We all know that white bread isn’t classed as a superfood. Pick up a loaf of mass produced white bread off a supermarket shelf and you may be confronted with a list of ingredients that you don’t recognise. A satisfying and tasty bread requires only four ingredients and time.
While I don’t consume a lot of flour in my diet, there are times I might want some white bread. I like being able to offer it to our BnB guests as an alternative to our regular bread. There are also times when I want to dunk, dip or spread on something bread. I like Michael Pollan’s advice in “Food Rules“: if you’re going to eat junk food, make it yourself.
This is a very simple recipe to follow and very versatile. You can see from the photos for this post that I’ve used it to make a range of loaves, including focaccia and mini-loaves, it can even be rolled flat to make a pizza base. The overnight proving gives it a wonderful “sourdough”-like flavour. When made using a mixer it’s super easy and the dough can last in the fridge for 5 days.
- Mixer with a dough hook
- Loaf tins, baking sheet or a pizza stone – depending on your preferred style of bread.
- 8g salt
- 15g yeast
- 900g strong white flour
- 700ml cool water
Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl – keeping yeast and salt separate. Using your mixer’s dough hook, mix for 12-15 minutes until smooth and stretchy. (It should start clinging to the hook and leave the sides of the bowl clean.) Move it to a container large enough for it to possibly triple in size and cover with clingfilm (or a lid).
Put into the fridge to prove overnight. In the morning, depending on the size of loaf you want to make break off a portion of the dough and shape it on a floured surface and place into a tin (or onto a baking try if you’re making a flatter loaf). The dough will roughly double in size during it’s second proving, which might take about an hour, but will depend on room temperature. Have a quick look at the video below if you want to see how the size of the dough will increase during the second proving.
If you prefer a crispy crust, put a tray of water in the oven when you bake your bread.
Preheat your oven to 240˚C (or 220˚C fan forced).
For small loaves or buns, turn the temperature down by 20˚C after 5 minutes – and cook for a further 10 to 15 minutes.
For a larger loaf turn the temperature after 10 minutes and bake for a further 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size and shape of your loaf.