Brown loaf

Brown loaf

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(20 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 30 mins You'll have a baked loaf in 2 ½ - 3 hrs


Makes 1
Try this simple step-by-step brown bread recipe to make a seeded loaf or try one of three gorgeous variations

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per slice (20 slices)

  • kcal91
  • fat1g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs18g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre1g
  • protein3g
  • salt0.38g
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  • 400g malted grain brown bread flour, or wholemeal or granary bread flour
  • 100g strong white bread flour
  • 7g sachet easy-bake dried yeast (or 2 tsp Quick dried yeast)



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

  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp soft butter



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

  • 4 tbsp mixed seed (optional), such as linseed, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower, plus extra for sprinkling


  1. Mix your choice of brown flour with the white, the yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Put in the butter and rub it into the flour. Stir in the seeds if using. Make a dip in the centre of the flour and pour in almost 300ml hand warm (cool rather than hot) water, with a round-bladed knife. Then mix in enough of the remaining water and a bit more if needed, to gather up any dry bits in the bottom of the bowl and until the mixture comes together as a soft, not too sticky, dough. Gather it into a ball with your hands.

  2. Put the dough on to a very lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 mins until it feels smooth and elastic, only adding the minimum of extra flour if necessary to prevent the dough sticking. Place the ball of dough on a lightly floured work surface. Cover with an upturned, clean, large glass bowl and leave for 45 mins-1 hr or until doubled in size and feels light and springy. Timing will depend on the warmth of the room.

  3. Knock back the dough by lightly kneading just 3-4 times. You only want to knock out any large air bubbles, so too much handling now will lose the dough’s lightness. Shape into a ball. Cover with the glass bowl and leave for 15 mins.

  4. Now shape to make a tin loaf Grease a 1.2-litre capacity loaf tin (about 23 x 13 x 5.5cm) and line the base with baking parchment. Using your knuckles, flatten the dough into a rectangle about 25 x 19cm. Fold both shorter ends into the centre like an envelope, make a ¼ turn, then flatten again into the same size and roll up very tightly, starting from one of the short ends. Roll the top of the dough in extra seeds and place in the tin with the join underneath, pressing the seeds gently into the dough. Cover with a clean tea towel. Leave for 40-45 mins, or until risen about 5cm above the top of the tin.

  5. Put a roasting tin in the bottom of the oven 20 mins before ready to bake and heat oven to 230C/210C fan/gas 8. Put the risen bread in the oven, carefully pour about 250ml cold water into the roasting tin (this will hiss and create a burst of steam to give you a crisp crust), then lower the heat to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Bake for about 30 mins or until golden, covering with foil for the last 5 mins if starting to brown too quickly. Leave in the tin for 2-3 mins, then remove and cool on a wire rack. If you tap the underneath of the baked loaf if should be firm and sound hollow.

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Comments, questions and tips

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2nd Oct, 2018
The best bread I’ve ever made! I used malted granary flour and white flour. I doubled it up to make 2 2lb loaves. I added some caster sugar to the water (1.5 tsp per 300ml) as per the instructions on my tub of yeast. The instructions about shaping the loaf made all the difference- I’ve never done it like that before but I’ll always do this in future - a really great shaped loaf and beautiful even rise. I did slash the loaf lengthwise before putting it in the oven. I’ll be using this recipe many times!
20th Jul, 2017
Beautifully soft loaf. I added 1 tbs malt extract to the water and 1tbs maple syrup as well as linseeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. I also replaced about 60g of wheat flower with rye. It was a really tasty loaf, perfect for sandwiches!
Ella Griffith
5th Jun, 2017
I used 200g white and 300g wholemeal but it was absolutely lovely. My family said it tasted as good as a shop bought loaf and the texture was really good as well.
24th Feb, 2017
Lovely brown bread, after rubbing in the butter I add a teaspoon of caster sugar, but that's just a taste preference. Bread tastes delicious and is lovely and moist. No more shop bought bread for us.
15th Jan, 2016
This is the 4th bread recipe I've tried. Really nice texture and flavour. I've tried it with two different flours, one whole meal and one granary, and used sunflower and poppy seeds with both. Both delicious. Instructions are perfect, no adjustments required. A little bit involved but well worth it. This is the winner and will be my staple recipe.
19th Oct, 2015
I've tried a few loaves of bread over the last few weeks and this is by far the nicest one i've made. I've made it three times and it worked well each time. It rises well and is very light.
daviesx4's picture
9th Feb, 2014
Great recipe with fantastic results. It get's a 5 star rating from me. Xx
12th Nov, 2013
Excellent recipe, so thrilled with the result! Has quite a few steps to go through, but none of which are particularly hard and everything is explained very clearly. My family got a shock when they saw this professional-looking loaf standing proud on the kitchen counter, especially when I told them that I was the one to make it...! I think baking this beauty will be a weekly fixture in my house
Freedom Foodie
24th Oct, 2013
My first attempt at making bread & it was perfect! We managed to wait about 20 mins or so for the bread to cool down before cutting it and it was well worth the wait as it was still soft & 'springy' but easy to cut. Next time, I'd reduce the salt a tad bit though.
23rd Jun, 2013
Love this recipe, make it once or twice a week and its perfect every time


29th Dec, 2017
Can I use this recipe to make bread rolls?
goodfoodteam's picture
30th Dec, 2017
Thanks for your question. Yes you can! You'll need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
25th Feb, 2015
Is this ok to freeze?
22nd Dec, 2013
How much water do you use please?
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