Basic loaf

    3 hours

    This recipe makes a very good basic loaf, but it is also infinitely flexible. You can make any number of breads with it, just by using different types of flour or adding herbs, nuts, cheese, olives, seeds, dried fruit and berries, or you can shape it into rolls. You don’t even need a loaf tin as the bread is baked on a baking tray.

    37 people made this

    Serves: 12 

    • 340g (12 oz) strong white (bread) flour
    • 340g (12 oz) strong wholemeal (bread) flour, preferably stoneground, plus a little extra to sprinkle
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 sachet easy-blend dried yeast, about 7 g
    • 450 ml (15 fl oz) tepid water

    Prep:2hr25min  ›  Cook:35min  ›  Ready in:3hr 

    1. Sift the white and wholemeal flours and salt into a large bowl, tipping in any bran left in the sieve. Stir in the dried yeast, then make a well in the centre and pour in the tepid water. Using your hands, gradually draw the flour into the water, mixing well to make a dough.
    2. Gather the dough into a ball that feels firm and leaves the sides of the bowl clean; if necessary, add a little more flour or a little more water.
    3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Put the dough into a large, lightly greased bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
    4. Turn out the risen dough onto a floured work surface and knock it back with your knuckles. Gently knead the dough into a neat ball shape, then set it on a large greased baking sheet. Cover with a damp tea-towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size again.
    5. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 220ºC (425ºF, gas mark 7). Uncover the loaf and sprinkle with a little flour, then make 4 slashes across the top using a small serrated knife. Bake for 35 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the base.
    6. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and cool completely before slicing. It can be kept for up to 5 days.

    Each slice provides

    B1, B6, selenium * niacin, copper, iron, zinc

    Plus points

    This is a fat-free loaf with plenty of fibre from the wholemeal flour. The wholemeal flour also provides B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, selenium, iron, copper and phosphorus. * Stoneground flour is milled by traditional methods, which keep the wheat grains cool and thus preserve almost all the nutrients in the whole grain.

    Some more ideas

    For a white loaf, use 675 g (1½ lb) strong white (bread) flour and omit the wholemeal flour. For a loaf with plenty of texture, use 675 g (1½ lb) strong wholemeal (bread) flour and omit the white flour. * For extra calcium, mix the dough with tepid semi-skimmed milk instead of water, or use a mixture of milk and water. * To make a tin loaf, after the first rising shape the dough and place in a greased 900 g (2 lb) loaf tin. Leave to rise until doubled in size, then bake as in the main recipe. * For rolls, after the first rising divide the dough into 20 equal pieces. For round rolls, shape each piece into a rough ball, then roll it under your cupped hand on the work surface to neaten. For an oval roll, shape each piece into a ball, flatten slightly, then mould to an oval with your hands and make a good crease down the centre with the side of your little finger.

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    Reviews in English (5)


    Really easy to make. lovely crust and not stodgy inside.  -  13 Apr 2011


    Excellent recipe - made the 100 per cent wholemeal and it went down very well.  -  20 Oct 2012


    A most delicious bread  -  24 Sep 2011