Our 30 Best Puffy, Fluffy, Ready-for-Butter Yeast Bread Recipes

From toasty cinnamon rolls to cheesy khachapuri.

October  1, 2020
Photo by James Ransom

Any time of day, a warm, fluffy loaf of bread can seemingly fix just about any problem. Whether it be a simple cranberry-hazelnut toast, lathered with a generous smear of cultured (or vegan!) butter for breakfast, or a whole wheat pizza loaded with the season’s freshest ingredients for dinner, bread in any form is sure to put a smile on your face.

To celebrate all things gluten and yeast, we’ve gathered 30 of the best yeast bread recipes that go far beyond your average loaf.

1. "Pizza" Focaccia with Tomato Sauce & Green Onion

This “pizza” focaccia is Ella Quittner’s take on one of her favorite San Francisco spots: Liguria Bakery. The focaccia dough is smothered with a thin layer of jammy tomato sauce, and finished with a generous handful of chopped scallions. Quickly resolve the no-cheese situation in this “pizza” recipe with a big spoonful of ricotta once it comes out of the hot oven.

2. Glazed Shallot, Walnut, Sage, and Goat Cheese Pizza

If you’re looking for any easy, yet elegant appetizer to serve at your next gathering, this loaded, glazed pizza is just right. Brighten up the warm, rich flavors of the shallot, walnut, and sage with a squeeze and the zest of a Meyer lemon. Serve with a glass of your favorite rosé or cabernet sauvignon for a delectable combination.

3. Three-Olive Pilsner Loaf From Lori Rice

You don’t need to have years of baking experience for this easy, no-knead bread recipe. Fortunately, you can rely on a stand mixer with a dough hook to do the heavy lifting for you. Once your three-olive, pilsner-infused dough is ready to bake, use your trusted dutch oven to achieve a perfectly browned, crispy-edged loaf with a steamy, fluffy center that will fill your home with intoxicating aromas.

4. Edward Lee’s Popcorn Bread

Turn your favorite childhood snack into bread form with this genius popcorn bread recipe. To amp up the nostalgia factor, creator Edward Lee, grinds popcorn into a coarse meal to use as the base of the dough. As if this weren’t enough to remind you of your high school dates at the local movie theater, he then brushes the loaf with a coat of movie theater butter for that unmistakable flavor we all adore.

5. Cinnamon Rolls

Breakfast, lunch, or dinner, cinnamon rolls are perfect for any time of day. Forget store-bought rolls, and make your own homemade ones to impress your loved ones instead. They’ll be profusely thanking you when the smells of smokey cinnamon, and freshly baked bread come creeping into their bedrooms on a tired Sunday morning.

6. Croissant Loaf

If you thought cronuts were a big deal, prepare to be amazed by Erin Jeanne McDowell’s ridiculously beautiful croissant loaf. Though, this recipe may take up the better portion of your weekend plans, the awe-worthy results will make it all justifiable in the end. Delve into the rich, buttery layers of this mouthwatering loaf, while your guests praise you for the award-winning job you did.

7. No-Knead Barbari Bread

This Iranian bread is loaded with sesame seeds and cornmeal for a rich, dense bread that pairs well with different toppings that change depending on the time of day. For breakfast, this bread is typically eaten with feta cheese, or butter and jam, along with a cup of hot sweetened tea. In the afternoon, you’ll find it loaded with feta, walnuts and fresh herbs like: basil, mint leaves, and tarragon.

8. Salted Butter Brioche

If you’re looking for a comforting brioche recipe, this one won’t let you down. Enriched with salted butter, eggs, milk, and sugar, this light and fluffy loaf is perfect for snacking, or for making a seriously good french toast.

9. Pan Rustico, Inspired by Salvador Dalí's "Basket of Bread"

Made with just three ingredients, this artfully crafted bread requires minimal waiting time and effort. To make your life even easier, Rebecca Firkser recommends using a kitchen scale for more accurate measurements. This simple recipe yields three loaves of bread for you to share (or not!).

