White Bread Master Recipe from Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five

White Bread Master Recipe | Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

There are about one hundred recipes in all of our books, but we always start with a Master Recipe. It is our opportunity in each book to dive a little deeper into our super fast and simple method of bread baking. In Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day we started with a simple and nostalgic white bread master recipe. It can be the perfect school sandwich bread or the base of some pretty fancy holiday breads. If white bread is not your cup of tea (or loaf of bread) then try one of our enriched or whole grain breads from the new book. With dozens of doughs to choose from in the book, you will find many that suit your holiday needs.

If you are familiar with our dough and method, you may notice that the doughs in this new book are a bit drier than our previous ones. This is on purpose, since some of the more intricate loaves in this book would be more difficult to shape with a very wet dough. Since many of the doughs in the book are enriched (with butter, eggs, milk, etc) they only store in the refrigerator for about 5 days (you can freeze what is left). Because the dough is drier, we find it much easier to mix with a stand mixer, as opposed to a wooden spoon or even a Danish Dough Whisk. You can use those tools, but you’ll need to put some muscle into it, so the dough comes out nice and smooth and consistent.

This post is meant to provide a guide to baking the bread, but the book has tons more details and lots of tips and techniques for those who are just starting out with bread baking or our method in particular. 

White Bread Master Recipe

from Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day

We give all of the recipes in cup and weight measures. Weighing the ingredients is always preferred, because it is most accurate, consistent and is the easiest.

3 cups (680g) Lukewarm water (about 100°F) – hotter and it may kill the yeast. Cooler water may take longer to activate the yeast, which can slow down the rise significantly, especially in some of the doughs that use eggs.

1 tablespoon (10g) Granulated Yeast (any type will do, active, rapid rise, quick, bread machine…)

1 tablespoon (17g) kosher salt (if you use table salt, you need to decrease the amount)

1/3 cup (85g) sugar (you can use honey or other sweetener) if you want a sweeter bread or one with no sugar, there are lots of those in the book too, this is midely sweet.

1/4 cup (58g) oil (this adds a bit of tenderness to the dough, but is only lightly enriched. Many of the doughs in the book use butter, eggs and dairy for a richer and decadent taste and feel)

7 1/2 cups (1065g) all-purpose flour If you don’t have a scale you will want to use the Scoop and Sweep method of measuring in your cups.

Egg wash for brushing the top of the loaf

To mix the dough:

  1. Mix the yeast, salt, sugar and oil with the water in a 5-quart stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or in a lidded (not airtight) food container with a wooden spoon or danish dough whisk).
  2. Mix in the flour. We found the best results with the stand mixer, but if that is not available to you, be sure you get all of the ingredients very well incorporated and get right to the bottom of the bucket.
  3. Cover (not airtight), and allow to sit at room temperature for about two hours.
  4. This dough can be used as soon as it has risen for the two hours.  The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. After that you can freeze the dough.

Note for Egg Enriched doughs in the book: This dough doesn’t have eggs, but many of them do, so use room temperature eggs or it can slow down the rise of your dough significantly. 

White Bread Dough Egg Washes | Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

To bake the loaf:

Here we baked a super tall loaf in a pullman pan (without the top).

There are so many things you can bake with this dough in our new book, like this fanciful Holiday Star Bread, but it also makes an excellent sandwich loaf. This one is made with 3 pounds of dough that is divided into three sections. You can also bake it as a standard two pound loaf with a smooth top.

Start by weighing a 3-pound piece of dough (extra large cantaloupe-size) on a Scale. Divide the dough into three equal pieces and shape them into balls.

Place the three balls next to each other in a well greased non-stick Pullman Loaf Pan (9 x 4-Inch) (or 10×5 regular), covered loosely with plastic wrap for 2 hours (or just 60 minutes if you are using fresh, unrefrigerated dough).

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Brush the top of the dough with Egg wash (we provide many options depending on the darkness you like on your bread. Egg white is the lightest, but shiny, yolk is the darkest and the whole egg is right in the middle. Just mix any of them with a teaspoon of water and brush on the loaf.

Bake for about 60 minutes, remove from the pan and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes. This timing may vary slightly if you change up the kind of dough or the shape of the pan.

Allow the loaf to cool on a rack until room temperature. Cutting into warm bread may result in a gummy interior.


White Bread Master Recipe | Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

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72 thoughts to “White Bread Master Recipe from Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five”

    1. Do you have a recipe for hot dog buns? I’ve looked at several and they all add butter, sugar, milk, dry non fat milk and eggs but not sure how to adapt to the “master recipe”. Thank you.

      1. Hi Janet,

        You can use just about any dough to create a hot dog bun. I like them on the lighter side, so tend to go with a brioche or other enriched dough. Here is the process:

        Thanks, Zoë

      2. Thank you for the quick reply. I didn’t see the process, but I have your book The New Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day should I follow the recipe for Brioche?

      3. Hi Janet,

        That’s what I typically use. It makes a big batch of dough, so you’ll have lots left over to make cinnamon rolls or other goodies.

