White bread sliced on a wooden chopping board

Easy white bread

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(376 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 25 mins - 30 mins Plus 2 hours proving

Easy

Makes 1 loaf

A great recipe for an electric breadmaker – or do it the traditional way

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per slice (10 slices)

  • kcal204
  • fat4g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs38g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre2g
  • protein6g
  • salt1g

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 7g sachet fast-action yeast
    Yeast

    Yeast

    yee-st

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

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 300ml water

Method

  1. Mix 500g strong white flour, 2 tsp salt and a 7g sachet of fast-action yeast in a large bowl.

  2. Make a well in the centre, then add 3 tbsp olive oil and 300ml water, and mix well. If the dough seems a little stiff, add another 1-2 tbsp water and mix well.

  3. Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for around 10 mins.

  4. Once the dough is satin-smooth, place it in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise for 1 hour until doubled in size or place in the fridge overnight.

  5. Line a baking tray with baking parchment. Knock back the dough (punch the air out and pull the dough in on itself) then gently mould the dough into a ball.

  6. Place it on the baking parchment to prove for a further hour until doubled in size.

  7. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7.

  8. Dust the loaf with some extra flour and cut a cross about 6cm long into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife.

  9. Bake for 25-30 mins until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Fergal Keating's picture
Fergal Keating
31st Jul, 2020
5.05
I’ve just started making my own bread and this recipe is a winner. To help with the proving I put a pan of boiling water in an oven then put my proving brown in. After an hour the dough has more than doubled in size, knock it back and repeat the proving. I sometimes put the dough in a 3lb tin and prove in that with cling film on top, pull the cling film off roughly and you will get a crusty top. I also put salt and pepper on top before I bake.
ellie lord
24th Jul, 2020
5.05
i've made this a few times now especially during lockdown and it tastes incredible. so easy to make and no hassle at all. everyone loves it and i'm constantly making enough of the stuff for people to have as toast for breakfast!
maplelea
23rd Jul, 2020
This is my quick go to bread recipe when we need a loaf in a short amount of time. I do it half and half with wholemeal flour and it works perfectly. For me the salt quantity is perfect but that's a matter of taste. There are plenty of more complicated recipes out there for a more sophisticated bread, but for a basic family loaf this is great.
Fergal Keating's picture
Fergal Keating
31st Jul, 2020
5.05
Do you need a bit more water if using wholemeal?
Iandc
16th Jul, 2020
5.05
Let’s put this into context.. I LOVE BREAD! I would live off the stuff if it had enough nutrients to be healthy. I am a sucker for soft white bread. The commercially made stuff. In the U.K. it usually come so I be an orange waxy type packet. I have tried several recipes and most have turned out ok. Recently been trying sourdough with mixed results. IN a break away from trying sourdough I thought I’d giveback this recipe a go. AS my wife said “it’s the best one yet”. It’s soft white bread at its best. It has no sugar added, which a lot of recipes call for. It is super easy to make. It’s great for sandwiches and toast. Great for dipping in soup or just eating with plain butter on. I tinkered with the method slightly. I knee do it a little longer than the recipe says to and I shape the ball tightly in the same way I do sourdough. I also use a pre heated glass casserole dish (nice and cheap one from Ikea) to bake it in. I start with the Lid on for 15 minute sounds then remove it for the rest of the time. I ever also found it takes a bit longer to bake than recommended. THE CRUST goes quite crispy when baking giving you the false impression it is ready to come out of the oven. I love that the crust turns soft as it cools on the rack. This recipe is now my ‘go to’ recipe because it is quick and easy with great results every time, even when you have a rubbish oven like mine. The cost per loaf, depending on where you shop, works out at about 50p, including electric for the oven. That’s a saving of at least 50p per loaf for me. DOesnt sound like much but when you consider that a loaf doesn’t last a day in my house it is fairly substantial. Go on, give it a go. If you like white bread you’ll love this recipe. Even my 7 year old can do it.
Dipika Solanki's picture
Dipika Solanki
29th Jun, 2020
4.05
Just made this... Came out really well. Will use this recipe again, but won't add as much salt next time. Tad too salty for my palette.
Carinjo
26th Jun, 2020
Had a go at this recipe since i had some extra plain flour. Used 1tspn salt and tray of water at bottom of oven. Used a standard 800g tin and lined with parchment paper. It was (almost) the hottest day so far of the year so an hour for each proving outside in the sun done the trick. Will next tey it with wholemeal and also milled flax added.
Laura Taft's picture
Laura Taft
14th Jun, 2020
5.05
Was great I proved overnight but honestly didn’t see drastic difference in taste compared to the quicker prove version. Would use again!
Baker Mike
10th Jun, 2020
5.05
Nice and easy to follow for a newbie Baker like me! I have now made 3 white loaves and 2 whole meal loaves following this recipe. The white is good, the whole meal is amazing, so tasty!
Nessyb
7th Jun, 2020
5.05
Lovely bread, easy to make and perfect - I used a hot tray with hot water poured in when I put into the oven which got a fab crust too

