Easy white bread

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

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

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

  • 300ml water


  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 (250)

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!

elleyu87's picture

Super easy! I made this recipe by hand but only used half the ingredients (the loaf turned out about the same size as my head which was plenty for me). I also added a spoon of sugar like the others mentioned. Also.... the only flour I could find was fortified cake flour! It turned out perfect and fluffy with a nice crust. Perhaps it doesn't matter what flour you use?!

summertime123's picture

Can anyone help. I made this bread today and it came out doughy in the middle. I followed the receipe to the letter but accidentally left out the olive oil. I proved it as per the time suggested and both times it appeared to double in size. I baked it for 30 minutes in my fan oven at 200c. I wonder if the oven was not hot enough or whether I did not bake it for long enough. I did tap the bottom and it did sound hollow. Any advice would be much appreciated as I would like to try it again.

livialast's picture

Made this bread today and was really pleased with the results! I have tried to make other breads before which resembled house bricks! For this recipe I used 2/3 boiling water with 1/3 cold to make up the 300ml adding 1tsp of sugar to this mix, don't use all boiling water though or you will kill the yeast! Love this thank you!

sarahfreeman's picture

I have never had sucess before when baking bread but used my kenwood mixer with dough hook. So easy to make so made two. Thanks

xpinkiix's picture

I've tried loads of bread recipes but always come back to this one, It works every time and tastes great.

darrenbell284's picture

Amazing, I never thought I would be able to make bread, so I'm really chuffed with how well this turned out. I used "very strong white flour" and left it in the fridge overnight. The only problem was I used greaseproof paper and it stuck to the bottom, but that was my error so the recipe is not to blame. It's come out looking a lot like a loaf that costs £3/4 from the posh bakery around the corner from me, but tastes so much better :) Will definitely be making this on a regular basis.

meredithmmh's picture

I used 50:50 milk and warm water

meredithmmh's picture

I love this recipe, realy simple and don't need many ingredients.
Make it every saturday with a little variation each time.
My fravorite is adding a raw diced red onion to the dough just before going in the oven, mild taste and the bread is realy moist when eaten straight out the oven.


kathenn's picture

Great recipe!
I made this bread a few times now. I normally add less salt as 2 tsp is a bit much for me. I also made it with wholemeal flour and it worked great!

themightygusset's picture

I stirred a tablespoon of honey into the tepid water and added the yeast to that in order to get it kickstarted.
I also added a couple of tablespoons of milk powder to the flour.
For the first 'prove' I left it for around 6 hours in a cool place, and overnight in the kitchen (unheated) for the final 'prove'.
End Result :
Bready Perfection !
A long slow 'prove' definitely gives a better flavour and a more consistent 'crumb'.
Who needs a breadmaker when perfect bread is so easy to make without one ?

james-morpheus's picture

Just started baking, made this loaf 3 times, great idea to let it prove overnight in the fridge, wonderful taste when cooked

lilyalan's picture

Made this recipe by hand using granary flour. I left it to prove overnight in the fridge and then knocked it back this morning. The result was a light tasty loaf. A baking tin of water placed in the oven gave a great crust. My only problem is that it was a little salty so will half it next time.

1016sandy's picture

I have tried to make bread on many occasions,but failed ,thought I would never make any! I bought a bread maker in the end...but even that started to fail,in the end I gave up...even bought a packet..thought I could not go wrong with that..but I did! I used this recipe and am pleased to say it was excellent! I have made my 1st loaf.i am so pleased and will defiantly be using it again..I feel so proud of myself.it came out perfect! Light and fluffy.

shirleyedge's picture

I live in Canada and we use measurements in cups. Could you please add the cup measurement in your recipes? Would help a lot. Thanks.

whitesmar's picture

A keen (home) bread baker, I can make one suggestion. However, this may not be appropriate for bread machines.

I use a Kenwood Chef to mix and knead my bread. I also use REAL yeast - the light brown, putty-like stuff. For this quantity of flour, I'd use about 25g/1oz. (Although a chemist by background, when baking I prefer avoirdupois units as they're better suited. Make sure though that you stick to one or the other.)

Since changing to real yeast, I've found my bread tastes that bit better and has a superb texture. Yes, it does take a little longer (and I have an emergency supply of fast-action yeast) but it takes about an extra five minutes hands-on when you knock back - the rest is just waiting for the bread to prove.


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