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Baker's white bread

  • 3 hours
  • 35-40 minutes
  • Makes 1 large loaf
Baker's white bread

Most bread machines come with a standard bread recipe that can also be made by hand - here's my favourite recipe. It takes a little longer to make, with extra resting time, but the end product is sensational. If makes a wonderful large loaf that is delicious fresh or toasted a few days later.


  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast or 6 teaspoons Surebake yeast mix
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 1/2 cups high grade flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • about 1 3/4 cups cold tap water


  1. Mix the yeast, water and sugar together and set aside for about 3 minutes until the yeast dissolves and becomes slightly frothy. (If you are using Surebake yeast, the mixture will become porridge-like).
  2. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
  3. Pour in the yeasty liquid and half of the second measure of water. Mix with one hand, adding more water as needed to form a sticky mass.
  4. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and just bring together. It will look untidy. Cover with a clean, slightly dampened tea towel and leave for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Knead for about 7-10 minutes until the dough is supple, using very little flour to dust the bench.
  6. Transfer to a greased bowl and brush the top of the dough with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and then a warm towel and stand aside until it has doubled in bulk. In summer this may take 1 1/2 hours and in winter up to 2 1/2 hours.
  7. Turn the dough out and knead gently to deflate. Bring all the outside edges into the centre and then turn the dough voer so that the top is smooth side up. Work the dough into a circular motion, moulding it into a large ball.
  8. Place the ball smooth side uppermost into a calico-lined basket or greased and well-floured bowl. Dust the top with flour. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for about 45-60 minutes until the dough has doubled in size.
  9. Set the oven rack to the middle or just below the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  10. Once doubled you will need to work quickly. Turn the dough upside down onto a well-floured baking tray. Sift a liberal layer of flour over the top to make a good covering. Do not be alarmed if the dough begins to open as the smooth side is tray side down. This will give you a fabulous uneven patterned top.
  11. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until the loaf is well risen, brown and sounds hollow when tapped from underneath. Transfer to a cake rack to cool.

Cooks Tips

The slower bread (yeast) doughs are left to rise, the better the final flavour and texture.

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