The Best Bread Recipe


I’m not afraid to admit that I. LOVE. CARBS. And while I’m being honest then I should probably tell you that bread and pasta rank as my favorite two ways to consume carbs. I think you get the picture that because of me (and my youngest son), we eat a lot of carbs at our house. When the stars align and we have enough time in the weekend, we will make homemade bread. My husband and I share the breadmaking duties at home. He’s more of the artisan or sandwich bread maker, and willing to experiment with sourdough starters, while I am the opposite. I enjoy making sweet, breakfast-style breads that follow a recipe precisely. With a sea of bread recipes out there, it can be hard to find one that is friendly to beginners like me and also delicious. Well, whether you are a seasoned breadmaker or the person looking for bread recipes for beginners, I have good news for you. Get read for the BEST bread recipe!

It’s another great one from Chelsea of A Duck’s Oven, and is equal parts flaky but soft thanks to delicious Stemilt apples. It can be made with EITHER yeast or a sourdough starter and that is the main reason it tops my list of bread recipes to make! My husband can make it with his science experiment sourdough starter, and I can also make it with my go-to yeast.

This bread requires simple ingredients that you’ll probably have on hand at home – flour, sugar, eggs, butter, vanilla, etc. and a gooey apple filling made with perfect Pink Lady® apples, sugar, and cinnamon. Then, to finish it off, you drizzle a maple glaze over the loaf. This takes it from a bread recipe that you’d be willing to share with friends or neighbors to one that you keep in your stash of secret recipes so that you – and only you – can impress people with your skills when you make it.

Perhaps the best part of this recipe is the fact I shared earlier that you can make it with or without a sourdough starter. If you are making it with the sourdough starter, you’ll skip the instant yeast and have to add 3 additional cups (or more) of flour. There’s also an element of time involved. If you go with the sourdough starter, it’s going to take longer (double the time) for the dough to proof. But if you’ve already mothered over a sourdough starter, then I’m guessing you won’t mind the extra waiting period.

Looking for more beginner bread recipes? Check out this quick cherry bread or this gluten-free apple fritter bread.

You’ll get two loaves for all that work with this recipe, so you can easily share or freeze one to enjoy another time. The apples are folded into the bread, and you’ll taste the sweet-tart Pink Lady® in just about every bite. I’ve been known to exaggerate, but I’m serious when I say, this is the BEST bread recipe. It’s the perfect bread recipe for beginners, and something that you can decide whether you want to share with others, or keep to yourself…like I do with my beloved carbs.

Happy bread making!


  • Bread
  • 3/4 cup water (1/4 cup if using sourdough starter)
  • 3 tsp active dry or instant yeast, not rapid or quick rising yeast (or 1 cup sourdough starter)
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp white granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups all purpose flour, plus more, as needed (3 cups + more if using sourdough starter)
  • Apple Filling
  • 2 Stemilt Pink Lady® Apples
  • 2 tbsp white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Maple Glaze (Optional)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1-2 tbsp milk

They say slow and steady wins the race and this apple bread recipe is no exception. While this bread may take an afternoon to make, it is deliciously sweet and the best you've ever had.

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  1. In a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the yeast, warm water, and 1 tbsp of the sugar. Stir and let proof 5 minutes. If using a sourdough starter, add the starter, ¼ cup water, and 1 tbsp sugar.
  2. In a small saucepan over low heat, add the milk, butter, and remaining sugar. Stir frequently, until butter melts. Remove from the heat.
  3. Add the milk mixture and egg to the yeast or sourdough starter mixture. Mix together with paddle attachment.
  4. Switch to the kneading hook. Add the flour ½ cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl and is no longer sticky. You may not need all the flour.
  5. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour or 2 hours if using sourdough starter.
  6. While dough is rising, prepare your apple filling. Prepare the apples by peeling, coring, and dicing into ½ inch pieces and add them to a bowl. Add sugar and cinnamon and toss to coat.
  7. Prepare two 8x4-inch loaf pans by greasing with butter.
  8. Remove dough to a floured work surface. Divide dough into two equal pieces. Roll one piece of dough into a roughly 10x15-inch rectangle. Scatter half of the apple filling evenly over dough and roll, starting from the long side. Pinch seam together. Fold in half long ways and set inside a greased loaf pan. Repeat with the second piece of dough and the remaining apple mixture.
  9. Cover both loaves with a tea towel and set to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes if using yeast or 1 hour 30 minutes if using sourdough starter. 
  10. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F, with rack in the center of the oven.
  11. When loaves have doubled in size, bake for 30-40 minutes, until tops are golden brown.
  12. While the loaves are baking, make the glaze by whisking all ingredients together until smooth. 
  13. Allow loaves to cool completely before glazing and slicing.

Nutritional Information

Per Serving

  • Calories: 3378