10. Pretzel for a Crowd

Have your friends over for a giant pretzel and beer night to share some good times. This soft, pillowy dough is perfect for dipping in the condiment of your liking like: mustard, mayo, or ketchup. If you’re feeling extra fancy, whip up a batch of beer cheese for extra flavor and fun.

11. Maida Heatter's Mile-High Cinnamon Bread

If you’re up for a challenge, this bakery-worthy bread recipe will do the trick. The mesmerizing swirl of cinnamon cocoa sugar creates a perfectly sweet and spicy loaf that is both spectacular, and delicious. Prepare for the oohs and aahs as you slice the loaf, revealing the show-stopping interior.

12. Momofuku's Pork Buns

Been craving David Chang’s famous Momofuku buns for way too long? Forget waiting for a table to enjoy these pillowy-soft, cloud-like buns when you can make them at home instead! Paired with a thick slice of sweet and salty pork belly, thinly sliced Kirby cucumbers, scallions, and a generous splash of hoisin, these buns will fill you up with pure happiness.

13. Hand-Pulled Breadsticks (Grissini Stirati)

The next time you’re having guests over, impress them with this super simple, homemade breadsticks recipe you can whip up in just a few short hours. This Turin, Piedmont specialty pairs well with an assortment of prosciutto, cheese, and olives, and is perfect for a party appetizer for your next gathering.

14. Pan de Muerto (Day of the Dead Bread)

This Mexican bread is typically made to celebrate Day of the Dead, and honor those that have passed. The bread itself is aromatic, and flavored with ingredients like anise and orange. To top it off, the bread is dusted with a snow-like cap of vanilla sugar to yield a buttery, sweet dessert-like loaf you won’t be able to resist.

15. Leila Lindholm’s Classic Swedish Cinnamon & Cardamom Buns

You can’t go wrong with pairing cinnamon and dough just about ever. This recipe takes this tried and true combination to the next level with the addition of cardamom. . . lots of it! Swedish chef, Leila Lindholm pays homage to her Nordic roots with this comforting, and classic, cinnamon and cardamom buns recipe that will make you reconsider your obsession for traditional cinnamon rolls more than just a bit.

16. Sarah Black's Ciabatta

Learn to master ciabatta with this very straightforward recipe that eliminates any guesswork associated with baking bread. The author of this recipe details key indicators for a perfectly done ciabatta loaf that include things like: very dark caramelized, eggshell thin crust, large crumb holes, and glistening dough.

17. Green Khachapuri (Georgian Cheese Bread)

If you haven’t tried classic Georgian cheese bread called Khachapuri before, then you’re in for a serious treat. A long, oval boat-like bread houses a pool of warm, gooey feta and mozzarella cheese, seasoned with an array of herbs like: dill, parsley, and chives. Some variations call for a sunny-side up egg in the center, however you really can’t go wrong with just about any combination.

18. Savory Pumpkin Rosemary Bread

Especially great for the upcoming fall months, this bread recipe combines the flavors of sweet, nutty pumpkin with the bright aromas of rosemary to make a mouthwatering loaf. For this recipe, the creator suggests using Italian 00 flour—that is ground finer than American flours—for a chewy bread with strong gluten strands that gives it extra texture.

19. Leftover Mashed Potato Flatbread

Before you divvy up the Thanksgiving leftovers, save at least a cup of mashed potatoes to make this genius leftover mashed potato flatbread the next day. Potato—the not-so-secret ingredient of this recipe—is the perfect light, neutral-flavored ingredient for adding body to this baked good. Pair this incredibly versatile bread with just about any other leftover toppings you may have on hand like: olives, rosemary, and roasted tomatoes.

20. English Muffins

This is definitely not your ordinary english muffins recipe. Perfected after an extensive series of trial and error, and many family meals later, recipe creator Christina Tosi mastered the art of making english muffins over the course of several months. Now served at Ko—a two star michelin restaurant in NYC—you can only imagine how good they really must be. Fortunately, you don’t need to trek all the way to the Lower East Side to indulge in one of these anymore. Instead, make them at home for a seriously good eggs benedict, or to serve with a juicy burger.

