Recipe

Basic bread

Experience the satisfaction of baking your own bread with this fluffy, versatile recipe. Brilliant served sliced as the base to your favourite sandwich, or lightly toasted with a spread of butter and jam.

  • 20 mins preparation
  • 35 mins cooking
  • Makes 1 Item
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Ingredients

Basic bread
  • 3 cup (450g) plain white flour
  • 2 teaspoon bread improver
  • 1 sachet (75g) instant dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cup (375ml) warm water

Method

Basic bread
  • 1
    Sift flour, bread improver and salt into a warmed bowl. Return any wholemeal bran to bowl, then stir in yeast. Make a well in centre and add warm water. Mix with a wooden spoon, then mix with one hand, adding a little more water or flour, if necessary, to make a soft dough.
  • 2
    Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead by folding far edge towards you, then pushing it firmly away with heel of hand. Turn dough a little and repeat. Continue 5 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic and springs back when pressed.
  • 3
    Place dough in a clean, warm, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel. Set aside to rise in a warm, draught-free place 1 1/2 hours. Test by pushing a finger into dough. If indentation remains, it is ready. Knock back dough by punching with your fist several times, squeezing out any large bubbles. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead three or four times.
  • 4
    Knock back dough by punching with your fist several times, squeezing out any large bubbles. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead three or four times.
  • 5
    Preheat oven to 240°C (220°C fan-forced). Lightly oil a 12 x 23cm loaf pan. Pat dough into a round and fold sides under to form an oblong. Place in prepared pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and a tea towel and set aside in a warm place 30 minutes, until risen to top of pan.
  • 6
    Bake 15 minutes. Turn pan, reduce heat to 220°C (200°C fan-forced). Bake 20-25 minutes, until loaf is golden and sounds hollow when base is tapped. Turn bread out of the pan immediately. Cool on wire rack.

Notes

You could use 2 cups white flour and 1 cup wholemeal flour instead. For a crisp crust, take bread out of the pan and bake directly on an oven rack for the last 10 minutes. To make walnut bread: add 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts to basic bread dough when you start the first kneading. Top loaf with 1/4 cup chopped walnuts before baking.