Brown loaf

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 30 mins You'll have a baked loaf in 2 ½ - 3 hrs


Makes 1
Try this simple step-by-step brown bread recipe to make a seeded loaf or try one of three gorgeous variations

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per slice (20 slices)

  • kcal91
  • fat1g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs18g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre1g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.38g
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  • 400g malted grain brown bread flour, or wholemeal or granary bread flour
  • 100g strong white bread flour
  • 7g sachet easy-bake dried yeast (or 2 tsp Quick dried yeast)



    Yeast is a living, single-cell organism. As the yeast grows, it converts its food (in the form…

  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp soft butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 4 tbsp mixed seed (optional), such as linseed, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower, plus extra for sprinkling


  1. Mix your choice of brown flour with the white, the yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Put in the butter and rub it into the flour. Stir in the seeds if using. Make a dip in the centre of the flour and pour in almost 300ml hand warm (cool rather than hot) water, with a round-bladed knife. Then mix in enough of the remaining water and a bit more if needed, to gather up any dry bits in the bottom of the bowl and until the mixture comes together as a soft, not too sticky, dough. Gather it into a ball with your hands.

  2. Put the dough on to a very lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 mins until it feels smooth and elastic, only adding the minimum of extra flour if necessary to prevent the dough sticking. Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured work surface. Cover with an upturned, clean, large glass bowl and leave for 45 mins-1 hr or until doubled in size and feels light and springy. Timing will depend on the warmth of the room.

  3. Knock back the dough by lightly kneading just 3-4 times. You only want to knock out any large air bubbles, so too much handling now will lose the dough’s lightness. Shape into a ball. Cover with the glass bowl and leave for 15 mins.

  4. Now shape to make a tin loaf Grease a 1.2-litre capacity loaf tin (about 23 x 13 x 5.5cm) and line the base with baking parchment. Using your knuckles, flatten the dough into a rectangle about 25 x 19cm. Fold both shorter ends into the centre like an envelope, make a ¼ turn, then flatten again into the same size and roll up very tightly, starting from one of the short ends. Roll the top of the dough in extra seeds and place in the tin with the join underneath, pressing the seeds gently into the dough. Cover with a clean tea towel. Leave for 40-45 mins, or until risen about 5cm above the top of the tin.

  5. Put a roasting tin in the bottom of the oven 20 mins before ready to bake and heat oven to 230C/210C fan/gas 8. Put the risen bread in the oven, carefully pour about 250ml cold water into the roasting tin (this will hiss and create a burst of steam to give you a crisp crust), then lower the heat to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Bake for about 30 mins or until golden, covering with foil for the last 5 mins if starting to brown too quickly. Leave in the tin for 2-3 mins, then remove and cool on a wire rack. If you tap the underneath of the baked loaf if should be firm and sound hollow.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (18)

Ellieb6's picture

This is the 4th bread recipe I've tried. Really nice texture and flavour. I've tried it with two different flours, one whole meal and one granary, and used sunflower and poppy seeds with both. Both delicious. Instructions are perfect, no adjustments required. A little bit involved but well worth it. This is the winner and will be my staple recipe.

lstevenson8's picture

I've tried a few loaves of bread over the last few weeks and this is by far the nicest one i've made. I've made it three times and it worked well each time. It rises well and is very light.

daviesx4's picture

Great recipe with fantastic results. It get's a 5 star rating from me. Xx

BakerKhan's picture

Excellent recipe, so thrilled with the result! Has quite a few steps to go through, but none of which are particularly hard and everything is explained very clearly. My family got a shock when they saw this professional-looking loaf standing proud on the kitchen counter, especially when I told them that I was the one to make it...! I think baking this beauty will be a weekly fixture in my house

Freedom Foodie's picture

My first attempt at making bread & it was perfect! We managed to wait about 20 mins or so for the bread to cool down before cutting it and it was well worth the wait as it was still soft & 'springy' but easy to cut. Next time, I'd reduce the salt a tad bit though.

pennyh30's picture

Love this recipe, make it once or twice a week and its perfect every time

lisagal's picture

Mine is in the oven now but I haven't put it in a tin....just on a tray so here's hoping that it turns ok just as well.

Has anyone else tried it without a loaf tin?

goodfoodgoodfood's picture

opps forgot to rate

goodfoodgoodfood's picture

Made this using wholemeal flour and white flour it turned out great best loasf yet. I have a bread machine but made this by hand and it was much better.

mariawebber's picture

Easier loaf ever to make! I use 400g of granary flour & 100g strong plain flour. I make it twice a week. Don't have shop bought bread anymore.

veggiesara's picture

I should have mentioned- my calculations were based on baking the bread without seeds- if you add the seeds it's more like 18-19 slices per loaf

veggiesara's picture

Really happy with how this bread turned out. I didn't line the base either but just generously buttered the tin and then gave the loaf 5 extra minutes in the oven without the tin to get a really good crust. I worked out it is 1560 calories for the entire loaf so to get slices worth 90 odd calories each I cut the loaf into roughly 16 slices. The slices came out as what I would describe as your average 'medium' sliced supermarket loaf.

mickyfinn's picture

how much water do you use it does not say

aquiela's picture

It does tell you in instruction [1] - about 300ml of lukewarm water.

ella-maria's picture

doesn't say how many servings so therefore even though says
91 cal per serving it all depends how thick you cut each slice, so recipe non starter

aquiela's picture

I can see that is says 20 slices above the nutrition box...

lib502's picture

I made this with Dove quick yeast so only used a teaspoon of it - came out a treat but wish I have covered mine earlier, caught before the top had burnt though. It was really tasty and will definitely make it again but without lining the tin as I prefer a more crispy base to my bread.

noggin21's picture

First time I have made a wholemeal loaf turned out better than expected

Questions (2)

ellysia12's picture

Is this ok to freeze?

juliecdavison's picture

How much water do you use please?

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