January 7, 2008

Easy White Bread

This is a bread I bake often. It is very easy to make and doesn’t require any special skills or technique. This was one of the first breads I attempted when I started trying to bake bread at home. Of course, my initial attempts were awful. I had to figure out that I needed to check the quality of my yeast.
Then, most cookbooks tell you to leave the dough to rise for about an hour or some such period. I found out the hard way that the time for the dough to rise depends on room temperature or where you place the dough. So, now I know that whatever time it takes the dough to roughly double in volume is the “time”.

I learnt many other things along the way and now am able to turn out a reasonably decent bread.
My daughter and husband call this my “unhealthy” bread. This is because I have a tendency to try and make most of my breads “healthier” by adding whole wheat flour, or bran, or wheat germ, etc.! I have to add that they seem to prefer this “unhealthy” version.


3 cups all purpose flour + flour for dusting

3 tbsp oil

1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast

1 1/2 tsp sugar

2 tsp salt


Dissolve the sugar in 1 cup warm water and add the yeast. Keep for about 5 minutes till the yeast froths.
Mix the flour and salt together. Add the yeast mixture, oil and enough water to make a soft and pliable dough. I do this in the food processor and then do a final kneading by hand.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and allow to double in volume.

Now punch back the risen dough and gently shape into a round. Cut a cross on the top using a sharp knife. (I do this using a pair of scissors.) Dust the top of the bread with flour. Allow to rise. Bake at 200C for about 30 minutes. If tapped on the top the bread will sound hollow, once it is done. Cool on a rack.

This is a nice crusty bread with a soft interior and goes wonderfully with hot soup.


Nags said...

this looks very similar to the no-knead bread that i made once :) simple yet yummy, right?


Hi Aparna,
This bread looks lovely:)
First time here,Happy New year to you!

Asha said...

Nothing tastes better than freshly baked bread!:)

Padmaja said...

Lovely bread and I love that aroma in kitchen when u bake fresh bread!! Nothing beats it eh!!!

Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

Nice blog Aparna.
Am new to your blog site. Greetings to you from Botswana

bee said...

looks lovely. have you tried no-knead bread? it's easy and a lot of fun, with similar ingredients. there's a recipe on our blog.

Happy cook said...

Bread looks delicious
I too make bread at home.
Will have to post them once.

remya said...

so simple n delicious rht??? happy new year...homemade fresh bread taste superb...

Manasi said...

My previous attempt at bread making has been a flop and I kinda put it on the top most- unreachable shelf of my mind... ur version is tempting me to try again!!!

Rajitha said...

aparna..the bread looks great..actually all the posts in ur blog are a great read..had fun going thru the whole thing!!

vimmi said...

lovely looking bread. i have never tried making breads at home. after reading so many posts on home made bread, i will try one too. urs looks easy and a great tip too.

Rachel said...

lovely crust aparna..the inside looks so soft too1

aparna said...

Yes, baking bread is an experience, especially when it turns out right!:)
Thanks, Bee. Will come by and check it out.

Sagari said...

have'nt tried baking bread at home your bread recipe looks simple and bread looks beautiful i will try your recipe

lakshmi said...

I like this bread recipe - it looks so clean and no nonsense. Bookmarked to try.

Anonymous said...

I tried your recipe,it tasted good but i overcooked it.whenever i bake in my microwave convection oven the outside gets cooked,but inside it still remains uncooked.And if i overcook it becomes hard,could you tell me where i am going wrong.Or is anything wrong with my microwave oven.

Aparna said...

Hi Mel,

I'm not really sure what the problemn is.
But I do know different ovens (depending on the capacities and wattage) take different times to cook food.
I am assuming you are using only the convection ode and not the combination mode.

When you tap your bread, you should get a hollow sound if it is done.

I can think of a couple of reasons.
One is that maybe the dough was a little wet or sticky?
Otherwise the suggested temperature was a little high and so browning the outside but not cooking hte inside. Perhaps you can try this next time at 180C.

Is your oven heating to the correct temperature? If you have a thermometer you could perhaps check this out.

You also need to place the bread on the lower rack in the oven while baking.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

HI there again,
I am goanna try again making bread,have already kneaded it and kept for rising...will let u know how it turns out