I ran out of bread and I use an online shopping app to get our grocery but they didn’t get me any bread. They did get me yeast however, finally. So today I made this Easy White Bread. My hubby and I don’t eat a lot of bread but my kids on the other hand love bread. Especially the 19-year-old, bread is life.
He was quite excited waking up to fresh bread this morning, how lucky can he get. This bread is really easy to make. It did not take a lot of effort (except for the kneading, just a little muscle workout) but you do need time. So, if time is on your side let’s get baking. You don’t have to use bread flour; cake wheat flour or all-purpose flour works just fine.
There was a time when I tried making bread and it was a complete disaster and that was because my dough wasn’t soft enough. You can imagine, I had bread that was hard as a rock. This time however, I paid attention and made sure I got it perfect. Besides I cannot be wasting any ingredients.
This Easy White Bread turned out golden brown with a crispy outer crust and soft on the inside. After this I don’t think I am buying bread again. Nothing beats bread fresh out the oven with a smear of butter, heaven.
Here’s how the bread is made. I popped all my dry ingredients into a large bowl, including the yeast. I used instant dry yeast, no need for proofing here. I then add the butter and the water and mixed the dough until it was soft and slightly sticky. I kneaded it for 12 – 15 minutes until it was a lovely soft, smooth dough. From my amateur experience of making bread I find that water makes the bread lighter and milk a little heavier so it’s why I opted for water in this recipe. Although I say knead for 12-15 minutes your dough could be ready sooner. To check if your dough is kneaded enough you can do the “windowpane” technique. Stretch a piece of dough between your 2 thumbs and first 2 fingers of each hand. If your dough doesn’t break that means it’s ready. There’s a great article on thekitchn.com on techniques for bread making.
Before I allowed my dough to rest, I turned on my oven at a low temperature, about 130 degrees Celsius. Allow it to heat for 3 minutes and turn it off. Once my dough was ready, I popped it into a greased bowl and greased the dough too. Placed it in the bowl and covered the dough with cling wrap. I placed it into the warm oven and the dough had risen beautifully. It took less than an hour.
I then removed the dough from the bowl, punched out any air pockets and rolled it out on a lightly dusted surface. I pressed it out into a 45 x 20cm rectangle. I then rolled it into a tight cylinder like shape or like a Swiss roll, pinched to seal the seam and tucked in the ends of the roll. I hope my instructions are easy to follow, hopefully I can make a video soon.
It was loosely covered with cling wrap, popped back into my warm oven and allowed it to rise until double in size, for 15 minutes, I then removed it and preheated my oven and allowed it to stand on my draft free kitchen counter. You may need longer resting time depending on your environment. I baked it at 180 degrees Celsius for exactly 35 minutes. I don’t have a thermometer so when my bread was a lovely golden brown and I could smell the bread I knew it was ready. Another way to test for readiness, is to knock the bottom of the bread when removed from the pan. If it feels hollow it’s ready.
You can store the bread in an airtight plastic bag for up to 4 days. You can also wrap it up well in cling wrap and freeze for a month. Thaw when ready to eat.
I must apologize as some of my step by step photos have somehow disappeared off my camera but I will post them when I make bread again.
More Bread Recipes to try:
Easy White Bread
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 3 cups/750ml cake wheat or all purpose flour
- 2 + 1 tbsp melted butter room temperature
- 1 + 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix it all together
- Add in 2 tablespoon melted butter and a cup of lukewarm water. Mix, if the dough is not soft and sticky add more water from the remaining half a cup. Do not add all the water as it may be too much.
- Use your hands and mix the dough until all the ingredients come together into a soft but slightly sticky dough. Knead the dough for 15 minutes until it forms a soft, smooth dough. If you are using an electric mixer should take around 8 minutes.
- Grease a bowl with oil and rub some oil on the dough. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with cling wrap. If you wish you can place it in a previously heated warm oven (switched off) or place it in a warm place. Allow the dough to rest for +- 1 hour until it rises
- Remove the dough from the bowl. Punch out the air bubbles. Lightly dust a flat surface with flour and flatten the dough with your hands, into a rectangle, about 35 x 20cm. Starting with the short side roll the dough tightly into a Swiss roll like shape. Place it in a greased loaf pan, you can add some parchment paper at the bottom of the pan. Pinch the seam and tuck in the sides of the dough, just a little. Cover with more cling wrap and allow the dough to rest, in a warm place for a further 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 180 degress Celsius.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and you can smell it. Allow it to stand for 5 minutes before removing from the pan. Brush with the remaining tablespoon butter.
- Remove the bread from the pan and if you tap the bottom of the bread and it feels hollow your bread is definitely cooked
- If you are using active dry yeast you will need to dissolve it in warm water (proofing or proving as it's called) before using. I used instant yeast so I didn't have a need for that step. For 2 teaspoons yeast you could use about 3 tablespoons warm water and when it starts foaming, about 5 minutes, it's ready to be used
- Although I say knead for 12-15 minutes your dough could be ready sooner. To check if your dough is kneaded enough take a golf ball sized dough and stretch it between both thumbs and the first 2 fingers of your hands. If it doesn't tear that means the dough is ready.