        Enjoy, Zoë

    1. If you use a good-quality, sharp serrated bread knife, then no, you shouldn’t have any trouble. Slice carefully as you saw down, with steady downward pressure.

    1. we have sourdough instructions in our second edition of our whole grain book. It’s called the new healthy bread in five minutes a day. Click on the link on the homepage banner to take you to Amazon for that book

  1. I’m making the babka dough on page 173 and the ingredient list calls for water, but the directions say to mix the milk with the other ingredients. I wasn’t sure which was correct. Thanks!

  2. I LOVE your books! I have both the New Artisan in 5 and your new Holiday and Celebrations books. They both make me want to make bread every day but my waistline won’t tolerate that! My question is how much dough should I use in my 13” Pullman pan? All your recipes require a 9” pan.

    1. Hi Vanessa,

      Yes, you can use butter in the loaf, but the dough will feel tighter when you pull in out of the bucket. All the baking directions for baking in loaf pans and lots of other shapes are in the book.

      Cheers, Zoë

    1. Hi Ivy,

      Neither Jeff or I have tried the dough in a bread machine. Perhaps it was a different piece of equipment he was recommending?

      Thanks, Zoë

      1. Maybe you were getting my comments mixed up– I recently gave someone advice on bread machines but it was basically that I was worried that the closed environment of the machine might have a hard time dissipating all the moisture in our style of dough?

  3. Can I use the stand mixer then transfer to the plastic container to keep in fridge? And are u saying cover but don’t put the lid all the way on? Thank u!

  4. Hi! I just read the updated Artisan Bread book. I have been baking lots of sourdough so for a change, made a batch of your American white sandwich bread dough. I made a small modification in that I made a tangzhong (flour/water cooked roux) with about 5% of the total flour and adjusted the remaining flour/water accordingly. I made a mini loaf tonight and it baked up beautifully. Have you ever used a tangzhong in any of your recipes? I find it helps soft breads stay fresh longer. On the other hand, can’t wait to try some of the hearty breads from your book also!

  5. Is it necessary to pre heat the oven?

    I have tried and all it does is save energy – the bread is just as nice and it is less dangerous for young or old

    Kind regards


    1. Hi Peter,

      In general recipes are written for a preheated oven, so that the temperature is at a set temperature. Some bread will work better than others if you don’t preheat and it will also effect the baking time. If you like the bread without preheating, then by all means continue.

      Cheers, Zoë

  6. Hi Zoe and Jeff! I have a question about the dough texture. I have been working out of Holiday and Celebration Breads,and have made brioche, Easter raisin bread, and Amish style milk bread dough and have noticed that when I go to take a piece out of the rising bucket, it’s not streatchy, but more of a dry and spongy texture. The bread bakes up beautifully, but I want to be sure I am not doing something wrong. I can’t even form a gluten cloak around my balls of dough. Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Heather,

      When you have that much butter or sugar in a dough it effects the gluten strands, and makes them less stretchy. This is why we recommend kneading the dough a few times before shaping it, which will activate the gluten again.

      I’m so glad you are enjoying the bread!

      Thanks, Zoë

  7. I’ve baked the white bread master and super strong dough recipes a few times. When I’ve baked them after the two hour rest and rise in the pan without refrigeration I’ve had a large profile. When I’ve baked both after refrigeration they’ve had really low profiles. I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong! I’ve been using a large glass mixing bowl with fitted lid partially sealed.

    I’ve been trying to hunt down troubleshooting or advice. I can’t seem to find my issue highlighted in your book so maybe it’s just me?

    1. Hi Sally,

      You may just need to let them rest longer before baking, especially if your kitchen is on the cool side or your refrigerator tends to run a bit cold.

      Thanks, Zoë

  8. using a 5×9 pan I found the dough was too much, no room for the rise without it overflowing. what am I doing wrong? I also cut the 2 hour rise short by 10 min as it had reached the point of over flowing. Ended up putting 2 pounds in one pan and 1 pound in another. On the second rise but still concerned about over flowing dough. this is refernce to the white bread master recipe from the holiday book that you have posted online. thanks

    1. You’re correct, there’s a problem in the way we translated the recipe for the web. That should have called for a 10 x 5-inch pan. Just use less dough, sorry about that, we’ll change the recipe here on the site.

  9. Can this recipe be halved, thirded or quartered with success? I don’t have a need for making bread in huge quantities. Thanks in advance.

      1. Thanks for the quick response. I bought a smaller (3.5 quart capacity} KitchenAid stand mixer recently, and thought that the full size recipe might overwhelm it. I actually did mix up a 1/3 recipe today and it fit wonderfully. I think I could go up to a half size without an issue too.

        And, a BIG thank you for including the weights of the ingredients. Made it easy to calculate the different proportions and weigh them out on my digital kitchen scale.

