Making bread is one of life’s simple pleasures but it is amazing how it has a reputation for being somehow fiddly, time-consuming and complicated, when in reality it’s none of those things! This Simple White Bread is easy peasy.
Granted, bread does take time to make, but most of that time is spent doing nothing while the bread rises or cooks in the oven! The actual hands on time is really only 15 minutes. And as for being difficult, well I’ve been making bread since I was about 5 and my kids help me make bread now!
This is a really simple recipe that makes a lovely white loaf that is crusty and golden on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside and, best of all, it smells fantastic!
The ingredient list is wonderfully short…so easy you can learn it off by heart!
Simple White Bread
- 500 g strong white flour
- 7 g fast action dried yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 350 ml lukewarm water
Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl, add the olive oil and stir. Slowly add the water, stirring constantly. Mix until you have a dough. It will be a bit wet and sticky but it will get better after kneading.
Knead for 10 minutes: put the dough on a floured surface and stretch it away from you with the heel of your hand, fold it over, rotate 90 degrees and repeat. Kneading looks complicated but basically it is just all about stretching the gluten in the dough, so just make sure you do lots of stretching and squidging and it will work good enough to make a nice loaf of bread. If in doubt give it to the kids to do!
Put the dough back in the bowl you used for mixing and leave it to rise for 45 minutes, covered lightly with a piece of oiled clingfilm.
After 45 minutes, take the dough out of the bowl, knock the air out of it and shape into an oval loaf shape. Put it on an oiled baking sheet and cover lightly with the oiled clingfilm. Leave for another 45 minutes to prove.
After 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 220C and continue to prove for the remaining for 15 minutes.
Slash the top of the loaf a few times and sprinkle it with flour. Cook the bread in the preheated oven for 15 minutes at 220C, then turn the oven down to 200C and cook for a further 15 minutes. Remove the loaf from the oven and turn out onto a wire cooling rack…and it’s done! Easy peasy!
In addition to the active prep time and cooking time, you also need to allow 1h30 for the bread to rise. The total time from start to finish is 2h15