White loaf

White loaf

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 35 mins You'll have a baked loaf in 2 ½ - 3 hours

Easy

Makes 1
Learn to make white bread with Angela Nilsen's step-by-step recipe, once you've cracked it, we have three variations to try

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per slice (20 slices)

  • kcal92
  • fat1g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs19g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre1g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.39g
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Ingredients

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 7g sachet easy-bake dried yeast (or 2 tsp Quick dried yeast)
    Yeast

    Yeast

    yee-st

    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

    Butter

    butt-err

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

Method

  1. Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Put in the butter and rub it into the flour. 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, until the mixture comes together as a soft, not too sticky, dough. Gather it into a ball with your hands.

  2. Put the dough onto 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 gently 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. Cut off two-thirds and one-third with a sharp knife and shape both into round balls. Cover with the glass bowl and leave for 10 mins.

  4. Now shape to make a cottage loaf. Gently re-shape the balls of dough if necessary. Sit the larger ball on a baking parchment-lined baking sheet. Sit smaller ball in the centre of the larger one and press down through the centre of the smaller one right into larger one with your finger (dipped in flour so it doesn’t stick), to attach it. Dust the top with a little flour. Cover with a clean dry tea towel and leave for 40-45 mins, or until about doubled in size.

  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 30-35 mins or until golden. Remove and cool on a wire rack. If you tap the underneath of the loaf if should be firm and sound hollow.

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Comments (5)

willsyk's picture
5

I used oil instead of butter, just laziness really and added an extra 50ml of water, mixed with a teaspoon of sugar, so when I was kneading the dough I could add a little more flour if it started sticking without worry because I made bread rolls not an actual loaf. I dusted them with flour before baking and they came out crusty on the outside, even without the roasting tin of water (I forgot) and they were all soft and fluffy inside. I had the oven at 220 for 15 mins then at 190 for 15 mins. Absolutely gorgeous! I'd never really had much luck with rolls before but this recipe is ideal. My family are all clamouring for me to make more!

trishhorner's picture

Idiot proof - Even I managed to make it taste nice

georginastevens's picture

A lovely loaf - although the top 'ball' lept off the bottom one whilst baking as it rose so much! Had to do some quick re-assembly mid-bake! Will glue them together better next time!

catherinesalisbury's picture
5

I have made this recipe several times and it works every time. Gives a fantastic result. I have also played around with different flours and found that 50:50 mixes work really well e.g. 250g strong white, 250g wholemeal. This is the best bread recipe I have found so far

odelle's picture
5

Another foolproof bread recipe. Brush loaf with salted water prior to baking gives a lovely crunchy crust.
Make double the quantities and freeze a batch this way you'll always have 'fresh bread' that you know exactly what goes in to it!
Delicious! Try adding oil in place of butter, saves the 'rubbing in' & makes a lovely, tasty, light loaf.
Odelle.

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