard to slice a warm loaf of bread without squishing it, which means you usually need to let the bread cool completely before eating. With rolls, you can dig right in and eat them straight out of the oven!
Keep reading for ALL THE BREAD DOUGH VARIATIONS:
Basic Bread Variation #1: Classic Dinner Rolls
I’ll choose dinner rolls over a loaf of bread any day! Rolls rise faster and bake faster than a full loaf of bread, meaning you don’t have to start them as early in the day to enjoy them with dinner. Plus they’re perfect straight out of the oven.
Basic Bread Variation #2: Buttery Crescent Rolls
For special occasions (like Thanksgiving) I always make these Buttery Crescent rolls. It’s the same basic bread dough recipe with extra butter rolled in for extra deliciousness. I also increased the quantity in this recipe so you can make a full half sheet pan of rolls for larger gatherings. Warning: if you bring these to Thanksgiving you’ll be assigned to bring them every year for the rest of your life.
Basic Bread Variation #3: Garlic Breadsticks
These garlic breadsticks are definitely my kids’ favorite version of the basic bread dough. That’s because they’re perfectly soft and perfectly flavored with butter and garlic brushed on top. Ever had breadsticks from The Olive Garden? Those don’t even begin to compare to this recipe.
Basic Bread Variation #4: Herbed Garlic Rolls
If you like bread with extra flavor, you’ll want to try these Herbed Garlic Rolls. With a savory blend of herbs and garlic mixed right in, they’re absolutely delicious! They go perfect with soups and are great baked as mini loaves too!
Basic Bread Variation #5: Cinnamon Rolls
Some homemade cinnamon roll recipes use super enriched doughs (lots of butter) that taste great, but are extremely hard to work with. My basic bread dough recipe is already enriched with an egg and a small amount of butter, so it tastes amazing as a cinnamon roll, but it has the added bonus of being really easy to work with! These are HEAVENLY.
Click here for Homemade Cinnamon Rolls recipe + instructions
Basic Bread Variation #6: Raspberry Rolls
It’s time to try cinnamon roll’s grown up cousin: Raspberry Rolls. Same basic concept – amazingly soft bread wrapped around an amazingly delicious filling – but with an amped up flavor everyone loves. And don’t get me started on that raspberry cream cheese frosting!