basic white bread

Treat this recipe as a blueprint for the basic method of bread making. A wide variety of breads can be created using this simple recipe. For a more rustic flavor, substitute ¾ cup of whole-wheat, rye, or barley flour for the same amount of unbleached flour.




2 teaspoons dry yeast

1 1/3 (325 ml), cups water (110 F/45 C)

3 1/2 (500g) cups unbleached flour, sifted

1 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Sprinkle the yeast into ½ cup (125 ml) of water in a bowl, leave for 5 minutes; stir to dissolve. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the dissolved yeast.

2. Use wooden spoon to draw enough of the flour into the dissolved yeast to form a soft paste. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the paste “sponge” until frothy, loose and slightly expanded, about 20 minutes.

3. Pour about ½ the remaining water into the center of the well. Stir

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Kneed until smooth, shiny and elastic, about 10 minutes

5. Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover with a towel, Let rise until doubled in size, about 1 ½ – 2 hours. Punch down, and then let rest for 10 minutes.

6. Shape the dough into a long loaf, about 14-in (35 cm) in length. Place the shaped loaf on a floured baking sheet and cover with a towel. Proof until doubled in size, about 45 minutes

7. Cut five diagonal slashes, each about ¼ in (5mm) deep, across the top of the loaf. Bake in preheated oven 425 degrees F (220 C) for 45 minutes, until golden and hollow sounding when tapped underneath. Cook on wire rack

Makes 1 loaf


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