Making your first loaf of bread, and you want something that's like a regular white loaf but a bit more special? Then this very easy almost-white loaf based on my 2009 failsafe white bread recipe from The Guardian will be a great place to start. Quick to mix together, almost no kneading, and rich with flavour. You can make it with all-white flour but start with a little experimentation. Choose one of BakeryBits superb stoneground flours – like wholemeal, rye, spelt, emmer, kamut, so many exciting flavour-packed flours to choose from – mixed with a regular roller-milled strong white bread flour, and you’ll get a result to be proud of. Rollermilling is how most of the white bread flour in the world is milled, whereas stone-milling is that way all flour used to be milled. Here at BakeryBits we also have a great selection of both stone-milled and roller-milled flours, so order it online here and be certain you’re all set for success every time.
Things you’ll need
A mixing bowl, like our Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl
A whisk, this Danish dough whisk is great as it's easy-to-clean
Kitchen scales, our baking scales are well-made and dependable
A 2lb bread tin, like our traditional non-stick 2lb loaf tin
a dough scoring knife, or a pair of sissors
a plastic dough scraper
a jug for water
1. Measure the yeast, salt, honey, and wholemeal flour in a mixing bowl. Pour on the warm water and use your dough whisk to mix everything together until smooth.
2. Add the white flour and mix to a smooth soft dough. No need to knead it but do stir it well to make sure there are no lumps or patches of dry flour. Cover the bowl and leave for 30 minutes (at room temperature, about 20C).
3. Rub oil onto a patch of worktop, an area about 30cm in diameter, and scoop the dough onto it with your scraper. Pat the dough out about 2cm thick, then stretch fold it in on itself by thirds like you were folding a beach towel, first one way and then the other. Then flip the dough over and scoop it back in bowl for another 30 minutes.
4. Rub the inside of your bread tin with butter to stop the dough from sticking. This time, lightly flour a patch of worktop, an area about 30cm in diameter, and scoop the dough onto it again with your scraper. Pat the dough out once more to about 2cm thick, but this time fold the left and right sides in so they meet in the middle. Then roll the dough up tightly into a scroll, and place seam-side down in the tin. Cover and leave at room temperature for an hour, it will rise by about 50% but not quite double.
6. Heat the oven to 200C fan. Sprinkle the top of the top with flour. Using a dough blade (or a pair of scissors) slash or snip a criss-cross pattern on the top of the loaf. Place the tin in the oven, shut the door and bake for 35 - 40 minutes. Remove from the oven, leave to cool slightly then remove from the tin and leave sitting on a wire rack until cold before slicing.