How to make bread: the ultimate recipe for bread-making beginners

We'll teach you the fundamentals with our ultimate bread recipe – from there you're free to experiment

how to make bread
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Our bread recipe is just what you need if you're new to the world of baking and want an easy initiation. We'll teach you how to make bread by hand, as well as in a bread-making machine, so there are options for everyone.

Follow our step-by-step instructions to achieve a simple, white loaf. And then when you're feeling more confident – or if you're there already – you can start making adaptations depending on your preferences. We're talking adding olives or sundried tomatoes and experimenting with different shapes and styles of bread.

For more recipe ideas and cooking inspiration, head over to our food hub.

How to make bread

Ingredients:

  • Strong white flour, 500 grams
  • Lukewarm water, 300 millilitres
  • Fast action yeast, 7 gram packet
  • Sugar, a pinch
  • Salt, a pinch
  • Olive oil, 3 tablespoons

Method:

1. Place your flour in a bowl. Or, if you're feeling confident, create a heap in the centre of your surface. Form a small well in the centre. 

2. Add your salt, sugar and yeast to the well, followed by one third of your lukewarm water. Gradually begin working a small amount of flour into the well – this is best achieved using your hands.

Top tip: make sure your water is lukewarm, as this is necessary to activate the yeast.

3. Add your olive oil to the well, then add the rest of your water – you can do this gradually. Work your flour into the water. It will be sticky to begin with, but will progress until you achieve a dough-like consistency.

Top tip: it's at this stage that you can add some extras, we love the idea of sun-dried tomatoes, olives, rosemary, garlic, caramelised onion or beetroot and feta.

4. If your dough was in a bowl, it's time to take it out. Make sure to sprinkle plenty of flour on your surface to prevent sticking. Knead your dough for 10 minutes, or until you achieve a smooth, silky texture.

5. Place in a bowl, somewhere warm, and cover with a clean tea towel for an hour. This is when your bread will rise!

6. Dust your surface with flour again, and remove your bread from the bowl. Ensure all the air is knocked out of it, and fold your bread in on itself a couple of times. 

7. If you're making a standard loaf, form a ball and place your dough in the centre of a baking tray, on parchment paper. It's also possible to split your dough into smaller balls if you want to make rolls, plait your dough, twist your dough, or form any other shape.

8. Place in the oven at 200ºC/180ºC fan/gas mark 6 for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

How to make bread in a bread-maker

If you're short for time, or can't knead bread for whatever reason, we'd recommend investing in a breadmaker. You'll enjoy the same quality bread, but without the hassle of having to prove it, or pound it with your hands.

To do so, add all of the ingredients listed above. Then, consult your instruction menu to learn how long your bread should take to bake.

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