Please wait, the site is loading...

The perfect white loaf


Makes: 1 large loaf - cuts into 20 slices
timePrep time: 25 mins
timeTotal time:
The perfect white loaf

Makes: 1 large loaf - cuts into 20 slices
timePrep time: 25 mins
timeTotal time:

Rate this recipe
Print Print
See more recipes

Nutritional information (per serving)
Calories
125Kcal
Fat
0gr
Saturates
0gr
Carbs
26gr
Sugars
0gr
Fibre
1gr
Protein
4gr
Salt
0.5gr

Sainsbury's magazine

Sainsbury's magazine

Our team of trained chefs and skilled food writers love cooking up everything from innovative seasonal recipes or clever shortcuts, to step-by-step guides and classic recipes for friends and readers alike.

See more of Sainsbury's magazine’s recipes
Sainsbury's magazine

Sainsbury's magazine

Our team of trained chefs and skilled food writers love cooking up everything from innovative seasonal recipes or clever shortcuts, to step-by-step guides and classic recipes for friends and readers alike.

See more of Sainsbury's magazine’s recipes

Ingredients

  • 675g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 x 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  • 450ml lukewarm water
  • a knob of butter for greasing

Step by step

Get ahead
The loaf will keep for up for 4 days and freezes well.
  1. Mix the flour and 2 tsp salt in a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast into the bowl. Stir and make a well in the centre.
  2. Check the water is no warmer than blood heat by dipping in your little finger, then pour it into the flour.
  3. Using your hand, gradually draw the flour into the water until it has all been incorporated and you have a ball of dough that leaves the sides of the bowl and your hands clean. The dough should feel just firm – if it feels sticky and too soft to keep a shape then work in a little extra flour, a tablespoon at a time. If it feels dry and crumbly and there are crumbs in the base of the bowl, work in a little more water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Remember that flours vary, so go with what the dough feels like.
  4. Sprinkle a little flour onto your worktop and turn out the ball of dough. Knead it thoroughly by hand for 10 minutes (or on a slow speed in an electric mixer for 5 minutes) until silky and pliable.
  5. Return the dough to the bowl and cover it tightly with clingfilm, or slip the bowl into a large plastic bag and close the ends tightly. Leave to rise until doubled in size – allow 1 hour in a warm kitchen, 1 hour 30 minutes at normal room temperature, 2-3 hours in a cool room or overnight in the fridge. If you use cold water from the tap to mix the dough, then allow extra time. Don't let the dough get too big – if it rises more than double its original size the gluten strands start to break and you risk the loaf collapsing in the oven. To check if the dough has risen properly, gently press it with your finger: if it springs back fairly slowly or leaves a slight dent then it's ready.
  6. Punch down the dough once or twice with your knuckles to break up the large bubbles of gas and deflate the dough then turn out it onto a very lightly floured worktop and knead it gently for a few seconds. The gas bubbles will be redistributed so the final loaf has an even-textured crumb (some recipes skip this to achieve an open or holey texture).
  7. Lightly butter a 900g loaf tin – about 20cm x 9cm x 8cm deep. To shape the dough to fit, first pat the dough into a neat 22cm x 25cm rectangle of even thickness. Brush off excess flour with a dry pastry brush (this can create gaps in the loaf) then roll up the dough firmly from the short end like a Swiss roll. Each time you roll the dough over, firmly pinch the bottom edge of the roll to the dough underneath. When all the dough has been rolled up firmly, pinch the long seam together to seal it. Tuck the ends of the roll under and lift the roll into the tin seam-side down. The tin will be about half full.
  8. Slip the tin into a large plastic bag, gently shake the bag open, inflating it slightly so the plastic doesn't stick to the dough, and tie the ends. Leave to rise and 'prove' on the worktop until doubled in size – about 1 hour (allow a bit less if the kitchen is very warm or a bit longer if the dough has been left in a cool place). Towards the end of this time, heat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 7 and put an empty roasting tin into the bottom of the oven to heat.
  9. Uncover the risen loaf and sprinkle with a little more flour. Cut a deep slash along the top of the loaf with the tip of a sharp knife then put the tin into the preheated oven. Quickly pour a large mug of cold water or some ice cubes into the hot roasting tin to give a burst of steam (this will help give a good crisp crust) then close the door. Bake the loaf without opening the door (if possible) for 25 minutes, then check it and turn the tin around if necessary so the crust colours evenly.
  10. Check for doneness when the loaf has been in the oven for 35 minutes and looks a rich golden brown. Carefully tip the loaf out using oven gloves, and rap the underside with your knuckles. If the loaf sounds hollow, like a drum, it is baked. If you just get a dull 'thud', return the loaf to the oven, putting it straight onto the oven shelf, and bake for another 5 minutes then test again. Leave the turned-out loaf to cool on a wire rack before slicing.
    Tip
    How much salt do you need?
    Usually no more than 2g for every 100g of flour, but no less than 1g, and for most people 1.5g is about right. 1 teaspoon of salt weighs 5g (if you use sea salt then crush it before use). 

You might also like...


We value your privacy

We use cookies to help give you the best experience on our site and to allow us and third parties to customise the marketing content you see across websites and social media. For more information see our cookie policy.

Cookie Preference Centre

Learn more about what each cookie category does and choose your settings (toggle right to opt in or left to opt out). Cookie policy


Strictly Necessary

These technologies are needed to enable our websites and apps to run and to keep it secure.

Sainsbury's Magazine

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
PHPSESSID Until the browsing session ends
device_view 1 month
recentlyViewedRecipes 1 year
subscription-{popup-version-date}-PopupClosed 12 days

Vimeo

Enables Vimeo videos on the site

Cookie name Duration
_derived_epik 1 year

Constant Commerce

Enables shopping tools for recipe ingredients

Cookie name Duration
cc_a_h 10 years
cc_a_s Until the browsing session ends

DoubleClick

DoubleClick Digital Marketing (DDM) is an integrated ad-technology platform that enables us to more effectively create, manage and grow high-impact digital marketing campaigns.

Cookie name Duration
DSID 10 days
IDE 1 year
RUL 11 months

Performance/Analytics

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Google

Google Analytics tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
__gads 13 months
_ga 28 months
_gat 1 minute
_gid 1 day
1P_JAR 1 month
ANID 10 days
CONSENT 18 years
NID 6 months
__Secure-3PAPISID 2 years
__Secure-3PSID 2 years
__Secure-3PSIDCC 1 year

Marketing/Targeting

These technologies help us decide which products, services and offers may be relevant for you. We use this data to customise the marketing content you see on websites, apps and social media. They also help us understand the performance of our marketing activities. These cookies are set by us or our carefully-selected third parties.

Pinterest

Pinterest conversion tracking gathers conversion insights and builds audiences to target based on actions our visitors have taken on the site.

Cookie name Duration
_pinterest_ct_rt 1 year
_pinterest_ct_ua 1 year
_pin_unauth 1 year

Outbrain

These technologies tell us how customers use our sites and apps and provide information to help us improve the website, apps and your browsing experience.

Cookie name Duration
outbrain_cid_fetch 5 minutes
adrl 5 weeks
apnxs 6 weeks
criteo 2 months
obuid 6 months

Twitter

Twitter conversion tracking enables us to measure our return on ad spend by tracking the actions people take after viewing or engaging with our ads on Twitter.

Cookie name Duration
personalization_id 2 years
muc 2 years
ads_prefs 5 years
auth_token 5 years
dnt 5 years
guest_id 2 years
twid 5 years