Bread is easier to make than you might think! This super simple white bread recipe uses just 5 ingredients, does not require any special equipment, and takes only 20 minutes hands on time - but delivers excellent results every time!
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 much smoother and less sticky 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 it will be good enough to make a nice loaf of bread.
Shape the dough into a ball and put it back in the bowl you used for mixing. Leave it to rise for 45 minutes at room temperature, 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 your oven to 220C / 200C fan / gas mark 7 / 425F 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 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove the loaf from the oven and check it's done by carefully turning it over and tapping the bottom. If it's done, it will sound hollow. If it's not done, pop the loaf back in the oven for 5 more minutes and check again.
When it's done, place the cooked loaf onto a wire cooling rack (use your grill rack, if you don't have one!)
Suitable for freezing.
Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.