Basic White Bread – Beginner’s Recipe

If you’re venturing into baking bread for the first time, I strongly suggest you bake this generic recipe (white sandwich bread) to get the hang of bread baking. You’ll see magic happen when you mix the flour with yeast, water and salt. Initially a shaggy mess will marry in harmony and transform into a beautiful puffy loaf. Baking this loaf as my first yeast bread taught me a great deal about flour, gluten, kneading, yeast, baking temperature and shaping.

Just like any baker who was confident baking cakes and pastries, I went ahead baking a bread. I was a tad too confident and attempted my first white loaf which was nothing less than a hard brick shaped loaf. It was crumbly, dry and just fell apart on slicing. The next attempt was when I killed the yeast with hot water. The dough never rose and left me feeling bad. Third time, when I thought everything fell in place, upon slicing I saw a tunnel in the loaf. Talk about shaping and scoring :/ It took four attempts for me to nail it right. I understood that bread baking is more than just dumping everything, mixing and shoving into the oven. After baking this basic loaf, I went ahead trying my hand at whole wheat breads, tweaked recipes and customized as per my preference.

What is a perfect white bread? For me, It’s a loaf which is crispy and crusty on the outside and soft, moist and cloud-like on the inside. It should have a proper shape without having an earth quake crack on top. This is what I’d expect as a home baker. Professional bakers follow formula, not recipes. I learned a tip or two from the basic formula. It is Flour 100%, Water 66%, Salt 2%, Yeast 0.6%. I keep this in mind when I tweak recipes.

I’d  bake a bread in stages which takes at least 3 hrs to complete. If you’re in a hurry, do not attempt to bake a yeast bread. Yeast does not listen to you, it takes it’s time to work it’s way.

Makes one 9 x 5 x 2.7 inches loaf

  • 4 cups All purpose flour * I used unbleached and enriched flour. Depending on the humidity you’ll need more or less flour. But don’t be tempted to add more unless needed
  • 1 1/2 cups Warm water * Keep the water temp at 120° F -130°F. Do not use chlorinated water. This will deter dough rising.
  • 2 1/4  tsp Active dry yeast  or 1 3/4 tsp instant yeast * If using instant  yeast, it can be directly added to the dry ingredients without activating.
  • 1 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Pinch of Sugar
  • Oil for greasing

Method

Firstly, get organised and set out the ingredients within reach. If you live in a cold place, make sure to use warm utensils for mixing and proofing the dough. Use ingredients at room temperature. DO NOT scoop the flour. When flour is scooped into the measuring cup from the container, it becomes packed. This will add more flour than the recipe calls for. Spoon flour into the measuring cup and use the flat side of a knife to level the flour.

Flour, yeast, water, salt and oil.

1. Take 1/2 cup water in a small bowl. Add a pinch of sugar and stir. Sprinkle yeast on top and mix. Let it dissolve completely. The mixture will become creamy and foamy emitting a sweet but beery smell. This is rehydrating and activating the yeast, and takes about 5-10 mins. Do not use hot water, else you’ll destroy the yeast and prevent the dough from rising.  Yeast is the catalyst in bread baking. The dough get’s life from this little organism and rises slowly. If this fails, the rest of steps isn’t going to be a success.* If using instant yeast, start with step 2. If you store the yeast in the fridge or freezer, do remember to thaw it and bring to room temperature before adding to the other ingredients.

Active Dry Yeast – I use this. It’s got a long shelf life and stores well.

Active dry yeast dissolved in warm water with a pinch of sugar

Active dry yeast when completely dissolved. It foams vigorously after 5-10 mins.

2. Mixing – In a large bowl mix 2 cups of flour and salt. Stir until combined. Add little water (about a tablespoon) at a time and keep mixing. Do not start kneading now. Keep adding  1/4 cup flour to form a clay like mass. Add rest of the water, flour and yeast to form a dough ball. Finally all flour, yeast and water must be used. I used my stand mixer to knead. By any means, do not dump everything. Mix gradually to form the dough. Adding water to the flour provides moisture for hydration and aids in the development of gluten and gelatinization of starches. Water takes care of the even distribution of ingredients when mixed thoroughly. When the dough is baked, water changes to steam and expands. When all ingredients are mixed a nice dough ball is formed.

