Classic white loaf

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Classic white loaf
There is nothing quite like homemade bread. If the smell and taste don’t convince you, just take a look at the ingredients in your standard supermarket loaf. The UK’s four largest supermarkets all include “mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids”, “mono- and di-acetyltartaric esters of mono- and di-glycerides of fatty acids” and “flour treatment agents”. I rest my case…
  • 340g strong white bread flour, plus extra to dust
  • 1/2tbsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2tsp dried yeast
  • 1/2tsp honey
  • 220ml tepid water
1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl using a wooden spoon until well combined and there are no areas of flour left visible.2. Knead the dough for 8-10 minutes trying not to add extra oil or flour, even if it feels sticky, as this will change the recipe. The dough will become less sticky as it is kneaded and the gluten develops.3. Shape the dough into a ball and put into a clean bowl covered with oiled cling film to prove for 2hrs at room temperature.4. Lightly dust your work surface with flour and ease the dough out of the bowl. Knock out the air by kneading for a further minute then form into a rough rectangle shape. Imagining a clock face, pull the side at 12’o’clock to the middle and lightly press with the heal of your hand, then repeat with the 6’o’clock, 3 ‘o’clock and 9’o’clock edges. You should have a fat roll shape.5. Place the roll of dough, seam side down, into a lightly buttered 1lb loaf tin and leave loosely covered in oiled cling film for another hour. Put a metal roasting tray in the oven and preheat to 240C (460F).6. Lightly dust the dough with flour.7. Put the loaf in the oven and add a cup of water to the hot roasting tray. This will create steam and help create a crust.8. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce to 220C (430F) for a further 20 minutes.9. Remove the loaf from its tin, it should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, and return to the oven for a final 5 minutes to crisp up the sides and bottom.10. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 1 x 1lb loaf