Classic white loaf

Classic white loaf

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(35 ratings)

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

Easy

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

Nutrition and extra info

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

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal111
  • fat1g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs24g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre0g
  • protein4g
  • salt0.31g
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Ingredients

  • 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
    Flour

    Flour

    fl-ow-er

    Flour is a powdery ingredient usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As…

  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • up to 350ml lukewarm water
  • a little sunflower oil, for greasing
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    A variety of oils can be used for baking. Sunflower is the one we use most often at Good Food as…

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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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listpeekjenny's picture
listpeekjenny
23rd Mar, 2017
One of the best Recipe I have tried. The aroma and the taste are very delicious. The thing I like is that we can still have this while breakfast or in the evening with family. Thank you BBC for such a great recipe. Regards Bella http://listpeek.com
amandap41
13th Feb, 2016
5.05
Very easy turns out perfectly every time
weez1959
10th Jan, 2016
5.05
fabulous!! Threw everything in my bread machine, shaped into 10 buns!! Couldn't be easier :)
Pixietigerlily
30th Nov, 2015
I had never made bread before, as long as you follow the simple instructions it's really easy to follow. Five stars!
snapperjack25
15th Jul, 2015
please people you must put the salt in as this stops the proved dough from collapsing when it's in the oven....i've been a baker for 30yrs and still at it.
CurlysCooking
8th Jun, 2014
This recipe is great and the results are delicious! www.curlyscooking.co.uk
jaxxtrueblue
22nd Jan, 2014
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
14th Apr, 2014
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
8th Nov, 2013
how do we stop the crust going to hard when baking
Jacquifb
25th Feb, 2015
Yes you can put a shallow dish of water at the bottom which will moisturise the air....failing that you can also rub the cooked loaf top, soon as you take out of oven, with the wrapping from butter...this softens the crust and gives it a golden brown sheen

Pages

cheesenpickle
18th Dec, 2014
Your recipe says to let rise till double in the first step - any estimation on how long that should take? Novice bread maker here & American desperate for a good British bread to make as authentic a cheese and pickle sandwich as possible! Thanks so much!
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
19th Dec, 2014
Hi cheesenpickle thanks for your question, it will depend on the temperature in the room, but we would expect it to take approx 1hr - 1.5hrs. Hope this helps, let us know how you get on.
Maisiebelle
9th Sep, 2016
I always add a tablespoon of runny honey to the water and yeast. I don't know what it does but the dough is always good. It doesn't make the bread taste sweet.
montrealcat
7th Jul, 2016
I've been baking bread for years and have always found it a pain to live life around the timing of rising, knocking down, second rising, baking, all that kneading etc. So here's my method for avoiding all the timing issues and avoiding too much kneading. To any bread recipe, mix liquids, fat, yeast salt and grains. Then add flour until it gets hard to stir. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel. Now, ask yourself, "am I going to be around for the next four hours?" If the answer is yes, put the bowl in a warm place and come back in a half hour, add enough flour so that you can knead the dough until it is smooth for about 5 minutes, place it back in the oiled bowl and let it rise until it is double in size. Proceed to step two above. If your answer is no, place the bowl in a cool, or even a cold place and then follow the same steps as above. Doing it this way, you can even throw together your bread in the evening or a sleepless night and get it started again in the morning.
Mrsgrew
12th Jan, 2016
5.05
I left my dough to rise for 90 mins, but i do use cooler water, the way to test is to stick two fingers into the dough. If the holes fill up, it needs more time. If you they stay then the bread is ready to be punched down and shaped. This video shows how to shape dough for a tin: https://youtu.be/wx5I5O_RoeI
Trev the chef
14th Oct, 2015
Here's a little something to help make that perfect loaf. When your at one of those large supermarkets with their own bread bakers section, ( you know which ones I mean) well I always ask the bakers if they can spare some putty yeast. They always give some and it's free. When you make the bread put 7oz of this yeast in alittle warm water, leave it for half an hour before adding it to the flour then add the rest of the water, mix before adding the salt. Doing it this way stops the salt from attacking the yeast. Also use silver spoon granulated sweetener instead of sugar one teaspoon. Leave it longer to rise than you would normally, approx one and a half hours by a radiator covered over then knead again for the second time. Leave again this time in the tins for another halve an hour before it goes in the oven.
eyes
25th Apr, 2017
7oz of yeast, how do you fit the dough in the oven as it will be as big as a house.lol
cavankat
12th Sep, 2015
I tried this today with this basic recipe....For Veda Loaf or plain Malt Loaf Warm flour 20 sec in microwave Replace water with warm strong black tea Use some of this tea with a pinch of sugar in with yeast before adding to mixture Replace honey with 1tbsp extract of malt and 1 tbsp of black treacle dissolved in some of the black tea also cover with teatowel when it comes out of the oven to keep the crust soft. Glaze with warm malt or honey just before slicing.
lamodeoutre
31st Dec, 2013
5.05
The recipe is great! It's so easy! I had a bread maker once, but the bread it produced was always too dense. And I always had this idea that making bread by hand was difficult, but it's very straightforward. The only tip I would add is to make sure on the second proving that you put the bread in the oven before it has finished rising completely - we let one rise until it was huge, but then all of a sudden it kind of deflated and then didn't rise in the oven.
snapperjack25
15th Jul, 2015
it deflated because you over proved it and killed the yeast and/or didn't put enough salt in it.