Classic white loaf

Classic white loaf

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(58 ratings)

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


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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  • 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting



    Flour is usually made from grinding wheat, maize, rye, barley or rice. As the main…

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

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…


  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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Shellie Watson-Roalfe's picture
Shellie Watson-...
27th Mar, 2020
Love this recipe! Tried this is desperation because I haven’t been able to buy bread for a couple of weeks. I was very impressed! It was really easy and the bread itself was great. I baked it as a cob rather than in a loaf tin and it’s worked beautifully. Will definitely do again!
Tracey Clark's picture
Tracey Clark
29th Mar, 2020
HI SHELLIE ive been looking for an easy bread to make for the same reason as you. glad i found this im going to give it a try, never made bread before.
30th Mar, 2020
Hope it worked for you Tracey, I'm trying it today. Not made bread since school...!
22nd Feb, 2020
So easy to make. Took about an hour and a half to prove initially. Left in the bread tin for an hour to prove a second time. Put a roasting tin with water in for first 15 minutes, fantastic bake. Soft bread.
27th May, 2019
Fanastic white loaf - so easy to make, very light with lovely crust on top.Delicious! Five stars!!!
swiftsmith's picture
1st Mar, 2018
Easy to do and lovely springy texture, tasty spread with butter. Would make good sandwiches I think! I imagine you could adapt this very basic recipe in all sorts of ways. Will definitely make again.
listpeekjenny's picture
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
13th Feb, 2016
Very easy turns out perfectly every time
10th Jan, 2016
fabulous!! Threw everything in my bread machine, shaped into 10 buns!! Couldn't be easier :)
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!


Claude Greengrass's picture
Claude Greengrass
22nd Feb, 2020
Any tips for a stand mixer? I couldn't get this to come together into a ball in the mixer. I had to finish by hand.
Barney Good Food's picture
Barney Good Food
24th Feb, 2020
Start it off slowly for about 6 mins until everything comes together then turn the speed up for 2 more mins to knead until the dough is elastic. If, at the beginning, the dough doesn't look like it's coming together add a splash more water.
27th May, 2019
How can you adapt this recipe for rolls please? Proving,sizing of rolls, and cooking times?
goodfoodteam's picture
29th May, 2019
Thanks for your question. We can't give exact information without testing but would suggest making 12 rolls. Set aside in a warm place for 30 mins or until they have doubled in size. Bake at 220C/fan 200C/gas 7 for 10 mins, turn down to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5 and cook for a further 5 - 10 mins until deep golden brown and well risen, and hollow sounding when you tap the base.
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
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.
Sadie JC's picture
Sadie JC
2nd Dec, 2019
Put the flour in the bowl and pop the yeast on top one side, with a little sugar over it and then a little salt on the other side it will activate the yeast better. Then just swirl it all around with your fingers before making the well to put your water in. Follow all other instructions as per... It will rise better and be a much nicer loaf :D You're welcome
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.
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.
12th Jan, 2016
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:
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.
25th Apr, 2017
7oz of yeast, how do you fit the dough in the oven as it will be as big as a
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.
31st Dec, 2013
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.
15th Jul, 2015
it deflated because you over proved it and killed the yeast and/or didn't put enough salt in it.
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