21. "Everything" Pletzel (Onion Board Bread)

Take your everything bagel obsession to the next level with this “everything” pletzel recipe that has all of the best toppings like: garlic, sesame seeds, and poppy seeds. This quick and easy bread recipe does not require extensive proofing time, so you can quickly satisfy your cravings soon after it hits.

22. Super Fluffy Rolls, 3 Ways: Plain, Garlic & Pretzel

Complete your dinner menu with these super fluffy rolls—hence the name—that will easily surpass any store-bought competitors. The creator of this recipe geniously offers three different variations of the rolls in the same pan, to guarantee there’s at least one your guest will like.

23. Grandma DiLaura's Panettone

This iconic holiday recipe is Food52er cdilaura's “family edible heirloom,” that originated in the 1800’s in Florence, Italy. The recipe creator notes that after many years of keeping the tradition and recipe alive simply by word of mouth, the nonna of the family finally took it upon herself to transcribe the recipe. Made with lots of melted butter, milk, sugar, raisins, and pine nuts—just to name a few—you simply can’t go wrong with this sweet Italian holiday classic.

24. Spinach Ciabatta

Looking to sneak in an extra serving of greens into your daily diet? This recipe is packed with six—yeah, you heard right!—cups of juiced spinach that turns the bread into a vibrant green, matcha-like color. Crisp on the outside, and tender on the inside, veggie-haters will quickly forget this bread is actually “healthier.”

25. Pizza: the Seasonal, Whole Wheat Version.

Make the most of your seasonal harvest with this easy-to-make whole wheat pizza dough that’s appropriate for any time of year. Increase or decrease the thickness of your topping slices, depending on the ingredients you choose to ensure everything cooks evenly. For potatoes, you’ll want to thinly slice them so they cook quicker. However, delicate plums should be cut thicker to prevent them from getting too wilted and soggy as they cook.

26. Onion Bialys

You may have seen these at your local bakery, but neglected to actually order them. Like recipe creator Erin Jeanne McDowell—who hadn’t tried a bialy until she was 18 years old—you’ll instantly be hooked on this cheese-coated, soft, chewy dough that’s filled with a generous mound of sweet, caramelized onions.

27. Brown Butter Butternut Rolls

Imagine if monkey bread and the softest dinner rolls ever had a love child. . . this would be it. Winner of the Best Recipe with Brown Butter contest, this creation combines puréed butternut squash, honey, and LOTS of brown butter to make these decadent rolls worthy of their trophy. As if it wasn’t amazing enough on its own, the recipe developer finishes the freshly baked dough with a generous coating of soft honey butter.

28. Pull-Apart Thanksgiving Leftover Stuffed Bread

This creative approach for repurposing Thanksgiving leftovers will guarantee that every last bit doesn’t go to waste. Using the remnants of your holiday dishes—like your turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing or even candied sweet potatoes—fill your dough with an exciting assortment of Thanksgiving leftovers for a tasty, next-day meal.

29. Cherry-Hazelnut (Yeast) Bread

Packed with tart cherries and loaded with crunchy, toasted hazelnuts, this slightly sweet bread is perfect for a simple breakfast toast or can be jazzed up for a more elaborate brunch display. Top with your favorite local, seasonal jam, or finish off with a generous smear of cultured butter.

30. Heavenly Oatmeal-Molasses Rolls

You don’t need to be a seasoned bread maker to master this simple recipe. Surprise yourself with the ease of making a batch of these oatmeal-enriched, molasses-sweetened rolls that will complement just about any dish. Without being too overpowering, these heavenly rolls are buttery, tender, and offer a subtle bite from their oat-coated tops.

Let us know in the comments below your best yeast bread hacks for making a perfect loaf of bread every time!

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Maki Yazawa

Written by: Maki Yazawa

Food Writer & Recipe Developer