Basic white bread

Bread is one of my favourite things to make and with this basic white bread recipe it’s really simple to make and tastes delicious.

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Bread is one of my favourite things to make and with this basic white bread recipe it's really simple to make and tastes delicious.

Bread is one of my favourite foods to make. It’s quick to make (proving aside), I find kneading the dough great for relaxing and de-stressing, it fills your house with a lovely fresh bread aroma, and I don’t know if it’s just me but I always feel quite pleased with myself when I return to the dough after an hour or so to find it’s risen.

This recipe is for a small white loaf which is what I prefer to make, but you can easily double the recipe to make a larger loaf, or make two at a time and pop one in the freezer.

If you prefer to make your bread in a tin, for this recipe I would recommend using a 1lb loaf tin.

Basic white bread recipe
3 from 2 votes

Basic white bread

Bread is one of my favourite things to make and with this basic white bread recipe it’s really simple to make and tastes delicious.
Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 15 slices (1 loaf)


  • 300 g strong white bread flour
  • 150 ml tepid water - approx.
  • 1 tsp fast action dried yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • Put the flour (300g), yeast (1 tsp) and salt (1 tsp) into a large bowl - Put the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl to prevent the salt killing the yeast before it's had a chance to work.
  • Make a well in the centre and add half the water (75ml), mix well with your hands.
  • Keep adding water a little bit at a time until all of the flour has been incorporated into the dough. The dough should be slightly sticky but not sloppy - If you accidentally add too much water add a sprinkle of flour and combine until you have the right consistency.
  • Spread a little of the olive oil onto a clear work surface and knead the dough in the oil, keep adding a little oil until the full 1 tbsp has been incorporated - The olive oil helps to prevent the dough from sticking to the surface and adds flavour to the loaf. The dough can sometimes get sticky while kneading, keep persevering, it will improve, and don't be tempted to add more flour or you'll end up with a dry, heavy loaf.
  • Keep kneading the dough until it is smooth, springy and if you stretch it in front of a light source you'll be able to see the light coming through without the dough breaking.
  • Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Leave to prove for 1-1½ hours (or overnight in the fridge) until the dough has doubled in size - The important thing here is the dough doubling in size, not the time. The amount of time the dough needs to prove can vary according to the temperature of the room, so if it's not doubled in size, leave it a bit longer.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl and knead a couple of times to knock out all of the air.
  • Shape the dough into an oval shape and place on the tin you're planning to cook the loaf on.
  • Loosely cover with a tea towel and leave to prove for a further hour until it has doubled in size.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan
  • One the loaf has doubled in size, sprinkle with a little flour and using a very sharp knife make a few shallow diagonal cuts across the top, being careful not to knock out any of the air - These cuts are important as when the bread cooks air will escape. The cuts allow this to happen. If there are no cuts the bread will crack during baking.
  • Bake in the oven for roughly 30 minutes. To check if the loaf is cooked, turn the loaf over and tap the bottom - it should sound hollow.
  • Once the loaf is cooked leave to cool on a wire rack


Suitable for freezing.
Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a comment and rating at the bottom of the page to let others know what you thought.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 81kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 155mg | Potassium: 22mg | Calcium: 0.3% | Iron: 1%
Any nutritional information shown is the estimated nutritional information per serving. Please refer to my guide to Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen nutritional information if you want to learn more about how this is calculated.

Free From/Suitable For…

The ingredients I used to make this recipe are all free from the following allergens. However, please check any labels carefully for allergens you need to avoid as brands can vary and product recipes can change over time.

  • Suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans
  • Egg-Free
  • Dairy-Free
  • Tree Nut-Free
  • Peanut-Free
  • Sesame-Free
  • Soya-Free
  • Sulphur Dioxide & Sulphite-Free
  • Fish-Free
  • Crustacean-Free
  • Mollusc-Free
  • Celery-Free
  • Mustard-Free
  • Lupin-Free





  1. I’ve used this recipe many times and it aways turns out brilliantly for me. It’s so easy to make (I use a dough hook in my mixer rather than kneading by hand) and tastes delicious. Like some of the other commenters I’ve also used it for rolls and my kids love them in their packed lunches.

  2. Well this worked for me 🙂 although I have a bread machine small loaves have a tendency to come out like bricks….follow the flour manufacturers recipe you end up with a loaf that can last for days.
    But using this and setting the machine on dough it did the work for me 🙂 for stage one, I had to add a little extra water to get it all to combine. The recipe caught my interest because of the flour/water ratio….most will do 500g of flour to 320ml of water (1.5:1).
    I have read the previous comment, and I went through the same problem….loaves simply would not rise…turned out the manufacturer noted that they did have some issues with one of their batches of flour.
    So it’s not always the recipe, it can be the ingredients used and it might be useful (if possible) to state the make of flour used as one manufacturer produces an extra strong bread flour.
    To round off, my attempt produced a nice crusty loaf about 4″/5″ high… time I’m going to try and shape it like a ‘cob’ and see how that comes out. At least now I have a recipe that makes a small loaf 🙂

  3. Thank you for this recipe.
    This is my go to recipe for a delicious, quick white bread. I have made it many times and it works every time.
    I put a cup of water in the oven with it and get a great crispy crust.
    It’s also works well split into two. One to eat all in one go and one to freeze.
    I also use it so make bread rolls for the table and soup ( with a shorter bake time obviously ).
    It’s so versatile.
    If I’m being really lazy I use a dough hook in the stand mixter for a few minutes to kneed it and it still turns out wonderfully.

    • I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed this recipe. I’m the same with the dough hook, I enjoy kneading bread if I have the time, it’s relaxing, but if I’m in a hurry the dough hook is so useful as it makes bread making so much easier.

  4. I followed the instructions exactly and ended up with a piece of flatbread. I used a proven dry yeast – terrible results and a total waste of ingredients. It didn’t even rise more than an inch after sitting in a warm place for over two hours – I was very disappointed with the result and will not make this again

    • I’m sorry to hear that the recipe didn’t work for you. I’ve made this recipe many times and never had the same problem. I’ll review the recipe and check if there’s anything in the instructions I can make clearer.

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