Classic white loaf

Classic white loaf

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(24 ratings)

By

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Cooking time

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 45 mins , plus rising and proving

Skill level

Easy

Servings

16 slices

Once you've mastered this basic loaf, the bread-making world's your oyster

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Can be frozen for one month
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Dairy-free
  • Nut-free
  • Egg-free
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

kcalories
111
protein
4g
carbs
24g
fat
1g
saturates
0g
fibre
0g
sugar
1g
salt
0.31g

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • up to 350ml lukewarm water
  • a little sunflower oil, for greasing

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Method

  1. Make the dough by tipping the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl and making a well in the middle. Pour in most of the water and use your fingers or a wooden spoon to mix the flour and water together until combined to a slightly wet, pillowy, workable dough - add a splash more water if necessary. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for at least 10 mins until smooth and elastic. This can also be done in a tabletop mixer with a dough hook. Place the dough in a clean oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size.
  2. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Knock back the dough by tipping it back onto a floured surface and pushing the air out. Mould the dough into a rugby ball shape that will fit a 900g loaf tin and place in the tin. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for 30 mins. Dust the top of the loaf with a little more flour and slash the top with a sharp knife if you want. Bake the bread for 15 mins, then reduce the heat to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5 and continue to bake for 30 mins until the loaf sounds hollow when removed from the tin and tapped on the base. Leave the bread on a wire rack to cool completely. The loaf will stay fresh in an airtight container for 3 days or can be frozen for 1 month.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2008

Comments, questions and tips

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Comments

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jaxxtrueblue's picture

This was my 1st attempt at making bread, receipe was easy to follow and dough doubled in size after proofing. Loaf looked great once it came out the oven and sounded hollow when tapped on the bottom. Once sliced though it was very dense and heavy not quite sure what I done wrong.

Gregorio's picture

Without knowing the specifics it's hard to be sure, but there are two likely possibilities

1) You left the bread to rise for too long and the yeast exhausted the gluten in the flour, meaning by the time you put it in the oven it didn't get any oven spring.
2) You made your dough too dry. If you followed this recipe and used 350 ml water to 500g flour it should not have been dry, as that ratio gives a 70% hydration (which is quite a wet dough).

Hope your next attempt fairs better!

martinjol123's picture

how do we stop the crust going to hard when baking

Gregorio's picture

A common method used by professional bakers is to steam the oven. They usually have a machine that sprays steam directly into the oven, but to bake bread at home you can get a similar affect by either spraying 3 or 4 squirts of water from a spray bottle into the oven just before you put in the dough, or by putting a small heatproof bowl of boiled water on the shelf below the dough when you put it in the oven. What this does is basically allows the dough to steam for a little while before a crust will develop, meaning that the crust will be thinner by the end of the baking time.
You can also cover the finished bread with a clean tea towel as it cools, as this keeps the steam in and around the bread during the cooling period.

lamodeoutre's picture
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I read on another recipe that you can brush milk to make a soft crust. I haven't tried however.

burnley beast's picture

Easy to make a mighty fine loaf .....

nutloop's picture

I used milk instead of water, has to be boiled first then let to cool til Luke warm, tastes wonderful

sasacemesova's picture
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Absolutely fantastic recipe, easy and the bread was like the one I remember we used to buy when I was a child.

niamhsands's picture
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Perfect!

annaadams's picture
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Meant to put, don't put the salt in, otherwise it tastes salty. I thought it was salted butter I had used but that was for another recipe!

annaadams's picture
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I followed this recipe to the letter, my dough looked perfect and it cooked perfectly in the oven. Even when I cut it the bread looked great, however the let down was the taste, it was over salty and I could taste the yeast. Shame really as the loaf looked fantastic but the taste was off, I will not use this recipe again unless I use unsalted butter to see if that makes a difference.

laurasa's picture
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The bread turned out very well risen but I found it lacked flavour compared to a shop bough loaf. Has anyone else experienced this problem? Maybe I just need to get used to eating less additives in a home made loaf!

suzannejones34's picture
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I followed this recipe but added a tablespoon of olive oil and a teaspoon of sugar too. Instead of 500g of strong white bread flour, I used 300g and 100g of granary flour and 100g of spelt flour. I added garlic granules, chilli flakes and smoked paprika to the mix (just whatever amounts you like to taste) and I did this in the breadmaker, water first, oil, salt, sugar, flour mix, then the yeast in the top. I just used the dough setting, when it was ready, knocked it back, shaped into two ovals and cooked in the oven as per the cooking instructions. Fantastic.

glen52's picture

use this recipe 3times a week and never buy bread anymore. The only thing I do is to add a tsp of sugar and a tbspn of veg oil. never had a problem.

rebeccamark24's picture
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Nice as a basic recipe. Looking forward to experimenting with extra ingredients and flavours!

nickmadge's picture

This is great! I make at least one a week, have started putting some olive oil into the mix as well - about 50 ml

bitzypuss's picture

Have tried numerous times in the past to make good bread, but this beats all. Sitting out here in the March sunshine with steaming coffee, home made bread and home made blackberry n apple jam - yum! Would highly recommend this bread recipe.

kerry-whatley's picture
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great recipe my bread rose really well and this was my first time making bread and it was perfect :)

arkhamk's picture
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Brilliant recipe for my first loaf :D tastes great and the instructions were very easy to follow

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