Basic White Bread Recipe - Simple Homemade Bread
Basic White Bread Recipe
This recipe for homemade crusty white bread is one of the easiest methods to enjoy fresh bread straight from your own oven. Making bread at home is a lot simpler than most people think and also produces bread that can be much healthier than the store bought variety.
You only need a few basic ingredients to produce delicious bread and fill your home with that lovely fresh baked aroma.
Once you master this basic white bread recipe you can experiment with adding other ingredients to create your own family favourite bread variety.
You don't need a bread machine or even a mixer to prepare the dough. Just a large bowl and some table space to do a little kneading. The kneading only takes about ten minutes and can be a great stress reliever. That's just another benefit of making bread at home.
After the recipe I'll give you some tips on variations to the basic recipe and a very useful idea to save time if you want to enjoy fresh baked bread every day.
Basic White Bread Ingredients
All you really need to produce bread at home is four basic ingredients. This recipe produces enough for two large loaves or you can form it into other shapes or even bread rolls if you choose.
1 kilogram White Bread Flour
20 grams Salt
14 grams Dry Activated Yeast (2 sachets)
600 ml Water (slightly warm or "tepid")
That's it, that's all you need. Now grab a large bowl and get ready for the next step.
The Key Ingredients to Making Bread
A good quality bread making flour is the most essential ingredient for making quality bread. Bread flours have a higher protein level than other flours. It's this protein that forms the cell-like structure within the dough, trapping the gases produced during fermentation and causing the dough to rise.
Great River 100% Organic Bread Flour is an especially high protein organic flour to ensure your bread has maximum volume and flavour. It's suitable for hand or machine mixing and is ideal for the occasional home baker.
Putting It All Together
1. Place all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and give them a dry mix with a wooden spoon (it doesn't have to be wood, I'm just a traditionalist).
2. Make a well in the center and pour in the water.
3. Gradually stir the flour into the water until it is all incorporated. Flour can vary or even humidity can make a difference so you might find you need to add a little more flour or water to produce a workable dough. You don't want it too sticky or to tough to work with.
4. It's time to get your hands dirty. Turn your dough out onto a floured surface. A board or even just your table top is fine. Start kneading the dough. Feel free to stretch, pull or punch the dough in all directions. Then roll it back up and stretch, pull or punch again. Any technique you choose will be fine, just keep working the dough for about 10 minutes until it is even in texture. Now roll the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly greased container that can be covered. You can use your mixing bowl if it has enough room for the dough to double in size, or use a large plastic container or even a bucket. Cover with a lid, plastic wrap or a damp towel.
6. Place the dough in a warm place (not too hot, yeast starts to die above 50 C) until it doubles in size. This will take about 1 hour. Don't worry if you can't find a spot warm enough, it will still rise but it will just take a little longer.
7. Once your dough has doubled, punch it down and take it out of the container. Now divide it into 2 even portions. Press the pieces out flat and then roll into loaf shapes.
8. Place the dough pieces into large loaf tins and cover again to allow to rise. Plastic wrap or a damp towel will be fine. Sit in a warm place and allow the dough to rise until it reaches the top of the tin. While the dough is rising, preheat your oven to 230 C (450 F)
9. Once the dough has reached the top of the tin remove the cover and place in your pre-heated oven for 30-40 minutes. You can check if it is baked by knocking on the crust and listening for a hollow sound.
10. Remove from tins and allow to cool on a wire rack.
Enjoy your fresh bread!
Different Bread Pans For Different Bread Shapes
Do You Have A Favourite Bread?
What is Your Favourite Bread Variety?
Variations to the Basic Recipe
Add some sugar to the mix to sweeten the flavour, give a darker crust colour and keep the bread fresh longer. Start with 20 grams but feel free to experiment. Going over 100 grams may have a retarding effect on the dough (too much sugar can actually kill yeast).
Add margarine, butter or oil to the dough to soften the bread and keep it fresh longer. Start with one tablespoon. Some oils will also impart their own flavour to the bread, try olive or herb seasoned oils.
Add some favourite herbs to the bread for a more exotic flavour. Garlic, diced onions and cracked pepper are some good examples to try.
Mix grated parmesan cheese into the dough for a fragrant and tasty cheese bread.
Mix sun-dried tomatoes and basil or oregano into the bread for a tasty European flavour.
For the really adventurous, add sugar, cinnamon and dried raisins or mixed dried fruit to the mix for delicious fruit bread. Add the sugar and cinnamon with the dry ingredients but don't add the fruit until the last few minutes of kneading to avoid crushing and tearing the fruit.
Make Artisan Bread in Just 5 Minutes A Day!
There’s nothing like the smell of freshly baked bread to fill a kitchen with warmth, eager appetites, and endless praise for the baker who took on such a time-consuming task. Now, you can fill your kitchen with the irresistible aromas of a French bakery every day with just five minutes of active preparation time, and Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day will show you how.
Simple Shortcut For Fresh Bread Every Day
After the initital mixing which only takes about 5 minutes, this simple process allows you to bake fresh bread every day for a week or more with very little effort.
The first step is to make a large batch of dough. Double or even triple the ingredients for the basic bread recipe listed above. Add the dry ingredients to a large container with a well fitting lid. Keep in mind the container must be able to hold the dough that could double in size. Make sure the container will also fit in your refrigerator. Otherwise make a smaller quantity or use more than one container.
Okay, now add the water to the dry ingredients in the container and mix for about 5 minutes. You won't be kneading this dough so you can make it a little wetter to allow easier mixing. However don't make it too wet or it will be hard to form into loaf shapes later.
After mixing, place the lid on your container, place it into the refrigerator and leave it there for at least 2 hours.
Now every day that you want to bake fresh bread, just take the required amount of dough out of the container. Mold it into the shape you want. Place the dough into tins or on a tray. Allow it to rise just as in the original recipe and bake in a hot oven.
It's that simple. You will probably find that after a few days this method produces even better tasting bread than the original recipe. You can keep the dough in your refrigerator for up to two weeks. After that it may start to develop too sour a taste. If that happens, simply discard the left over dough and start another batch.