Gradually mixing the ingredients

3. Kneading – The most important phase in bread making. This where you need to know gluten.

Forming a dough and kneading

Gluten – The stretchy and strong protein that gives yeast rised dough the structure when baked. When water is added to the flour, the two wheat proteins glutenin (provides elasticity) and gliadin (provides extensibility) combine and form gluten. Adding ample water and kneading, stirring, mixing and folding will form gluten network. No water means no gluten. Gluten will change its shape under pressure, also resists and moves back towards its original shape when the pressure is removed. This allows the dough to expand, incorporating the carbon dioxide gas produced by the yeast and yet resist to prevent the bubbles thinning to breaking point. This gives the bread a spongy structure. If enough gluten is not developed, you get a dense and heavy loaf. The more you knead, the gluten gets stronger and forms smooth strands that traps gases as the yeast ferments. The amount of kneading and gluten developed will impact the final outcome. Hence, kneading is an important part in making a bread.

Factors that affect gluten are solid fats, oils and egg yolks. These fat coat gluten proteins and prevent them from forming long, strong strands. When using fat, beware of the way it affects development of gluten. Sugar encourages tenderness by attaching to water molecules and tightens the dough. Salt makes gluten stickier and stronger. So when a recipe calls for salt or sugar, do not omit it. These play a role in gluten formation.

Turn the dough ball onto a lightly floured surface and start kneading. As you knead turn, fold and press the dough. The folding traps the air, the pressing adds mechanical energy, warming the dough slightly and aiding the formation of a network of gluten. The turning encourages mixing and gives a more homogeneous gluten structure. Don’t be tempted to add more flour. Knead for at least 8-10 minutes. The consistency will change to smooth and silky. It’s nearly impossible to over knead with hands, but with a stand mixer you can easily over do. Over worked dough will produce a dry loaf. It is a flaw. Watch this video to learn hand kneading the dough.

Source – allrecipes.com

To check if the dough is kneaded enough, take a piece of dough and stretch like a bubble gum. If the dough tears easily, then you need to knead more. If there is a translucent membrane when stretched, then the dough is ready. This is the window pane test to determine the readiness of the dough.

4. Fermenting and the first rise – Now the gluten should be aligned into neat strands and let the yeast work on the dough. Grease a bowl. This prevents the dough from sticking at the bottom. Put the dough and cover with a plastic wrap or damp tea towel or bowl, leave it in a warm place to double in size.

Dough in a greased bowl. Spray oil on the surface of the dough.

Dough covered with another bowl. Ready for first rise.

I used 2 glass bowls so as to monitor the rising and see the difference in size when photographed. Normally I use a large steel bowl and a plastic film for the first rise. This takes about 45 mins to an hour depending on the atmospheric temperature in your place. It was 65 F in my Apt. Hence, I used the unheated oven to rise the dough. I pre-heated the oven at 350°F for 2 mins and placed the bowl for the first rise. The ideal temperature for the dough to rise is 80° F-85° F.

First rise in the unheated oven

You’ll see the dough grow in size, doubling like a balloon. It grows bigger with thousands of tiny bubbles inside. I learned that the bubbles interrupt the network of gluten and starch granules, dividing it into millions of very thin sheets that form the bubble walls. Yeast feeds on the simple sugars in the flour and produce carbon dioxide that diffuses into tiny bubbles and enlarges the dough. This is what happens during the first rise.

See the difference in volume of the dough after prooving

If the dough is kneaded properly, there will be long strands of gluten which allow large air pockets to form in your loaf. If not there will be numerous smaller holes. No holes in your dough simply means the yeast failed to activate. That’s a big boo boo in bread making.

Dough after the first proof

How do you know that the dough has rised enough? The ripe test determines rising time. Push two fingers into the dough upto the second knuckle. If the indent remains when you remove the finger, then the dough has risen enough. If not let is rise longer. Now the dough is ready to be punched down and shaped.

5. Punching – This does not mean you have to treat the dough like a punch bag. Simply squeeze (degassing) out the air and deflate the dough. This paves way for the yeast to feed on more on the flour and develop complex flavors in the bread.

6. Shaping – The deflated dough is rolled out on a lightly floured  surface. I keep the loaf pan nearby so as to estimate an approximate surface for rolling the dough.

As you roll the flattened dough to shape into a loaf, pinch and seal the seam as you go.

