Classic white loaf

Classic white loaf

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(25 ratings)


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Cooking time

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

Skill level



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



  • 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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  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

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Comments, questions and tips

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Show comments
milney's picture

help, i have just been given a bread making machine and cant wait to use it but i have a problem as i dont have any manufacturers instructions. i need info on times and ingrediants. i am sure someone out there can help. many thanks

jackiewoolnough's picture

Lovely, lovely, lovely! This is the best bread I have ever made. I really like the fact it had no sugar, it tasted much nicer. It was gone within an hour of serving, so everyone else seemed to like it too!

baltar's picture

pj1515 -- it takes approximately 1.5 hrs for the dough to rise (but you can check it beforehand and if it's doubled in size then that's fine).

alessandra75's picture

I'm going to make this very soon..maybe this evening!
@pj1515: it depends on the room temperature (higher is the temperature, faster it rises), usually needs about 1 hour and half, but if you want to speed up a little bit the process you can leave the dough in a warm place like the oven (preheated at very very low temperature and then turned off).

jojo-jojo's picture
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Fabulous. First time I've made bread since I was at school (many moons ago) and it turned out great (although slightly lopsided!). I'll certainly be making this again, perhaps as rolls.

pj1979's picture

could someone tell me how long it takes to 'leave to rise until doubled'??are we talking mins/hours/days??i've only made soda bread before so bit nervous about using yeast and all the leaving of things to rise!

sheilamac12's picture

I made this bread today using only 1tsp quick yeast as well as adding 1tsp sugar (as far as I know yeast needs sugar) and only using 275ml water. Also, at the point the oven was turned down, I put a piece of tin foil over the top so that the crust didn't overbake. Perfect! I slice the bread before freezing, so that I can then take out only what I need.

dixienjane's picture
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I have been so pleased with this basic recipe that I have gone out & bought a bread machine so that I can make it on a regular basis.

I have also made pizza from the basic dough and it came out really well.