We all love bread, especially when it's fresh, homemade, and completely meat and dairy-free. This loaf recipe uses 4 simple ingredients, and with a bit of patience you’ll end up with beautiful, soft bread to make the best sandwiches and toast! I’ve been wanting to perfect a basic bread recipe that would just serve when I felt like making a loaf or some rolls to use for everyday things, so I'm hoping you'll see how easy it is, and by just buying some yeast (which is less than £1) you can make your own bread that’s far healthier than anything at the supermarket and you can have a sense of pride that you made this entire loaf with your own hands.
This recipe would actually yield 2 loaves for me because I have a small-sized loaf tin but any loaf tin over 900g will give you 1 good sized loaf from these ingredients.
Makes 1x 900g Loaf
500g Strong White Flour (you can use plain flour but the strong white flour is specially designed to make bread, so you'll get better results)
7g Dried Instant Yeast
Pinch of Salt
Maximum of 350ml Warm Water
In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and yeast then make a well in the middle.
Pour some of the water into the well until it's 3/4 full then mix it into the flour with a wooden spoon, keep adding water until you have a sticky dough. I only used about 250-270ml so you may not need the full amount.
Tip your dough out onto a clean, lightly floured surface and knead the dough for around 10 minutes until you have a smooth ball. If the dough becomes sticky whilst kneading you can use more flour but only a tbsp at a time, we don’t want to dry the dough out!
Lightly oil a medium-sized bowl and place the dough inside. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and allow the dough to rise somewhere warm until it’s doubled in size (usually around 60 mins).
Once doubled in size, punch the air out of the dough a couple of times and then tip it out into a clean surface. Lightly oil your loaf tin and shape the dough into an oblong shape before placing it into the loaf tin, cover with a tea towel and allow to prove again for 30 mins.
In the last 10 mins of your dough proving in the tin, preheat your oven to 220C/ 200 Fan/ Gas Mark 5. When the dough has proved, lightly dust the top of the loaf with flour and score it lengthways twice with a sharp knife. Place the loaf in the oven for 15 mins.
After 15 mins of initial cooking, turn the heat down to 180C/ 160 Fan/ Gas Mark 3 and allow the loaf to fully bake for another 30 mins. You’ll know when the loaf is ready as it takes on a lovely golden colour and will sound hollow if you tap it.
Leave the loaf in its tin for 10 mins to cool before turning out onto a wire tray and letting it cool completely, if you’re making two loaves like me, then turn the heat back up to 220C/ 200 Fan/ Gas Mark 5 and begin the baking process again.
I’m so happy with how well these turned out! Depending on if my partner agrees, I'm pretty happy to make these regularly and hopefully we’ll never really have to buy bread again! They’re a really good size and even with my smaller loaf tin, one loaf should easily make 5 sandwiches. I’ve really enjoyed the simplicity of the process and how you pretty much can’t go wrong so you’re always gonna end up with a lovely loaf. If you’ve never made bread before I think this is the perfect recipe to get you into it, I promise it's so easy and the ingredients are very inexpensive too if you don’t already have them, in time I’ll experiment with different ingredients to add to the loaf and make it more exciting but I think for now I’ll just enjoy a sandwich with my homemade white bread.