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Basic White Bread Recipe - Simple Homemade Bread

Updated on November 22, 2012

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

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

Great River Organic Milling 100% Organic Bread Flour Unbleached Wheat, 5 Pound Bags (Pack of 4)
Great River Organic Milling 100% Organic Bread Flour Unbleached Wheat, 5 Pound Bags (Pack of 4)

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

Method

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.

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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?

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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!

Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking

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.

How do you like your bread?

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    • pericaluic profile image

      pericaluic 3 years ago

      amazing bread

    • profile image

      penmypage 4 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this simple bread recipe. I love baking using simple bread recipes.

    • blessit3 profile image

      blessit3 4 years ago

      sounds yummy! Thanks!

    • sunny saib profile image

      sunny saib 4 years ago

      Not too fresh and soft; and slightly toasted while having.. :)

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 4 years ago

      From all the recipes I read, this simple recipe is the most important and also easy to do it.

      I have days in which I am lazy or I don't have time and then I decide to bake a bread instead to dress up, go out and buy one.... so I have to tell you that there isn't in commerce a bread better then the one I create, and the recipe is exactly like this one.

      I encourage everybody who wants to bake a loaf of bread to use simple recipe not complicate ones with all kind of additions.

      Thanks for this clear explained simple recipe. Angel Blessings.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Excellent lens. I like my bread fresh, right out of the oven.

    • Beadsnresin profile image

      Beadsnresin 5 years ago

      Great lens thanks, I like mine crusty on the outside.

    • justDawn1 profile image

      justDawn1 5 years ago

      My Mom would bake her own white bread. When it came out of the oven, I would swear I could add butter & eat the entire loaf all by myself! :)

    • Gayle Dowell profile image

      Gayle Dowell 5 years ago from Kansas

      I think I can smell bread baking just thinking about it. Great lens. Blessed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Oh, I just got sooo hungry for fresh white bread like my mom used to bake.

      Blessing on a wonderful bread recipe page!

    • profile image

      Tempus 6 years ago

      You can't beat the smell of freshly baked bread. Great lens - Thanks

    • AslanBooks profile image

      AslanBooks 6 years ago

      I've been baking handmade, artisan breads for nearly 15 years. I love the feel of the dough in my hands. I've tried using a bread maker, but I just don't like the final product...the taste OR the consistency. Excellent lens.

    • PositiveChristi1 profile image

      PositiveChristi1 6 years ago

      I love making bread. I usually have to prepare my yeast, so I must be using a different yeast to the one you are using.

      Great lens.

    • StevenCousley profile image
      Author

      Steven Cousley 6 years ago from Young, NSW, Australia

      @PositiveChristi1: That's possible. "Activated" dry yeasts which can be just mixed in are common these days, mostly due to their use in bread machine recipes. You may be using a different yeats.

    • StevenCousley profile image
      Author

      Steven Cousley 6 years ago from Young, NSW, Australia

      @anonymous: I have a gluten free recipe here on squidoo but it's based on rice flour.

    • TriviaChamp profile image

      TriviaChamp 6 years ago

      Nothing like fresh bread straight from the oven. Thanks for the recipes and advice. Kudos.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I bought the Gkuten free all purpose flour from "Bob's red Mill" I had all the intension of making good gluten free bread..but I can not find anywhere an easy recipe..they all have so many ingredients.. Do you have an easy recipe?

    • StevenCousley profile image
      Author

      Steven Cousley 7 years ago from Young, NSW, Australia

      @anonymous: Ovens can vary so use what works best for yours. Experimenting makes it even more fun. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I tried the recipe for reg white bread and added about 1 tsp of cinammon and it was really good, but having it at 450 was way to hot, I had it set at 425, and for my next loaf I'll do it at 400. But I did really enjoy making it and will be making more soon and trying new things with it.

    • StevenCousley profile image
      Author

      Steven Cousley 7 years ago from Young, NSW, Australia

      @anonymous: Too much salt will kill many things, including yeast. In bread mixes salt serves two main purposes. One is for flavour, the other is to control the rate that yeast reproduces. You can make bread without salt but the quality will suffer. Try it and see the difference.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Doesn't salt kill yeast?

    • OldWillKnottSca profile image

      OldWillKnottSca 7 years ago

      Great lens! I gave this recipe a try with a little bit of sugar and it came out great!

    • JoDeeVale profile image

      JoDeeVale 8 years ago

      Thanks for the comment on my page https://hubpages.com/health/gluten-free-drag , Would you like a gluten-free recipe for your collection?

    • StevenCousley profile image
      Author

      Steven Cousley 8 years ago from Young, NSW, Australia

      [in reply to yasmin yeong]

      There are many natural bread improvers that are perfectly safe to use. I have another lens all about bread improvers if you would like more info. https://hubpages.com/food/what-is-bread-improver

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Is bread improver safe to use? I heard that it is "dangerous".

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Excellent recipes so easy and so good.

      Thanks, mate

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      We love to bake bread at our house. I have a bread machine, but we make it from scratch too. Welcome to Culinary Favorites From A to Z.