Finally when the dough is shaped to a loaf, pinch to seal and close. Fold the extreme ends and make a loaf that will fit your pan. Some prefer to fold the dough like a towel. I stick to the rolling and shaping so as to avoid a tunnel in the loaf when baked. You can shape it either way.

Place the shaped dough into the greased loaf pan with the seam side down.

Cover the pan with a loose fitting plastic film that is greased on the surface that comes in contact with the rising dough. Greasing prevents the dough from sticking to the cling film.

7. Second rise or proofing – Now let the dough rise for the second time. The dough rises in the same amicable draft free environment as before. So I placed the loaf pan in the unheated oven. This takes about 30 mins. Do not let it rise too much or spill out.

The dough is ready for baking when it rises just above the pan. Remember the dough will continue to rise in the oven when baked. So, beware not to over proof. I check the dough @ 15- 20 mins and start pre-heating the oven at 375 °F. My oven takes 8 mins to pre heat, by then the loaf pan is ready to stick into the oven. To check if the loaf is ready for the oven, lightly touch the side. If the imprint remains, it is ready to be baked.

*Creating steam – I place a steel bowl with half an inch of water on the oven floor while pre heating the oven. This is to create steam in the oven. I do this while baking yeast breads. This helps prevent cracks on the crust which may be due to faster surface gelatinization while the center is still rising. The steam slows the gelatinization of the surface, allowing the dough more time to finish rising before the surface hardens. The steam is needed only during the ‘oven spring’ or the first five minutes. If there is a lot of steam, it will delay the caramelization of the crust and the bread will become chewy. This step is not mandatory but I play it safe. You can also throw in a couple of ice cubes on the floor of the oven to create steam.

8. Baking – This is the step that turns your hard work into a beautiful loaf. Place the loaf pan in the center of the middle rack. Bake for 40-45 mins at 375° F or till the crust turns golden brown. The bread is ready when the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.

When the dough heats up it becomes fluid-like and the gas expands and the dough rises. The alcohol is vaporized and the water turns to steam (gases). These fill holes in the gluten network and expand the dough. The first five minutes will produce one last growth spurt. This is called ‘Oven Spring’.

The yeast feeds itself quickly and the rising temperature finally kills it. The oven spring stops when the crust becomes stiff and firm. The interior temperature of the loaf should register between 200-210° F. This is when the gluten proteins form strong cross-links and water-laden starch granules swell and set. The grains become bread. The walls can no longer stretch and  the gas pressure in the holes builds, popping the walls and creating the network that you see when you slice a loaf.

9. Cooling – Unlike cakes, bread has to be removed from the right away from the loaf pan. This is to prevent condensation resulting in a soggy loaf.

This is the bottom surface of the loaf

10. Slicing and Storing – Wait at least 30 mins before cutting through the loaf. To get even sized slices, roll the loaf to the side and start slicing using sawing motion with a bread or serrated knife. If you cut through the top of the crust you’ll deflate the loaf and have an ugly sliced loaf. Been there, done that. Hence, this suggestion. If you find the top to be crusty, do not worry. It’ll soften after a few hours.

It’s best used the same day. The loaf remains fresh for 2 days @ room temperature if wrapped and stored properly. For later use, I slice and freeze the loaf to retain freshness. I don’t put the loaf in the refrigerator as it becomes stale. This bread is good for sandwich and toast with a dollop of butter and jam. That’s how we have this freshly baked bounty. Enjoy yours!

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95 thoughts on “Basic White Bread – Beginner’s Recipe

  1. Varalekshmy Raghavan

    I am just waiting to bake a loaf of bread- had aleady many dissators. Thanks of the detailed intructions, will tell you how it was.

    Reply
  2. Aruna

    This post on bread making is an encyclopedia of bread making! Have read so many blogs and tried out making bread. It was good, but not great. None of the blogs mentioned what happens in each process. Thanks for taking time out to enlighten souls like me! Now let me try the humble loaf with your guidance. I am sure it will be a hit! Thanks a tonne Cheryl!

    Reply
    1. Cheryl Post author

      Thanks so much for your appreciation Aruna. I started baking bread by following online recipes. But I really couldn’t figure out what went wrong when a disaster stuck. Hence, I wanted to know what happens in each stage. That’s how this post took form to help readers understand what takes place in the whole process. Please do try baking a loaf. It’s a basic recipe which will teach beginners a lot about bread making.

