Milk and honey bread that's quick and easy. The perfect treat for weekends. Just 5 ingredients, 2 minutes of kneading, and an hour of rising.
This milk and honey bread comes together so quick and easy, it's the perfect treat for weekends. And it will make your house smell so good too!
All you need is just 5 ingredients, 2 minutes of kneading, and an hour of rising.
This 5 ingredient bread recipe using honey and milk is so easy to make!
Homemade bread seems like one of those illusive things. But it's not. Just read on for a few tips and tricks and you'll nail it on the first try. The sweet and unique flavor of this loaf of bread is going to really wow you.
Easy enough even if you've never made bread before.
This recipe is absolutely easy enough for first-time bread makers! No bread machine required.
What 5 ingredients are needed to make this bread?
Here's everything you need: active dry yeast, milk, honey, salt, and bread flour. You'll also want to use butter, oil or baking spray to grease your pan.
Serve warm topping with butter. Want to go all out? Make your own butter!
Tips for Success
Ready? Here we go...
Getting the Temperature Right for Yeast
Don't be too worried about working with yeast! It's not difficult. The most important thing is getting a fresh, new pack of yeast. The newer your yeast is, the better it will work. Certainly, make sure your yeast is not expired. Old yeast will potentially not activate, leaving you with a very dense and stiff loaf of bread.
The next most important thing is using very warm liquid to dissolve and activate it. The ideal temperature of your liquid should be between 105˚-110˚F. The best way to test this is with a thermometer. If you don't have a kitchen thermometer though, or don't have one that goes that low, you can get one from Amazon, they're pretty inexpensive. Shop cooking thermometers here
If you don't have time to get one, no worries. You can estimate it. Given your body temperature is 98.7, and the liquid needs to be just warmer than that, it's pretty easy to feel for it. Take a drop of the warmed liquid you're using, in the case of this recipe, it will be milk, and put it on the inside of your wrist. If you can't feel it, or it feels cold, then you need to make it warmer. If it feels hot, it's too hot. If it feels a little warm, then it's probably just right. (Note: Use extreme caution when applying any hot liquid to your skin)
Save time kneading, get some dough hooks.
I do not have a stand mixer but I do own a very powerful hand mixer. If you plan to use a mixer to knead your dough, then you'll need a sturdy mixer with an adequate motor to knead bread.
After burning out a few mixers, I found the Kitchen Aid hand mixer to be an excellent choice. It's only slightly more expensive than other mixers and has much more power. Trust me, it's worth it!
Hand Mixers vs. Stand Mixers
I personally prefer a hand mixer to a stand mixer for a few reasons:
1.) It takes up less space. Counter space is valuable and my hand mixer doesn't take up any of it. It fits snugly in a cabinet, along with its attachments.
2.) I like that I have more control over things with a hand mixer. I don't mind my arms getting a little work out (who doesn't need that?) and I like being able to use the mixer with any bowl I want.
3.) I love all the colors the Kitchen Aid mixer comes in! We own an orange ones because we're Cleveland Brown's fans but I was so tempted to get so many of the other colors. They're all pretty! It seems like a minor detail but I get a little joy out of having colorful and fun cooking tools.
I recommend buying the mixer plus all of the attachments which includes two dough hooks. Shop Kitchen Aid hand mixer with attachments on Amazon
You can choose your favorite color. 🙂
If you already own the KitchenAid hand mixer, you can just get dough hook attachments: Shop dough hooks on Amazon
Kneading by Hand
Even though I recommend using a hand or stand mixer with bread hooks to save time, you can knead by hand if you prefer. It will just take a bit longer. Generally, 2 minutes of electric kneading is equivalent to 10 minutes of hand kneading. To knead by hand take the ball of dough and press it flat into a circle with your hands. Fold the dough in half and press down. Then fold it in half again so it's a quarter of the size it was. Press down. Then repeat over and over.
Letting the Bread Rise
The dough will need to rise just once, for about an hour in a warm place. For me, that's in my microwave with the lights underneath on. The lights make the microwave nice and warm but not too hot.
You could also put your dough in the oven. Just make sure the oven is off. If it's cold in there, turn it on for a few minutes to warm it up, then turn it off and put your dough in there. If you have a sunny room, that would probably work too. Just a little warmer than room temperature is what you're after.
Specifically, the ideal temperature for letting your bread rise is 80° - 90°F. Higher than 90˚ and the yeast can die, preventing the dough from rising. Lower than 80˚ and the yeast will activate more slowly or not at all which will increase the time it takes to rise or the dough may not rise at all.
