Friday Recipe: Bread

During our cook last Wednesday made a great leek and potato soup. That recipe, or our mushroom soup one, would be great teamed up with this homemade bread. Here is a recipe that I really like for easy white.


500g Strong White Flour

2 sachets (12g) Fast Action Yeast

40g Butter

300ml Warm Water

2tsp Salt


  1. Put the flour into a mixing bowl and add the butter. Add the yeast at one side of the bowl and the salt at the other, or the salt will kill the yeast. mix all the ingredients together.

  1. Add half of the water and mix. Continue to add water a little at a time, mixing well, until you’ve picked up all of the flour from the sides of the bowl. You may need to add a little more water – you want a dough that is well combined and soft, but not sticky or soggy. Use the mixture to clean the inside of the bowl, keep going until the mixture forms a rough dough.

  1. Lightly grease a clean cooking surface with your oil. Turn out your dough onto the greased work surface. Roll it about a bit until it’s covered with a thin film of oil.

  1. Need the dough for about 5 minutes, until it’s soft and stretchy. The best way to do this is to push the dough out in one direction with the heel of your hand, then fold it back on itself. Turn the dough by about 90 degrees and keep doing it. Work quickly so that the mixture doesn’t stick to your hands – if it does you can add a little flour to your hands.

  1. Clean and lightly oil your mixing bowl and put the dough back into it. Cover with a damp tea towel set aside to rise, the dough should double in size in about an hour. Make sure the dough is not put in a hot place. the texture should be bouncy and it should look shiney.

  1. Take the dough out of the bowl to shape it. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knock it back by kneading it firmly to ‘knock’ out the air. Use your hand to roll the dough up, then turn by 45 degrees and roll it up again. You should do this a few times. Gently turn and smooth the dough into a round loaf shape.

  1. Place the loaf onto the baking tray which has been covered with baking paper, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise until it’s doubled in size again. This will also take about an hour.

  1. Preheat the oven to 220C (200C fan assisted)/425F/Gas 7.

  1. Score the top of your dough in a cross shape if you like, you get the best effect using a really sharp knife or, ideally, a razor. sprinkle the top with a little flour.

  1. Put the loaf (on its baking tray) into the middle of the oven. Pour a small cup of cold water into an empty roasting tray at the bottom of the oven just before you shut the door – this creates steam which helps the loaf develop a crisp and shiny crust.

  1. Bake for about 30 minutes.

  1. The loaf is cooked when it’s risen and golden. To check if it’s done, take it out of the oven and tap it gently underneath – it should sound hollow.

  1. Enjoy your homemade bread!