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Classic white loaf

Once you've mastered this basic loaf, the bread-making world's your oyster

  • Prep: 20 mins
    Cook: 45 mins
    , plus rising and proving
  • 16 slices
  • Easy
  • 16 slices
  • Easy
  • Calories 111
  • Carbohydrates 24
  • Saturated Fat 0
  • Sugar 1
  • Protein 4
  • Fat 1
  • Fibre 0
  • Salt 0.31

Nutrition per serving

  • Calories 111
  • Carbohydrates 24
  • Saturated Fat 0
  • Sugar 1
  • Protein 4
  • Fat 1
  • Fibre 0
  • Salt 0.31

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • up to 350ml lukewarm water
  • a little sunflower oil, for greasing

Tip

In a bread machine...
All machines differ - follow manufacturer's instructions for a basic white loaf.

Method

  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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