  3. Aruna

    Its not just appreciation.. Sheer admiration.. 🙂 The efforts you’ve taken to ensure your readers get this right! Sure will try it as per your recipe and let you know the outcome! Im sure one will never come across such a clear, precise and concise info on bread making & baking. You are a pro! Thanks again Cheryl!

    Reply
  4. Gayathri

    Came here from the link on CFG. I think I have found THE RECIPE for my first attempt at baking bread. This is an excellent post!!!!! And you have a wonderful blog

    Reply
  5. Deepa Iyer

    Brilliant post yet again! I don’t know why but I’m scared of baking. I do these pressure cooker thingies and easy stuff, but never got into hard core baking. This bread, simple as it sounds, is complicated in its own way. And your well illustrated post seems to ease that complication beautifully. I hope this paves way for me to start baking!!

    Reply
  6. R

    Hi Cheryl, spurred on by this recipe, I plan to try my second loaf of bread this weekend. Quick questions:
    1. The steel bowl with water – do you remove this once the oven is pre- heated? Or does it stay inside for the entire 40- 45 mins of baking?
    2. I see you don’t use a baking stone. A lot of recipes recommend the use of a baking stone. Is it required?

    Reply
    1. Cheryl Post author

      Hi R,
      Thanks for stopping by!
      1. The water in a steel bowl is to produce steam constantly. It’s placed while preheating and will remain in the oven through out baking time so as to keep the environment humid.
      2. I didn’t use a baking stone as it’s not feasible for all home bakers to have one. A loaf pan is more energy efficient. Stone needs pre heating to a higher temperature for a longer time. It’s not required for a beginners recipe like this one. I’d use a stone when I bake a boule or battard with a chewy texture.
      Hope this helps.

  7. Familycook

    Ok, first o all, this is my first time here and also it is the first time I came across such a beautifully baked bread, also perfect! I am impressed. I had been looking for a great recipe and nothing convinced me more to bake my own until just now. I will be trying it soon. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Cheryl Post author

      Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m glad you found this recipe convincing. Happy Baking! And you have a lovely blog…will be trying a recipe or two soon 🙂

  8. Veena

    Dear Cheryl,

    Thanks for the beautiful recipe. Will make this bread today and let you know what happens. I’m sure with this kind of instructions I cannot go wrong. I would like to know if this white bread is the same we get in our local bakers? They are sweet and the recipes I have tried before have been too dense and not sweet at all. My little girl loves sweet bread. Please let me know.

    Reply
    1. Cheryl Post author

      Thanks for stopping by Veena. This is bread apt for toasts and sandwiches. A milk bread will be more appropriate for your daughter’s sweet tooth 🙂 Will be posting a recipe soon on the same. Watch out!

  9. Ghana Arunthathi Vignesh

    I tried your pizza recipe, it came out well and everyone loved it. I am planning to try this basic bread and I have only instant yeast, when I substitute with active dry yeast, should it be the same ratio as of dry yeast. And how should I store the instant yeast? Is the same way as you have mentioned in HBG.
    Thank you,
    Cheers,
    Arunthathi

    Reply
    1. Cheryl Post author

      Thanks for stopping by Arunthathi.
      I’m glad that the pizza recipe turned out well. For instant yeast the conversion goes like this cos it’s potent than active dry yeast. 1 tsp Active dry yeast = 3/4 tsp instant yeast. For this recipe, I would suggest 1 3/4 tsp of instant yeast would work just fine. You can store instant yeast in the fridge or freezer. Keep it away from air and moisture. And remember to bring to room temperature (the dished out amount needed for the recipe) before adding it to the dry ingredients. Cold yeast takes time to kick start it’s action. Good luck with your baking 🙂
      Thanks for the query. I’ll update the recipe for those who use instant yeast.

  10. Varalekshmy Raghavan

    Hi Cheryl,
    baked the same recipe from Chitvish today and it came out good. Have not sliced it yet. Top look whiter than last time and is smooth. Should get the right feel about how to arrange in a loaf.
    We fill up to half the mould for cakes, what is the criteria for bread? I have a large loaf tin and a small one. Either the loaf becomes flatter than normal or larger. Whats the remedy?
    Once again, thanks for the video for kneading.