Cover your dough with a breathable towel, like a thin tea towel or a kitchen hand towel that doesn't shed is fine too.
How to Punch Down Your Dough
Once the dough is done rising, you'll be able to press into it with your finger and see an indentation. That's how you'll know it's done rising.
The next step before baking is to punch it down. You want to punch the dough straight up and down with the goal of pressing it evenly into the bowl. 4-5 punches should do the job.
Carefully handle the dough when you place it into your greased bread pan. You'll want to flip your dough over so that the smooth part that was in the bottom of the bowl becomes the top of your loaf. Try not to press into the dough when you handle it of you will end up with a lumpy looking loaf.
Don't forget to grease your bowl and your bread pan!
Your dough will be sticky so to easily get it out of the bowl, make sure you grease it first. Same with baking your bread in the pan. Once it bakes, it will be difficult to get out of the pan if you forget to grease it! You can use cooking oil or butter to grease both things and be generous with it, taking the oil all the way up the sides of the pan (and bowl). Too little oil will make it difficult to remove the loaf from the pan later.
Use a bread knife to slice your bread.
For a long time I didn't own a bread knife. I finally got one and it makes a world of difference! A bread knife is long and serrated so you can saw through a loaf of even the most tender bread without squishing it. This bread in particular is very light so I highly recommend slicing it with a long, serrated bread knife. Shop bread knives on Amazon
You can use bread flour or all purpose flour.
I recommend bread flour for a more chewy and soft bread-like texture. However, you can use all purpose flour if that's all you have. The bread will be a bit more stiff and dense but will still taste great with a subtle milk and honey flavor!
Toast and spread with butter. Yum!
Want a real treat? Try topping your homemade bread with homemade butter! Get my homemade butter recipe here.
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This recipe for easy 5-ingredient milk and honey bread was featured on Meal Plan Monday and South Your Mouth!
Easy Milk and Honey Bread (5 Ingredients)
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 ¼ cups milk warmed
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 3 ½ cups bread flour
- Cooking oil for greasing
- In a large glass bowl, warm milk in the microwave for about 1 minute or until milk is very warm, but not hot to touch. (Between 105˚ and 110˚F is ideal for dissolving and activating yeast)
- Add yeast to milk and whisk until dissolved.
- Stir in honey, salt and flour.
- Using a hand or stand mixer with dough hook(s), knead the dough for 2 minutes until a ball is formed. (If you do not have a mixer with a dough hook, you can knead by hand for 10 minutes.)
- Place ball of dough into a large bowl greased with oil. Cover loosely with a towel. Set in a warm place (80˚ - 90˚F air temp) for 1 hour to let rise.
- After an hour, remove towel and punch down dough. Then gently gather the dough and without pressing into it, place the dough into a greased loaf pan. I place the dough punched side down in the bread pan so that top stays more smooth.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 375˚for 30 minutes.
- Remove loaf from oven and let cool. Slice and serve warm or toast each slice. Best enjoyed buttered. Try adding jelly as well!
Thank you for your great recipe. I added a couple of extra ingredients 2 tablespoons of mixed seeds & 1 egg. I reduced the milk by 2 tablespoons to compensate for the egg. I also prepared the dough in the bread maker, then I removed the dough & lightly kneaded it (I found the dough a little dry so I sprinkled some water over it while kneading) before placing in the loaf tin to rise. Was delicious. This recipe is a keeper.
I made this recipe but used bread-making techniques that I am more used to. I like the extra flavor and texture in breads that develop for at least a few hours. I used all the milk, all the yeast, and 1/2 the flour to make a sponge during my lunch while working at home. At the end of the day, I had a silky sponge that, surprisingly, it smelled strongly of beer. Then after work, I added the other ingredients. It needed extra moisture so I added a few tablespoons of water. I live on top of a mountain ridge and need to adjust moisture in breads sometimes (altitude impacts relative humidity.). I put it in an oiled pan and I set it outside in the warm summer sun (with a damp cloth on top) and it proofed completely in 1/2 hour. Some of the folks who are having a hard time, may just need to keep playing with ratios and adjusting until they know what modifications they need to make for their local humidity, altitude, ambient temperature, the brands of flour they use, and their specific oven. Baking in the Midwest, where I lived most my life, was very different from baking in the south is. Angela gave us a lovely template, but a recipe is a guide to creating a similar outcome, not an exact science. If you feel something is off, it is OK to go off-script and make it work in your specific environment. Don't let a recipe make you second guess yourselves.
Angela G. says
Hi Ingrid, thanks for taking the time to share your bread-making tips. I really appreciate it and I'm sure readers of this recipe will too!