This easy white loaf recipe requires no bread machine. Instead, this bread is baked in the oven in a round casserole or Dutch oven. It has a nice crusty top and is really soft inside.
This easy white loaf recipe requires no bread machine. Instead, this bread is baked in the oven in a round casserole or Dutch oven. It has a nice crusty top and is really soft inside. This is a versatile bread that you can serve for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
I like to start preparing bread the night before and leave it to rise overnight. The next morning, I just have to leave it to prove once more before baking it in the oven. If I get up early enough this means fresh homemade bread for breakfast for everyone which is always popular.
You can knead the dough by hand or use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. There is no fancy equipment required except that I have a proving basket such as the one below which has become invaluable as it keeps the dough to the perfect shape and also prevents the dough from drying out.
Homemade bread contains less salt and unnecessary ingredients (such as preservatives) usually found in store-bought bread. I often prefer making my own bread, especially at the weekend.
After discovering a few years ago that “two in every three loaves of bread sold in the UK contain pesticide residues and hundreds of loaves also showed that 25% contained residues of more than one pesticide” I now always use organic flour when making bread.
This easy white loaf recipe has become a family favourite and the kids really enjoy making it too.
If you prefer a whole grain alternative, why not try my Seeded Wholemeal Bread made from a mix of organic wholemeal and white flours with sunflower, pumpkin, flax and chia seeds.
Easy White Loaf
- round casserole or Dutch oven
- proving basket
- mixing bowl
- 500 g organic white bread flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp fast action dried yeast
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 300 ml warm water
- Mix flour, sugar, yeast and salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture. Add the olive oil and warm water. Mix by hand until a soft dough ball forms. Knead together on a floured surface until smooth (about 10 mins). Alternatively, you can use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
- Leave the dough to rise in the bowl covered with cling film until it doubles in size. Depending on the temperature, this can take between 45mins to 2 hours. (I often leave the dough to rise overnight and bake the bread first thing in the morning).
- When the dough has doubled, tip it on a floured surface. Deflate it by pressing all over it with your finger. Shape again into a round and transfer to a round proving container or proving basket dusted with flour. Cover with cling film.
- Preheat the oven to 230°C / 450°F / Gas 8 (Fan 210°C / 410°F). Place a round casserole or Dutch oven inside while you prove the dough.
- Leave the dough to prove in a warm place (or proving drawer if you have one) until it has doubled in size (it should take 45mins to 1 hour).
- When ready, place some greaseproof paper at the bottom of the round casserole or Dutch oven. Carefully transfer the dough into the casserole, put the lid on and bake in the oven for 30 mins. Remove the lid and bake for another 15-20mins until the crust is golden.
- When done, remove the bread from the casserole and leave to cool on a wire rack.
I cannot wait to see your posts!