  10. Hi jeff and zoe

    I made a wholewheat bread from your book and love it! But my family prefer a softer type of bread, I’m wondering if I can mix in your master recipe for white bread to a leftover wholewheat dough? As in your heathy bread book, you mentioned that we can mix in 2 cups of old dough to create a new one and the taste will be more strong. Does it work to mix the type of flour together? And what should be my ratio?
    Thank you

    1. You certainly can use a generous about of old dough as you suggest. I wouldn’t go more than about half old dough, or the new mixture will rise very slowly (though that isn’t necessarily a problem).

  11. Hi Jeff and Zoe! We are making the Soft American-style White bread from your book “Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”. We are looking to start making our own bread for sandwiches for our family to stop the trips to the grocery store. We love your bread recipes and have used them countless times for so many delicious breads! Thanks so much! My question: In making this white bread recipe, after the initial 2 hour rise, we take a 1.5lb piece and form it and place it into the prepared loaf pan for a second rise of 40 minutes. When do we brush the top with butter or egg wash? Before the 40 minute rise or after the second rise? I am afraid that brushing it after risks deflating the shape. Thanks again, so much!

  12. Hi! Thank you for this recipe! This was my first time ever making bread of any kind! I was excited to try it since everything was by weight. I made three loaves instead of one but I think I over baked them as the top was a hard crust. Nonetheless, it was tasty.
    I had a few questions: do I let the liquid mixture sit for a few minutes or do I just add the flour and mix? My dough was a bit sticky when I went to go put it in the loaf pans, can I dust with a bit of flour? Last, can I decrease the sugar by a third so it’s not so sweet?

    1. Hi Aisha,

      Was the crust still hard once the breads cooled? Did you end up baking it longer than we recommended, because of the three loaves?

      You can just dump everything together at once and mix the dough, no need to wait.

      Yes, we dust the dough with flour when pulling it out of the bucket and shaping the dough, so it doesn’t stick to your hands.

      You can decrease the sugar if you prefer.

      Thanks, Zoë

  13. Is the dough supposed to be super sticky and not dry when you make the dough to rise? Mine was almost the consistency of sweet bread batter.

  14. When you mix the dough in the stand mixer, is it going to be very gooey and sticky? Also, when it has risen for the two hours, and it is time to make bread, are you supposed to add flour to what you take out, and knead it, so that it will not be super-sticky? I found it was so sticky that I couldn’t work with it without adding more flour.

    1. The stand mixer isn’t the problem; we’ve never noticed a difference in that when mixing by hand or by machine. Our method makes a wet dough that assumes the shape of its container, and is more difficult to handle than traditional dry doughs. Don’t knead–just use enough flour on the surface to keep it from sticking to everything.

      Any chance you’re measuring wrong? If you’re not weighing the flour, be sure you’re using this method with cup-measures: https://artisanbreadinfive.com/scoopandsweep
      Bottom line: you may just need to use a little more flour in the original mix. 2 tablespoons and see what happens?

  15. Did post of facebook but then found this. I want to make the garlic with mashed potato bread but got stopped because I don’t know if I should be adding milk and butter or not when mashing the potatoes. Will put garlic and potatoes aside until I get the answer. Hope it is fast. Thank you.

    1. We tested this recipe with plain mashed potato, without any milk or butter such as you would use in a traditional Thanksgiving version of mashed potatoes. That said, my guess is that the recipe will work if you are trying to use leftover mashed potatoes from the table this way.

      1. I goofed. Trying to work through spine and hip pain (made worse by PT). Used 6 1/2 cups flour instead of 5 1/2 for potato, garlic bread. If I add more water, (and not sure of how much), do I need to add more yeast, salt, sugar? I hope I didn’t ruin this; out of flour.

      2. OK, it’s salvageable. Add a scant half-cup of water; no need to change the yeast. As for the salt and sugar, just proportionally increase those.

  16. Thank you so much for the fast response. Much appreciated. . No, not trying to use left over potatoes. Made fresh but then stopped because unsure of adding milk or butter or not. Didn’t know traditional Thanksgiving mashed potatoes did not use milk or butter.

    1. Sorry, I wasn’t clear. Traditional Thanksgiving m.p’s do use milk and butter, but we didn’t test with those. We used plain potato, mashed, without any additions.

  17. The white bread master bread recipes states it can be left in frig for 7 days. But on an episode of Zoe Bakes, she said 30 days. Which is it?

    1. Must be a misunderstanding; that dough stores for 7 days. Are you using the recipe that starts on page 48 of the book– see step 3, on page 50? Also in the recipe here on this post.

  18. I’m very new at this and have been trying the pullman loaf pan to get a nice square loaf. Your book says to use a large cantaloupe size from the regular bread recipe. My pan is 9x4x4 and the dough doesn’t come even half way up the sides of the pan. So while I get a nice loaf, it doesn’t reach the top of the lid to achieve a smooth top. Should I increase the amount of dough I use to 3/4 of the original recipe? Or am I doing something else wrong?

    1. Yes, but you need a little more water. If you have the book, you’ll find the correction there. If not, let me know and I’ll direct you.

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