17 May 2011

A Classic White Loaf of Bread


I had always stayed away from making proper bread (as opposed to flat breads) because I thought they were difficult and took forever make. I think I had tried to make some years ago and it tasted of yeast and was dense and heavy. Well, I finally took the plunge and I'm glad I did because this recipe is so simple and makes such good, fluffy and crusty bread. It doesn't last too long so it is best to eat it the day or day after you have made it. The measurements are not exact, the flour is easy enough but I kind of guesstimate the yeast, a teaspoon or two seems to be enough.

You need:

  • 500g white flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon or so of dried yeast 
  • some lukewarm water (NOT cold!) 
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of sugar


Put the flour in a big mixing bowl (you can sift it if you like but I don't find that it makes much difference really).


Next, add the salt in one corner/side and the yeast in the other. You want these two ingredients to avoid contact with each other as much as possible as the salt can kill the yeast.


Make a well in the middle and mix in the water slowly, bringing in a little of the flour at a time. The amount of water will vary but it should be around 300ml. Mix it all together until you get a soft dough that is not too sticky and not too dry (should be pliable). Add more water or flour as needed.


Knead the dough for a good 10mins on a floured surface. Check out some kneading techniques if you're not sure so that you can cut the time down a little. The dough should become stretchy.


Now you just need to put the dough in a oiled or floured bowl, cover and let it rest for 30min to an hour, depending how warm your house is. You can leave it in the airing cupboard if you like, just try to keep it away from draughts.


Once the dough has risen to double the size it was originally, knead again briefly to knock some of the air out of it. You don't have to do this for long, just a few times really.


Now, put the dough in to a bread baking tray or separate in to balls and put on a baking tray if you want to make rolls. Leave the dough for another 20-30mins, it should rise again. Shallow slice the top with a sharp knife and cover with some flour or seeds. When you do this you should also turn on your oven so that it pre-heats. About 190c should be fine.


Then put the tray in oven, being careful not to jolt it or bang the oven door, you don't want to knock the air out at this point. Bake it for around 40-45mins. You can tell if the bread is ready by tapping it, it should sound hollow.


Once it is ready, let it cool for a while and then remove from the tray and eat - delicious!


Ok, I went a bit over the top with flour!

There are many variations you can do with this recipe. For example, you could add sun-dried tomatoes, ground flax seeds, olives, herbs, feta cheese...use your imagination, the possibilities are endless.

You could also use wholemeal flour if you like a brown bread. If you do this then I would suggest not using 100% wholemeal, maybe 50/50 with white as wholemeal alone can make a very dense loaf.

24 comments:

  1. now that is a big piece of bread! it looks so delicious and sadly im to lazy to bake one ill stick to the cheap one from aldi...

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  2. Lovely! Are these easy to freeze do you know? I'm a student and have a lot of toast but that thing is mahoosive!

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  3. JkF50, I haven't tried to freeze it but I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't freeze well like most breads. You could double the recipe and do a load of them at the same time easily.

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  4. Love freshly baked bread! That looks so good

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  5. Hehe, it snowed on your bread! ;D

    I looove making my own bread, but because its so time consuming, I usually cop out & buy it. I like to make flatbread & add tomatos & cheese for a pseudo faccashia.

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  6. looks legit!!! i wish i could cook ;(

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  7. then put some bacon and eggs on it and you're ready to rock n roll!

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  8. I'll try to cook it haha... I always end up burning something.

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  9. I'm going to cook it now, let see if it works.

    Also, following.

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  10. That looks great, but I don't eat much bread...

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  11. Hey Enzo, let me know how it goes, good luck!

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  12. That's a really nice looking loaf of bread, that's one of my favorite things to make. Nice recipe!

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  13. Makes me want to start up cooking again.

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  14. I've always wanted to make bread from scratch. I hate most store bought breads.

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  15. these are very delicious recipes, i must thank you for i will use them , keep up the good work and see you later

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  16. reading recipes always makes me hungry, and your are no different

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  17. home made bread, best there is!

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  18. This made me crave fresh, home made bread

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  19. I used to be a baker, so making a single loaf of bread is something that I never really learned how to do! I am used to making about 120 loaves at a time! I'll definitely try this out some time.

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