    Reply
    1. Cheryl Post author

      Hi Varalekshmy,
      Nice to know you baked a nice loaf this time around. Chitvish’s recipe and my recipe are totally different. The former is a milk bread which has milk, butter and sugar in it. While my recipe is just flour, water, yeast and salt. Hence, the outcome will be predictably different than the other. Thanks again…the video is available on youtube. I put it in my post(with mentioning the source) to help readers understand the kneading technique rather than just stir and mix.
      The pan size does matter in getting the right shape when baked.The leavening in cakes is different than breads. So I’ll not compare a cake with a bread. Using a loaf pan which measure 9 inch x 5 inch bakes a loaf that gives about 12-16 slices of bread. It’s advisable to use the right size pan. I’m not sure what size pan you’re using. Measure your loaf pan and adjust accordingly.

    2. Varalekshmy Raghavan

      Thanks for the reply. I want to make your recipe too, I wanted to make sure that I am doing it the right way the second time also. Happy birthday!

  11. Rahul Ajmera

    Hi Cheryl,
    a big thanks for all the effort.. love the detail on the downside of packing in too much floor while scooping it 🙂

    We have now tried baking bread twice with the floors available to us, once with 100 percent atta (wheat floor used for making chapatis) and the second time with 2/3 atta and 1/3 maida. Both the times the bread turned out fairly dense.

    I feel the problem is with the floor we have been using. would maida work for the recipe above, have never come across unbleached all purpose floor in Bangalore? would adding gluten to the atta floor do the trick? If so what is it locally called and where am i likely to find it? Should i leave the dough to rise for longer ? Also the brand of active dry yeast you have mentioned above is not available here…?

    Would appreciate your time and help on this..

    Thanks,

    Rahul

    Reply
    1. Cheryl Post author

      Hi Rahul,
      Thanks for stopping by.
      I know…many think atta is the equivalent to western whole wheat flour whereas it is not. The kind of wheat is different so the outcome will not be as desired.
      For Atta breads…50-50 works better than other ratios.
      Yes, maida will work well for the above given recipe. Adding 1 tsp of gluten to one cup of maida will substitute bread flour. I haven’t tried the same with Atta, so I won’t comment on that.
      Since I don’t live in B’lore I can’t suggest any places.As I’ve mentioned in the recipe, you can use instant yeast as well. Hope this helps.

  12. Sushma Naveen

    Hi Cheryl, Thanks a lot for the detailed steps and tips that really helped me to bake a perfect loaf of bread. I did tweak the recipe by adding more sugar (than mentioned in your recipe) and also added milk powder and milk to give a more sweetish taste so that my kids would eat. Next week, will try a whole wheat bread too and keep you posted. Will post the pictures in FB soon. 🙂

    Thanks again,

    Reply
    1. Cheryl Post author

      Hi Sushma,
      Thanks so much for trying the recipe and I’n glad that it turned right. I know kids love sweet breads. I’m working on a milk bread recipe…will post it soon.

  13. nirmal

    Hi:
    Glad to see other folks interested in baking their own bread which is what I have doing past year I have been baking my own bread and the process I use is particularly suited for lazy people like me – called no-knead bread (see link)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html?_r=0

    I prefer wheat bread though the no-knead process can be used for any kind white, wheat and have also made foccacia. Because it is so easy and almost impossible to screw-up (admittedly I am not feeding children) and can add dates, habanero and cheese, fennel, olives any other flavoring to vary the experience

    Side benefit the house smells lovely very Sunday when the bread is being baked

    Reply
    1. Cheryl Post author

      Thanks for stopping by. No knead white bread sounds great. I may try doing it sometime soon. I’d switched to whole grains, so keeping away from white bakes. Definitely, the house smells great. It’s totally satisfying to bake one’s own bread.

  14. Jazz

    OMG that is awesome. I’m glad it has such simple ingredients. The step by step pictures are so easy to follow. I’m trying it tomorrow and will let you know how it goes.

    Reply
  15. Seetha

    Amazing step by step recipe…tried this and was super impressed with my loaf 🙂 my baby just loved it…thanks a ton…never knew baking bread can be this easy…rather u made it sound so simple and motivated novice like me to try a hand at it…awesome experience…thanks cheryl!

    Reply
  16. Rinaa

    You truly are the Baking goddess ..Of all the recipes I’ve tried nothing comes close to yours.. Love that you take so much care to explain and demystify everything. I am possibly your number one fan 🙂 Thank you for this lovely post.

    Reply
  17. gayathri visvanathan

    Best illustrated with perfect picture. i love the way you teach… expecting more bakery items preparation ideas from you… good work done!!!

