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Make this soft, tender, and dairy-free bread recipe using just 5 simple ingredients. Once you try a slice, you’ll never go back to buying store-bought again. It’s perfect for sandwiches, avocado toast, and much more!

Dairy-free bread.
Slice into a loaf of tender dairy-free bread

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Simple and affordable: Just like sourdough bread, no fancy or expensive ingredients are required.
  • Beginner-friendly: This recipe is great if you’re new to homemaking bread. It’s very forgiving and comes out delicious every time!
  • Fluffy and tender: Each bite is tender, light, and flavorful. It really goes to show how much better making your own bread is.
  • Allergen-friendly: No only is this bread dairy-free, but it’s also egg-free, making it 100% vegan-friendly.

🍞 What is dairy-free bread?

Dairy-free bread is one of the simplest at-home bread recipes you can make. If you’re like us and don’t always have the time or patience for long ingredient lists and instructions, you’re going to love this one.

The only necessary ingredients are sugar, water, yeast, oil, flour, and a touch of salt. Everything is made by hand, so you don’t even need to own a bread machine! This recipe is an old-fashioned classic.

We love using this bread for French toast, torrejas, and capirotada. It also pairs well with vegan cream cheese, hummus, or guacamole. The options are endless!

Slices of dairy-free bread.
Enjoy a warm slice of bread and vegan butter

⏱ Do I have to proof bread?

Since this recipe uses yeast, it’s important to let the dough proof. Without it, the yeast won’t have time to release carbon dioxide, and the end result will be flat, dense, and rubbery.

Proofing bread results in a better crumb, a more complex flavor, and a lighter texture. You don’t want to skip this step!

🌱 Is bread vegan?

In its most basic form, bread contains just flour, water, yeast, and sugar. So, it is inherently vegan-friendly. Some common bread varieties that are vegan include ciabatta, sourdough, pita, baguettes, and Ezekiel.

However, not all bread is created equal. Some varieties contain dairy, and others contain eggs. If you’re unsure, always double-check!

Flour, yeast, sugar, water, oil, and salt.
Use a neutral oil like canola or sunflower

🛒 Ingredients & substitutions

Lukewarm water — To activate the yeast. Don’t use boiling hot water as it will kill the yeast, and cold water won’t activate it properly. The ideal temperature is 120-130 degrees F for instant yeast.

Instant yeast — Make sure you are using instant yeast for this bread recipe. While it isn’t entirely necessary to proof instant yeast in water, it helps determine if the yeast is still active. You can find out more about the types of yeast from Season and Suppers.

Cane sugar — Feeds the yeast and enhances the bread’s flavor. You can use regular granulated sugar, but you will need to confirm that it’s vegan-friendly.

Vegetable oil — Oil creates a light, tender, and moist bread texture while imparting more flavor. We typically use neutral oils like sunflower or canola, but you can use olive oil instead (the taste will be more prominent).

All-purpose flour — Use unbleached all-purpose flour. We haven’t tested this recipe with whole wheat flour or any gluten-free flour blend, so we can’t speak to the results.

Salt — For flavor enhancement.

For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.

📝 Instructions

Step 1 — Combine the warm water, yeast, and cane sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cover with a clean towel and set aside for about 10 minutes to bloom.

Blooming yeast in a bowl.
Give the yeast time to bloom

Step 2 — In the meantime, whisk the salt and flour together in a large mixing bowl.

Bloomed yeast in a bowl.
It should look frothy like this

Step 3 — Once the yeast looks frothy, add it to the dry ingredients. Add oil and knead the dough by hand or with an electric mixer (with a hook attachment) until a smooth dough forms.

Bloomed yeast, flour, salt, and water in a bowl.
Be patient with mixing the dough

Step 4 — Add more flour a little at a time until the dough is no longer sticky. For reference, we typically use 6 ¾ cups.

