Classic White Bread Recipe

 ‘A loaf of bread,’ the Walrus said, ‘is what we chiefly need: Pepper and vinegar besides are very good indeed.'” —Lewis Carroll

White bread, grapes and rosemary


Yes, a freshly baked loaf of bread is what I need today... and on most days. Though, I'm not inclined to agree with the Walrus on the pepper and vinegar. I can think of a whole host of better combinations to eat my bread with... from jams and marmalade to cheese and cold cuts and soup and stew.

Bread is just so versatile. It's the perfect starch group that can be eaten unabashedly at any time of the day, for any meal. Breakfast, lunch, tea or dinner.

However, all said and done, the thing I enjoy most with my warm, homemade bread is butter. There's nothing more satisfying and comforting than bread and butter. James Beard, the great American chef, couldn't have been more right.


Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.     

James Beard

Bread and rosemary
I added a little bit of rosemary to the top of the loaf just before baking, just to add a little fragrance to the bread. This white loaf is delicious just as is. But it's also the perfect blank canvas to top with anything you fancy- sesame seeds, herbs, caraway seeds...

My Classic White Bread Recipe


Servings: Makes 1 loaf= 15 slices
Time: 3-3.5 hours


Ingredients:

☐    1 1/4 cups (284g) lukewarm water
☐    1 tsp sugar
☐    2 1/4 tsp fast rising instant yeast (1 packet)
☐    400g unbleached White Bread Flour 
☐    1 1/4 tsp salt
☐    1 heaping tbsp (32g) honey
☐    2 tbsp (28g) butter, softened

Method:

  1. Add water to glass and microwave for 45 seconds. Add sugar and stir to dissolve. The stirring should bring the temp down to warm (around 105 F). Now add the yeast and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl add the flour and salt and combine well.
  3. Now create a well in the flour and add honey, melted butter, and the yeast water.
  4. Stir with a spoon until the dough forms into a ball. Then knead with hands for a few minutes. Add additional flour, if necessary. Dough will be slightly sticky.
  5. Shape dough into a ball by tucking under and then transfer the dough to a bowl with a little oil at the bottom to ensure the ball of dough is coated with oil.
  6. Place in a warmish place, and let it rise until puffy though not necessarily doubled in bulk about, 1 to 1.5 hours.
    1.  Tip: I like to put a pot of warm water in the oven's (powered OFF) bottom rack and set the bowl on the middle rack covered with a cloth
  7. Using a lightly greased spoon, fold the dough from the outside toward the center as you turn the bowl. Do this "bowl knead" for a few minutes
  8. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled surface, spread into a rectangle and envelope fold twice, making a 5 1/2 to 6 inch log, tucking ends under.
  9. Place the log (smooth surface on top with all folds on the bottom) in a lightly greased 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan.
  10. Spray the top of the loaf with oil spray and cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap. 
  11. Let the dough rise for 45-60 minutes or until the center has crowned about 1" above the rim of the pan.
                 Note:Check on the dough after 20 minutes, depending on your climate it might crown quicker.
  12.  Preheat oven to 350° F.
  13. Place the loaf pan in the pre-heated oven on the center rack.
  14. Bake for 35 minutes.
              Optional: Tent it lightly with aluminum foil after 20 minutes if you don't want it too brown on top.
  15. Remove the bread from the oven and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool. Cool completely before slicing.  

I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post!

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