    Reply
  18. vimala

    hai cheryl
    did ur bread for the first time.but had one problem.i made these into buns and baked.everything except the bottom part was gud and airy .the bun and its base part was bit dense and not spongy like other buns.and i skipped the steaming part as i have a small oven and was bit confused as to how to do it . could that be the reason for this? plse help

    Reply
    1. Cheryl Post author

      Vimala,

      For buns or dinner rolls, the temperature has to be high and the baking time is less. So I’m not sure how you calculated the temp and timing. I suggest you try a bun recipe instead of replicating this recipe for buns. Happy Baking!

      Cheryl.

  19. Madhu

    Hi Cheryl. I tried this recipe and it turned out great. Thank you so much. I would like to add Milk to make it softer like the type of breads we get in Asia, have u tried it ? If so what combination of water / milk can i use ?

    Reply
    1. Cheryl Post author

      Thanks for trying the recipe Madhu. Yes you can add milk instead of water but I can’t assure that the bread will turn out spongy like store bought ones that contains addictive to keep it spongy.

  20. Namrata

    This is the bestest recipe for a beginner’s bread. I am going frm liking to admiring to appreciating your awesome formulas here. Great job at being so descriptive.

    Reply
  21. radhatyagi (@radhatyagi2)

    Hi Cheryl..I really like d way u hav put so much effort to explain every detail. I tried ur recepie n kind of succeeded in baking bread after spoiling them atleast six times earlier with other recepies. I had almost given up but thanx to u n ur recepie. I had a few queries though..d bread was lovely n crisp from d outside but was not very soft inside. I also found white lumps inside…is it d kneeding?? Please let me know.
    thanxs
    Radha

    Reply
    1. Cheryl Post author

      Hi Radha,

      Thanks for trying the bread recipe. Not so soft from inside could be due to improper gluten development. Work on your kneading. Better luck next time.

      Cheryl.

  22. Mansi seth kapoor

    Hi Cheryl loved the way you’ve explained the recipe! I definitely will try this. Hv made breads before but they turned out to be too dense n yeasty smelling.😳 just one query , you said steel bo with water is just for preheating time or it will make the bread chewy but in the questions you mention that the water bowl stays for entire baking time . Pls clarify am confused. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Cheryl Post author

      Thanks Mansi, the bowl has 1/4 inch of water. The pre heating time is about 8-20 mins. Meanwhile the water evaporates. Leaving the bowl inside doesn’t affect the bread either ways.

  23. Karthu

    Hi cheryl,
    Such a beautiful looking bread, looks softer. I am going to try ur recipe. It is too tempting.
    I have a question, if i am going to use bread flour, what would be possible quantity and other ingredients ratio. I am not even a novice baker, i can’t figure out. Please suggest me if possible.
    Thankyou i. Advance,
    Karthi

    Reply
    1. Cheryl Post author

      Hi Karthu,

      Thanks for stopping by. You can swap 1 for 1 with bread flour. No need to change the ratio. Happy baking! 🙂

  24. Kalyani

    I have a huge packet of instant (not active dry) yeast, and it petrifies me everytime I make yeasted breads. I am hoping to make the most of ur step by step process. Wish me luck :-))

    Such a beautiful and soft bread. If I dont have sachets of yeast like you do, how many tsp (teaspoons of yeast) would I require ? Would look forward to ur responses..

    Thanks
    Kalyani

    Reply
  25. Chanda Rozario

    Hi Cheryl, even I have tried baking breads many times but failed. Your step by step post is what I needed I guess to try my hand again on breads. Can you please tell me how do I replace dry yeast with fresh yeast, would the proportion remain the same?

    Reply
    1. Cheryl Post author

      Hi Chanda,

      Thanks for stopping by. I’ve never used fresh yeast so can’t help you on that. pls google and find out the conversion.

  26. Shyma

    Hii.just wanted to say your blog is my latest discovery 😊and absolutely love the style of writting …really inspires a lot..new to cooking and baking ..hope to try your recipes soon..keep up the good work👍👍

    Reply
  27. parvathy

    hi cheryl…i loved reading this post.its everything that a beginner like me requires! very inspiring too! thank you so much for directing me to this post from HBG. I just cant wait to try this recipe. will def let u know how it turns out.