Bread dough in a bowl.
The texture should be smooth and elastic

Step 5 — Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl (we use our Instant Pot insert), and cover it again. Let the dough double in size, which takes about 40-45 minutes in a warm place.

Proofing dough in an Instant Pot.
Instant Pot makes life easier

Note: We prefer letting the dough rise in our Instant Pot set to Sous Vide at 80 degrees F, but another good place is an oven with the light on.

Dough rising in an Instant Pot.
The dough should look like this

Step 6 — Gently punch the air out of the dough and shape it into a ball again. Transfer it to a well-floured surface, and divide it into even halves.

Bread dough divided in half.
Knead the dough a few times to reduce the air bubbles

Step 7 — Form each one into a loaf shape, then add them to 2 lightly greased loaf pans, and let proof for another 30-35 minutes.

Unbaked bread dough in a loaf pan.
Lightly grease your loaf pan for easy removal

Step 8 — In the meantime, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F, then lower the heat to 350 degrees F before putting the bread in.

Dairy-free bread in a loaf pan.
Bake it until the top is golden brown

Step 9 — Bake each loaf for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Remove them from the oven, letting them cool on a wire rack before slicing. Happy eating!

If you have questions about making this dairy-free bread, check out our FAQs or leave a comment down below!

🧈 Ways to serve bread

Spreads — Enjoy a slice with vegan butter, cream cheese, strawberry compote, blueberry compote, or PB & J.

Soup — Nothing goes better with soup than sliced bread! Try yours with potato soup, butternut squash soup, lentil soup, split pea soup, or shell pasta soup.

Pasta — You can never have too many carbs, right? Serve this bread with a simple lemon garlic pasta, white spaghetti, or red spaghetti.

🌡️ Storage & reheating

Follow these storage tips to keep your bread tasting fresh and tender:

Room temperature — Keep dairy-free bread at room temperature for up to a week. It’s best to keep it in an airtight freezer bag to keep the moisture locked in.

Fridge — It’s best to leave homemade bread out on the counter because it will become stale and hard in the fridge.

Freezer — Once you’ve baked the bread, let it cool completely before wrapping it in foil or cling wrap. Once covered, store it in the freezer for up to 4-5 months. Thaw the loaf in the fridge overnight before slicing and reheating it.

Reheating — If you’re short on time, reheat the loaf from frozen in your oven at 250 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until it is no longer frozen in the middle.

Slices of dairy-free bread.
Your family will go crazy for this bread!

♻️ Variations

Gluten-free — Try your hand at making a gluten-free version by replacing all-purpose flour with 1:1 gluten-free flour. Our personal favorite is King Arthur Baking Measure for Measure.

Whole wheat — Instead of all-purpose flour, try Bob’s Red Mill whole wheat flour. Note: We have not tested the recipe with whole wheat flour, and the results will vary.

Add seeds — For an additional health boost, top each loaf with sunflower seeds, poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds, or flaxseeds.

🧑‍🍳 Top tips

Weigh the ingredients — For consistent results, weigh the ingredients on a kitchen scale. Although it’s a forgiving recipe, it’s always best to weigh ingredients for bread and other baking.

Scoop the flour — If you don’t have a kitchen scale, measure using the spoon method. Instead of using the measuring cup to scoop, spoon the flour into the cup, then level it off with a knife.

Choose the right pan — Ideally, use an 8″ x 4″ loaf pan so the bread rises higher. However, we only had a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan on hand, which resulted in a slightly flatter loaf (but equally delicious). Our point is to use whatever you have available!

Slice with a serrated knife — When slicing bread, it’s best to use a bread knife with serrated edges. This design is meant for foods that have a hard exterior and a soft interior. In other words, it’ll make perfect slices instead of smooshing the loaf flat.

💬 FAQ

Is it cheaper to make your own bread?

Yes, making your own bread at home is 2-3 times cheaper on average than buying a loaf from the store.

Can you let bread rise too long?

