Julia Child's White Bread

Total Time
3hrs 25mins
Prep 1 hr 40 mins
Cook 1 hr 45 mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Pour 1/2 cup of the water into a bowl and mix with yeast and sugar til foamy.
  2. Let sit for 5 minutes until creamy.
  3. Put the yeast mixture, rest of the water and 3 1/2 cups of the flour into the mixer with the dough hook.
  4. Mix slowly until blended then add the rest of the flour.
  5. Increase speed and scrape down the sides til the dough comes together.
  6. (If it doesn't add a tbsp of flour at a time til it does.) Add salt and mix at medium speed for 10 minutes (or do half in mixer and half kneading) til dough is smooth and elastic.
  7. Back in mixer add butter 1 tbsp at a time (dough may come apart, but mixing will pull it back together).
  8. Turn dough out on lightly floured surface and shape it into a ball then place in a large buttered or oiled bowl.
  9. Turn dough so it is completely coated in the fat, then cover in plastic for 45 minutes to an hour, til it has doubled in size at room temperature.
  10. Butter 2 loaf pans.
  11. Deflate the dough, cut in half and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
  12. Roll out into a 9 x 12-inch rectangle.
  13. With the short end facing you, fold the dough into thirds like a sheet of paper to go into an envelope, creating a roll.
  14. Pinch the seam closed, and pinch the ends enough so it will fit in the loaf pan.
  15. Drop in the loaf pan seam side down, and repeat.
  16. Cover the loaves with buttered plastic wrap and allow to rise again in a warm place (80°F) for 45 minutes, until they double in size.
  17. Preheat the oven to 375°F and put the rack in the center of the oven.
  18. Bake for 35-45 minutes til they are honey brown.
  19. Immediately turn out of pans onto a rack to cool.
  20. Once almost completely cool, they can be cut.
  21. Store in a brown paper bag for a day or two.
  22. Once cut, turn cut side down onto a cutting board and cover with a kitchen towel.
Most Helpful

I just prepared it, today. The bread turned out great. I don't know if its the climate, but I didn't have to put in the last half of cup of flour for the two loaves. They both rose beautifully and the second rising was huge and fluffy. I have to say, the consistency is quite nice and great for sandwich bread. Thanks for sharing such a simple recipe.

I used my Kitchen Aid with a dough hook. I did notice that I had to intermittently use my hands to kneed just like the recipe called for. It is unusual to add salt later and the butter last. I just went along with it as strange and as unusually elastic and seemingly stiff or rubbery as the dough seemed. So, I was a bit worried.

But, to my amazement, after the first rising as it doubled in size, the dough was relaxed and easy to work with just like other more complicated white bread recipes I've worked with, for example; The Joy of Cooking recipe book, which calls for more sugar or eggs, etc. Because I wanted to use a 5'11" bread pan, I only had one... I wrapped the other half of the bread dough in saran wrap and put it in the freezer temporarily to stop it from rising until I finished baking the first loaf. After I was ready to run errands and do the second loaf, it warmed up to room temp and rose just as good as the first loaf.

I am saving one finished loaf in the freezer, now and the other one we will slice into during dinner, tonight. Thanks for posting the recipe.

lljames May 24, 2012

OMG, this bread is wonderful! It came out golden, honey-colored, nice, crisp outside crust, and best of all, has great taste! Loved working with this dough. Didn't need to put in additional flour, at all, after I added the butter. The mixer whipped it right back into shape, pretty as you please! Most definitely a keeper! Thanks for sharing, Gay Laudee C.

Laudee November 02, 2002

I'm clearly in the minority here, but I dislike this recipe. There's something to be said for bread that rises/ferments for longer periods of time - the resulting fermentation and enzyme/bacteria activity produces a deeper flavor, which isn't possible to attain in a quick-rising bread like this one. It was okay, but the flavor was extremely flat. I love Julia Child, but this one's a miss for me.

campagnes September 03, 2012