This easy bread recipe is great for beginners and experienced bakers alike. It only requires 6 ingredients, and you can adapt it to make a variety of loaves!
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon of slightly warm water (270ml or 270g)
1/2 tablespoon of yeast
1/2 tablespoon of sugar
1/2 tablespoon of olive oil
2 3/4 cups of white bread flour (420g)
1 teaspoon of salt
extra flour for kneading etc
extra olive oil for greasing
- Combine water, yeast, and sugar in a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Cover bowl with a tea towel and allow to stand in a warm place for 10 to 15 minutes or until the mixture is foaming/bubbly in appearance.
- Add olive oil, flour, and salt and mix with a wooden spoon.
- Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes. Use small amounts of extra flour if the dough is too sticky. Similarly add a few drops of water to the dough if it seems too dry. *
- Once you have finished kneading, shape the dough into a ball.
- Pour a small amount (1 -2 teaspoons) of olive oil into a large bowl and then roll the dough around in the oil to coat it.
- Leave the dough in the bowl and cover with cling film.
- Allow the dough to sit in a warm place until it doubles in size (this could take anything from 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the temperature of your home).
- Once the dough has doubled in size, tip it out onto a lightly flour surface. Now lightly knead the dough for a minute or two to degas it and then shape it into a small log**.
- Grease and flour a 24 cm (9½ in) loaf tin, then place the dough into the tin and leave to double in size again.
- To ensure the dough doesn’t dry out place loaf tin containing dough into a large plastic bag and seal the end of the bag with a clothes peg.
- Preheat oven to 220°C (430°F).
- Once the dough has doubled in size (it should fill the tin to the top), remove the tin from the plastic bag and bake for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, remove from oven and transfer the loaf to a wire rack. A hollow sound when tapping the bottom of the loaf indicates that the bread is fully cooked. If the loaf doesn’t sound hollow when tapped place it back into the oven, directly onto the oven rack, for a further 5 minutes.
* I find that it is better to be a bit too wet than too dry. As long as you can knead it without it sticking to your fingers too much. If you’re having trouble kneading, because you have to keep scraping the dough off your fingers, I would add a little more flour.
** This amount of dough makes a nice 650g loaf of bread in a standard loaf tin. But you can also make a cob shape loaf or even divide the dough into about 4 – 6 smaller pieces to make bread rolls.
Extra Bread Machine notes: The ingredients in this recipe can be used in a bread machine. Just make sure to add them in the order that your bread machine specifies. I set my machine to a 650g loaf as this is about the size of the loaf that I get.
If using a bread machine, check the dough after it has been kneading for 5 minutes. If it looks dry and the flour is slow to incorporate – add up to a teaspoon of extra water. If it looks a bit too wet and sloppy – add half a tablespoon more flour. The bread can be cooked in the bread machine or use the dough setting and transfer to a loaf tin and continue with recipe from Step 9.