Easy white bread

Easy white bread

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(162 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 25 mins - 30 mins Plus 2 hours proving


Makes 1 loaf
A great recipe for an electric breadmaker - or do it the traditional way

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable


  • kcal204
  • fat4g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs38g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre2g
  • protein6g
  • salt1g
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  • 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 7g sachet fast-action yeast



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

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 300ml water

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  1. Mix the flour, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre, then add the oil and water, and mix well. If the dough seems a little stiff, add 1-2 tbsp water, mix well then tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead. Once the dough is satin-smooth, place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Leave to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size or place in the fridge overnight.

  2. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Knock back the dough, then gently mould the dough into a ball. Place it on the baking parchment to prove for a further hour until doubled in size.

  3. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Dust the loaf with flour and cut a cross about 6cm long into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. Bake for 25-30 mins until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.

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Comments (245)

elleipsis's picture

Not being that confident making bread I followed this recipe exactly which as some people have mentioned before is a little bit of a mistake. Whilst most of the recipe is perfectly fine, the salt recommended is way too high.I placed the salt far away from the yeast, and kneaded the dough and left to prove the first time, and the salt even impacted the rise. I will be halving the salt when I make it again, which I hope will work better.
Apart from this slight issue, it seems to be a good recipe.

aecampbell's picture

I made this recipe following the amounts given and the bread was perfect and not at all salty. Maybe elleipsis misread tbs for tsp? I take the minimum of salt in food for health reasons so I notice salt, but with 2 level teaspoons it came out well. If you want an unsalted loaf just leave out the salt altogether!

keith8385's picture

This is looking so awesome.I have never tried making breads ever but will surely try out this recipe now.Just have to make sure the dough is good.Thanks for the recipe.
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tashie1990's picture

I adore this recipe. The bread comes out amazing every time and I impress my friends/housemates/parents with my baking skills. I tell them the recipe is easy and they should just try it for themselves, but I secretly like them thinking it is down to my skill! I follow what it says always, but I am going to start trying variations like substituting wholemeal flour or adding sundried tomatoes as suggested below.
I like how simple it is to follow (it took me two minutes to write it in my handwritten recipe collection) and although on my first try I had to look up techniques on kneading and knocking back (for those looking for help here - just look up kneading or knocking back on the search bar on the good food website - I found some helpful videos - sometimes it is better to see how it is done than to just read about it!), I now know it off by heart and I appreciate the simplicity (no one wants to read an essay when they are consulting a recipe they have used many times before!). Thank you Good Food!!

KH's picture

First time ever making bread, thought it best not to stray from the recipe... Definitely an error as the salt content is far too high. Wish I'd read the comments before starting. Would recommend cutting the salt in half, but otherwise very easy to make!

BrokenHomesSmallCloud's picture

Just put this bread into the oven for the first time. What on earth does "satin-smooth" mean? I am not a painter or a communist, I cannot work in such flowery terms as this. The fascists at the NSA wouldn't allow this - I hope when they read this comment they will immediately take down this wishy-washy recipe and replace it with a concrete scientific methodology that is more suited to the delicate and precise nature of baking.

laonie's picture

LOL. Old comment, I know, but just in case anyone is wondering, kneading bread is not an exact science. A lot of factors such as temperature and humidity can affect it, so an accurate time for kneading is simply impossible to give (8-10 minutes is a good middle ground). The point of kneading dough is to 'strengthen' the gluten, which are the stringy bands of protein that give bread its structure and texture. As you knead, these strands begin to tighten, and therefore to straighten. This gives the dough a noticeably different 'feel'. The dough will become almost bouncy and it will feel 'alive' and much smoother (aka, satiny)

if you're still not sure, one test is to lift the ball of dough in your hand and hold it in the air for a second. If it holds its shape instead of sagging over your fingers, that means the gluten has developed.

My own go-to test is to give the dough a prod with your finger. If the indentation slowly fills itself back in, you're good to go. If it sits there looking like a deep dimple, continue kneading.

HV1's picture

I think you may have a flea up your .... are you from the US of GA? this is a proper and very good recipe, maybe you did it all incorrectly?

aecampbell's picture

Can't quite see what BrokenHomesSmal is getting at here. What's the link between a textural description and communism? And what exactly would a "concrete scientific methodology" be for a description of how the dough should feel and look? I'm sorry, but baking is more of an art than a science, and sometimes "flowery" terms are more helpful than strict methodology. If you can't take it get out of the kitchen and back under the car!

laonie's picture

I'm pretty sure they were joking.

vpetrou's picture

Great recipe. I have made this countless times and it always comes well. I now play around with the types of flour but still use this recipe as a base. We are only 2 at home so we eat what we can then slice the rest and freeze it for toast, beats standard sliced bread any day!

ljz1975's picture

Wow! What lovely good as the speciality loaves in the supermarket! Really easy - I let mine prove for slightly longer as it was a bit cold and only cooked for 15 mins but my oven had been preheating for ages! Crispy outer and light and fluffy... Just as fresh the next day! Will deffo be a regular in our household!!

mdcbc2's picture

so easy to make! :)

harrowing's picture

This was the best bread I have ever made! (And I've been trying to bake a good bread for over 40 years!)

cheato's picture

I've made this loaf twice now and it's been perfect each time.

abcdefghijord's picture

Just making this, there are no specific instructions as to use cold or tepid water and if to cover the bowl and leave it in a warm place.
I used lukewarm water and I've covered the bowl with 2 food bags as I've run out of clingfilm... I googled a video of knocking back the bread and mine looked nothing like it does in the video?
I used my stand alone mixer with the dough hook attachment too... It's currently on it's second proving so will see how it shapes up after it's done and cooked.
Hopefully it'll turn out right!!

surinder85's picture

Love this recipe, fairly easy - need to find a bigger loaf tin though!

frankc52's picture

I am so glad my bread machine broke as I just love making bread and this one is easy and is eaten quite quickly while a bought loaf lasts for ages and is given to the chicken, now they don't even get the crust. I use 400g of strong white flour and a 100g of seeded wholemeal flour with just a pinch of ginger. I could leave the ginger out as the loaf only lasts the day its made.

choccylab's picture

Made this today - turned out brilliantly. Fluffy soft bread, which I fashioned into rolls rather than a loaf. And I did what Paul Hollywood said and used cold water. Apparently having to use warm water to activate the yeast is a total myth! And he was right! Highly recommended to anyone.

bunsinbows's picture

a really tasty loaf! i did not leave it overnight, still turned out delish!


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