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Basic Recipes > Bread 16 May 2006

Posted by cath in bread, freeze-friendly, Recipes, variations.

Basic Bread Recipe

I tend to make small loaves that fit well into my 2lb bread tin from Lakeland. The quantity is roughly 400g flour plus the other ingredients.


1/2 tsp easy bake yeast

400g strong flour (a particular type for breadmaking)

1 tbsp sugar

1 tsp salt

15g butter or 1-2 tbsp oil

water at room temperature: 280mls for 100% white, up to 300mls for 100% wholemeal loaves

Optional ingredients
1 tbsp milk powder

1-4 tbsp wheatgerm (best when using white bread flours)

Seeded or Nutty Breads

up to 5 tbsp mixed seeds, such as sunflower, linseed, pumpkin, sesame, poppy

1-2 tsp cumin, caraway, fennel or other strong flavoured seeds

up to 50g walnuts, finely chopped

Other Variations

You can also add dried or fresh herbs, curry powder or pastes, fried onions, sundried tomatoes. Try your favourite ingredient in bread and share your experiments with us here.

Prepare the Dough

Mix and knead the dough – how to do this and other tips

Lightly oil the bread tin all over, place the prooved and knocked back dough into the tin and leave to rise into a full loaf.

To Bake

I recommend a fan oven temperature of 210 deg C, that's about 230 degrees in a conventional oven. Also as you heat up the oven, put a tray of water in the bottom, this produces a better crust, less blackened by the heat.

Cook your bread loaf for 25-35 minutes until browned and crusty on top. It should come cleanly out of the bread tin and sound hollow on the base when tapped.

Loaf of Bread


1. Juanita Hildreth - 22 June 2006

Tell me about how much flour to use in your recipes. I don’t understand what 400 g means.

2. cath - 22 June 2006

Hi Juanita,
I’ve just done a quick search for conversions – not sure what kind of measure you want but the BBC has a converter on it’s Website and it’s calculation made 400g = 14 and 1/4oz.

Another site (The Metric Kitchen) had cup conversions, and I make 400g 3 and 1/3 cups.

I hope this helps! I’ll try to remember to offer alternative measures in future, but have to admit to being a grams girl myself!

Hope your baking goes well!

3. roxanne warwick - 8 April 2008

thanku for this recipie i enjoyed doing this and paricully enjoyed eating it after and so did y family.

4. Alicia - 4 February 2010

Hi just found your blog and it’s very helpful to a new bread maker, but I have been using warm water in all my bread and I noticed you say room temp have I been doing in wrong??

cath - 12 February 2010

Hi Alicia,
Don’t worry I think you’d know if you were doing it wrong – the bread would not look, smell or taste right! If you like what you’re making, keep using the same basic principles and experiment with different ingredients – not the method!
If you are making bread by hand, you will need to use warm water to activate the yeast. The water needs to be warm but not hot – too hot and it will kill the yeast, then your bread will not rise.

If you are making bread in a machine, they all seem to work slightly differently in this regard: some may ask for warm water, others don’t. Mine has a long ‘rest’ period before starting any kneading, this brings the water up to room temperature even if it is actually very cold. The machine also begins to heat the ingredients just before kneading. The dried yeast powder has to be placed at the bottom of the mix (under the flour and other ingredients) with the water poured on top – this keeps the water and yeast separated until kneading begins. Other machines I’ve seen put the water at the bottom of the pan, with the other ingredients floated on top…again the yeast placed last to keep this separate until mixing begins.

If you use a breadmaker, my advice is to follow the basic instructions in the manual…once you’ve got the general idea of how the machine works then you can start experimenting with the ingredients you use…but you can’t do anything to change the basic process and various stages it is programmed to run.

By hand, you have full control and can use a wider range of methods – including the use of live yeast which most bread machines do not use. Remember to keep to the general proportions of flour to yeast and water/other liquids, and use heat with care – for example, when warming water to add to live yeast, or looking for a warm place to proove the dough.

Hope this helps!

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