Basic White Bread

AuthorKathleen GloverCategoryDifficultyBeginner

I'm an avid Sourdough bread baker but in a time crunch, it's good to have an easy bread recipe to keep up your sleeve and this is my go-to.

A lot of people are intimidated by bread because it takes so long, or there's too many steps, or they don't think they can master the technique. Bread is so simple to make, once you try this recipe you will be shocked it took you so long to try baking bread.  The hardest part of this recipe is waiting the hour for the loaf to cool before cutting into your fresh bread.

Some modifications you can try

  1. Flavoring your bread - work in some cinnamon or rosemary into the dough for an aromatic treat
  2. Make it "artisinal" - for the classic "artisanal rustic" look (a very dark and hard crust), increase the oven temp to 450F and bake the bread in a dutch oven instead of a baking sheet. Keep the lid on the dutch oven for the first 15 minutes of baking and then remove it and keep baking for another 10 minutes.
  3. Change the shape - Feel free to bake this in any shape you like, you could make a boule or rolls, bake it in a loaf pan, and much more with this dough.
Yields4 Servings
Prep Time2 hrs 10 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time2 hrs 40 mins
Ingredients:
 1 lb white flour
 2 tsp salt
 1 packet dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
 3 tbsp olive oil
 1 ⅓ cups water
Directions:
1

Mix white flour, 2 tsp salt, and a packet of yeast in a large bowl.

2

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add olive oil.

3

Add the water a little bit at a time, stopping when the dough is a shaggy mass and then thoroughly mixing in the bowl until the dough becomes a cohesive ball.

Tip: If the dough seems a little stiff, add another 1-2 tbsp water. If it seems too wet, add in an additional 1-2 tbsp flour and continue to mix.

4

Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for around 10 mins. There are many ways to knead bread, check out the video below to see how I do it.

5

When the dough is ready, transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Leave to rise for 1 hour until it has doubled in size or transfer it to the fridge to sit overnight.

Tip: The dough will be ready when you can poke it and it immediately springs back. If it does not spring back, keep kneading for a couple more minutes and test it again.

6

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and when the dough has doubled in size, punch the air out by pressing your fist into the center of the bowl.

7

Shape the dough into a ball or long loaf and place it on the baking tray. Cover again and leave it to proof for another hour until it has doubled in size again.

8

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Meanwhile, dust the loaf with some extra flour and cut slits into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. This allows steam to release while baking.

9

Bake for 25-30 mins until golden brown. Let the loaf rest at least an hour before cutting into it.

Ingredients

Ingredients:
 1 lb white flour
 2 tsp salt
 1 packet dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
 3 tbsp olive oil
 1 ⅓ cups water

Directions

Directions:
1

Mix white flour, 2 tsp salt, and a packet of yeast in a large bowl.

2

Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add olive oil.

3

Add the water a little bit at a time, stopping when the dough is a shaggy mass and then thoroughly mixing in the bowl until the dough becomes a cohesive ball.

Tip: If the dough seems a little stiff, add another 1-2 tbsp water. If it seems too wet, add in an additional 1-2 tbsp flour and continue to mix.

4

Tip the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for around 10 mins. There are many ways to knead bread, check out the video below to see how I do it.

5

When the dough is ready, transfer it to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel. Leave to rise for 1 hour until it has doubled in size or transfer it to the fridge to sit overnight.

Tip: The dough will be ready when you can poke it and it immediately springs back. If it does not spring back, keep kneading for a couple more minutes and test it again.

6

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and when the dough has doubled in size, punch the air out by pressing your fist into the center of the bowl.

7

Shape the dough into a ball or long loaf and place it on the baking tray. Cover again and leave it to proof for another hour until it has doubled in size again.

8

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Meanwhile, dust the loaf with some extra flour and cut slits into the top of the loaf with a sharp knife. This allows steam to release while baking.

9

Bake for 25-30 mins until golden brown. Let the loaf rest at least an hour before cutting into it.

Basic White Bread

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