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Nixelixir
23rd Jul, 2020
5.05
Can I substitute strong wholemeal bread flour for this recipe? And without using sugar? All of the recipes for wholemeal and seeded bread no have looked at are asking me to use sugar, honey or treacle which I cannot eat :( is there anything different I need to do if substituting? Amazing recipe btw - my go to!
lulu_grimes's picture
lulu_grimes
26th Jul, 2020
Hi, Wholemeal flour absorbs a different amount of liquid so if you do use it you'll have to adjust the liquid. If you've made the bread and are familiar with the recipe then you can add the liquid until the dough 'feels' right. It might be an idea to make the first loaf half white and half wholemeal and then introduce more wholemeal then next time you make it. You can leave the sugar out. I hope this helps, Lulu
Gabi Emerton's picture
Gabi Emerton
17th May, 2020
I only have sunflower oil. Will this work instead of olive oil?
lulu_grimes's picture
lulu_grimes
20th May, 2020
Hello, Yes you can use that, the sunflower oil will give a slightly different flavour. Lulu
Wanley G's picture
Wanley G
8th May, 2020
I only have all-purpose flour and can't seem to find strong white flour where I live at the moment. Can you help me adjust this recipe using all-purpose flour? or is it not possible?
lulu_grimes's picture
lulu_grimes
12th May, 2020
Hi, I'm afraid that all-purpose flour doesn't contain enough gluten to make good bread. We have a recipe for plain flour bread that uses a raising agent to make it rise here https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/plain-flour-bread I hope this helps, Lulu
Kimberley Farrant's picture
Kimberley Farrant
4th May, 2020
2.05
I followed the recipie and it seemed to be going fine but after the second prove it turned into a massive flattish shape. It's basically just gone flat and I don't know what I did wrong. Very annoying as I've put 2+ hours into it for it to turn out like that.
lulu_grimes's picture
lulu_grimes
5th May, 2020
Hi Kimberley, I'm sorry to hear that this didn't work for you. If it doubled in size on the first proving but then lost shape during the second proving the dough may have over proved. Was your kitchen very hot? this can cause the dough to over prove. I hope this helps.
sabinar7
29th Apr, 2020
5.05
Can you freeze these loaves?
Esther_Deputyfoodeditor's picture
Esther_Deputyfo...
30th Apr, 2020
Hey, Esther from the cookery team here! Yes you can! I'd recommend slicing before freezing! Thanks for your question.

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Katie Downie's picture
Katie Downie
13th Jun, 2020
use less salt e.g 1tsp as 2tsp makes the bread very salty
Ivybwj's picture
Ivybwj
24th Apr, 2020
5.05
I love this bread, it's so simple to make but produces the most amazing loaves. It's got an amazing crust but I would recommend putting it under tinfoil when its taken out of the oven so it doesn't go too hard. Also, depending on your oven it can take a lot longer to bake so I always have trouble with that.
dankveganwitch's picture
dankveganwitch
5th Apr, 2020
This bread recipe is awesome! We've tried a whole bunch of recipes online since lockdown and this is the best so far. The second time I made it I used warm water (about 3/4 cup cold and rest from the kettle) and it rose/expanded much better than the first time. I also didn't "punch" the bread and it came out light and fluffy, not to mention super tasty. 10/10 recommend this recipe :)
Michael Ray's picture
Michael Ray
2nd Apr, 2020
4.05
It was a little bit stodgy. Perhaps I slightly under-baked it but I think, if I baked it again, I would reduce the amount of oil suggested to one spoonful because it made it quite heavy. Extra tip, use warm water and a tiny bit of sugar to get the yeast going before adding it in if you’re making it by hand. That will make sure you get a decent rise for a lighter loaf.
Jack Butterworth's picture
Jack Butterworth
2nd Feb, 2019
5.05
I cook this in a Dutch oven, covered for 20 minutes, then open for 30. I also leave a dish of hot water in the oven, to create a little steam, which I think leads to a good crust! Perfect every time (so far!)
Sgreg91
23rd Jan, 2017
Use warm water for a better dough
HV1
17th Jan, 2016
Great except as being a trained cook, you need sugar to feed the yeast, you will get a much better rise on the two occasions you need this, makes a lighter loaf. Don't leave out the fat content, it is very little compared to commercial loaves
eyes
17th Jan, 2018
being a baker you dont need sugar
bunsinbows
10th Nov, 2013
5.05
i didn't leave the dough overnight and it worked delicious. also once you've cooked the bread, i think its tastiest when left overnight. a bit of cooling somehow really brings out the flavour.
ayeishaa
21st Jun, 2013
I'm 16 and have just made a new cooking blog and have made my first post on making a loaf of bread and tips to take when making it like for example putting the flour in the oven will help with the rising of the dough, would love it if you checked it out and following would help me massively! please and thank you: asqueezemorelemon.blogspot.co.uk

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