Yes, excess fermentation can lead to a sour, unpleasant taste with a gummy texture. We recommend following the times outlined in the recipe card for the best results.

Why do you have to let bread rise twice?

The second rise gives the yeast more time to feed on the sugar, creating more air pockets and changing the structure of the gluten. It results in a better crumb, a more complex flavor, and a lighter texture.

🍴 More recipes like this one

If you enjoyed this dairy-free bread recipe, be sure to check out some other simple vegan basics like these:

  • Sourdough bread: A simple, no-knead bread made with fermented sourdough starter instead of yeast.
  • Vegan garlic bread: A savory, garlicky, and cheesy garlic bread recipe.
  • Corn tortillas: Soft, tender, 3-ingredient tortillas that will change your taco game.
  • Flour tortillas: A heartier version of corn tortillas perfect for fajitas and burritos.
  • Blue corn tortillas: The same great shape as white corn tortillas but with a more rustic flavor.
  • Vegan pizza dough: A quick and easy pizza dough recipe.
  • Vegan biscuits: Flaky, tender, and soft buttermilk biscuits made vegan.
Dairy-free bread.

Easy Dairy-Free Bread

Mitch and Justine
Try this soft, tender, and dairy-free bread made with just 5 simple ingredients. It's the perfect accompaniment to soups, stews, chilis, and more!
5 from 88 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Proof time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes
Course How-to, Vegan Basics
Cuisine American, Vegan
Servings 40 slices
Calories 73 kcal

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • 8" x 4" loaf pan

Ingredients
 

  • 2 cups lukewarm water
  • 2 packets (4 ½ teaspoons) instant yeast ($0.10)
  • ¼ cup cane sugar ($0.02)
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil ($0.44)
  • ½ tablespoon salt ($0.01)
  • 6-7 cups all-purpose flour ($0.45)

Instructions
 

Dough

  • Combine the warm water, yeast, and cane sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cover with a clean towel and set aside for 10 minutes to bloom.
  • In the meantime, whisk 6 cups of flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Once the yeast mixture looks frothy, mix it with the dry ingredients, and add the oil.
  • Knead the dough by hand or with an electric mixer (with a hook attachment) until a smooth dough forms, about 10-15 minutes. Add more flour ¼ – ½ cup at a time until the dough is no longer sticky (we typically need 6 ¾ cups or 810 grams).
  • Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover it again. Let it double in size, which takes about 40-45 minutes in a warm place — We prefer our Instant Pot set to Sous Vide at 80 degrees F, but you can leave it in your oven with the light on.

Shape

  • Gently punch the air out of the dough and shape it into a ball. Transfer it to a well-floured surface, divide it into 2 even halves, and roll each one into a loaf shape.
  • Add them to 2 lightly greased loaf pans, and let proof for about 30-35 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F, then lower the heat to 350 degrees F before putting the bread in.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack before slicing. Happy eating!

Notes

  • Weigh the ingredients — For consistent results, weigh the ingredients on a kitchen scale. Although it’s a forgiving recipe, it’s always best to weigh ingredients for bread and other baking.
  • Scoop the flour — If you don’t have a kitchen scale, measure using the spoon method. Instead of using the measuring cup to scoop, spoon the flour into the cup, then level it off with a knife.
  • Choose the right pan — Ideally, use an 8″ x 4″ loaf pan so the bread rises higher. However, we only had a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan on hand, which resulted in a slightly flatter loaf (but equally delicious). Our point is to use whatever you have available!
  • Slice with a serrated knife — When slicing bread, it’s best to use a bread knife with serrated edges. This design is meant for foods that have a hard exterior and a soft interior. In other words, it’ll make perfect slices instead of smooshing the loaf flat.
  • We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
  • Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe to recipe. All prices are in USD.
     

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 73kcal | Carbohydrates: 15.6g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 88.2mg | Potassium: 20.6mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 1.3g | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 3.2mg | Iron: 0.9mg
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