    Reply
    1. parvathy

      hi cheryl ! i tried out the recipe ystdy and it came out so well that the excitement still hasnt left me ! the window pane test didnt come out for me the way u had mentioned and so i kneaded the dough for around 20 mins or more to get it right. finally i gave up but still the bread came out beautifully..so happy! 🙂 thank you so much for the inspiration…can this same dough be used to make rolls too?

    2. Cheryl Post author

      Thanks Parvathy. Yes, you can make rolls or buns with the same dough. Just that, adjust the baking time. Keep the temperature as mentioned in the recipe.

  28. Melissa

    Hi Cheryl, I tried this recipe, it was my very first time baking bread. I think it came out quite well for my first attempt tasted great, nice and spongy on the inside, however the crust was crustier than I wanted any suggestions on how to get it a little softer?

    Reply
    1. Cheryl Post author

      The crust softens the next day. If you do not want a crusty top, avoid using water to produce steam. Brush the top with milk or egg wash. That gives a softer crust.

  29. Arthy R Prem

    Hi Cheryl

    Am planning to try doing Basic white bread recipe of urs. So should I give another punch after the second rise or I can directly keep in the oven after the second rise? Pls clarify.

    Thanks

    Reply
    1. Cheryl Post author

      Hi Arthy,

      After the first rise, you shape the dough and put in the loaf pan. The second rise happens in the pan that goes into the oven. There is no third rise in this recipe.

  30. neha gohil

    Hi Cheryl,
    Truly an amazingly described bread recipe. One couldn’t find a better one. thanks! however i just want to know if you have any multi-grain or wheat flour bread recipe coming up..Also can we reduce the quantity as i stay alone so this is a huge quantity for one person.

    Reply
    1. Cheryl Post author

      Thanks Neha.

      I intend to publish a multi whole grain bread recipe in the near future. But not sure of the time line. Yes 🙂 You can halve the recipe. Use a 8 x 4 inch loaf pan. However the slices will be small. If you make the recipe as it is, it gives a large loaf. You can slice the loaf, wrap with cling film and freeze for later use. Thaw a slice at a time in the refrigerator overnight and toast for breakfast.This is what I do so as to save time and energy. Hope this helps.

  31. harini

    I am using a stand mixer for making the bread.. Approx how long should I knead the dough in the stand mixer and at what speed? I have tried doing the window pane test but it doesn’t seem to be working. Is there any other test I can use to determine if I have kneaded the dough enough? I am scared if I will over knead the dough.

    Reply
    1. Cheryl Post author

      Knead for 8-10 mins. I use medium speed (4-6). Pls try to master the skill of checking for gluten by using window pane test. Probably, you need knead a couple more minutes. Try the recipe multiple times.

  32. Richard McAllister

    I an a 66 year old Male trying to make an edible first loaf of bread. Total disasters.. My loafs are so heavy that if I dropped it on my puppy it might cripple her. (she’s a Maltese and a Maltipoo) 2 Girls. Really Pappas Girls. Baby and Honey bear. Bear is the MaMa To Baby.
    They watch Papa and can’t figure out what’s wrong with the bread, My bread doesn’t seem to raise high enough for a 9×6 sandwich loaf. I am going to try your recipe and hopefully get much better results than before. If I have problems perhaps you can send me in the right direction. Thank you for any help you may have to impart, Yours Rich; the wanna be bread baker, I love homemade bread.

    Reply
  33. Piyali

    What a description!! How nicely you’ve addressed each and every minute point that really matters to an amateur like me 🙂
    Thank you for the recipe!

    Reply
  34. deeparose@rediffmail

    Excellent explanation of the process. . .the mystery of what gluten, year, sugar,salt etc do is solved. . . thanks😃

    Reply
  35. Sheetal

    Thank you so much. My humble loaf turned out perfect thanks to your amazing instructions. Lots of hugs n huge respect😘😘

    Reply
  36. Meera

    Hi Cheryl, what an amazing blog you’ve made! Thumbs up to you… Can clearly see the amount of reading you’ve done to get this kind of understanding of the whole process.
    I followed the recipe to the T with a little tweak… used whole wheat flour instead. The reason being, I’ve read a lot about the way maida is made in India and don’t want to bring it to my kitchen ever.
    The bread turned out to be very fluffy and soft with a thin crust… Thanks to your little tips. I was in bliss watching the dough rise and the way my home smelt like heaven. An amazing start for a first timer. Thanks a lot.

    Reply

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