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I am not ashamed to admit I have recently labeled myself the bread Queen. Ok, so I may not be the bread Queen, I can only make a basic homemade white bread loaf and a good focaccia at the moment. But the bread I do make is seriously good! Over time I have adapted my recipe, adding things and then removing them until I came up with this one.

No One Wants a Dry Loaf

My aim was to make a loaf that wasn’t dry and crumbly and didn’t go completely stale within hours of cutting into it. No one wants a dry loaf of bread after all. I have read a few tips to help keep the moisture in. One of the tips I read which I don’t do was to bake the loaf in the oven with a tray of boiling water beneath it. This fills the oven with steam which should help lock in moisture as the dough bakes. It does work but it isn’t something I do very often unless I think my dough is a bit on the dry side to begin with.

Homemade White Bread Loaf Recipe

Locking in Moisture

The two ways I have chosen to lock in moisture is with the addition of the vegetable fat and the unrefined brown sugar. The vegetable fat keeps the recipe vegan and adds another level of moisture to the dough. Brown sugar is a great way of keeping the bread moist as it naturally attracts and holds onto any moisture around it. This stops the bread (and cakes if you use it in cakes) from going dry too quickly. Whilst I have said to use coconut sugar in the recipe I have recently been using molasses (the sugar grains not the liquid) and this seems to be working the best. Both work, but molasses is my favourite. However it is very sticky and you may have a couple of small sugar clumps that need removing from the dough as you knead it.

Homemade White Bread Loaf Recipe

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Print Recipe
Homemade White Bread
Course Baking
Cuisine Vegan
Course Baking
Cuisine Vegan
  1. Add the flour to a big mixing bowl. Then add all the other ingredients except the water. Ensure the yeast is on the other side of the bowl to the sugar and salt as these can stop it working as effectively.
  2. Slowly add the water and start mixing it into the flour and other ingredients. Don't worry if the vegetable fat hasn't melted down. This will with the warmth of your hands during kneading. Keep adding the water until all the ingredients come together and a soft dough is formed. You may not need to use all the water as this will depend on the flour you have used.
  3. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface.
  4. Knead the dough for 5-10 minutes until you have a soft, smooth and elastic dough.
  5. Cover the dough in the olive oil and place back into the bowl.
  6. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and leave to prove for up to 2 hours or until has at least doubled in size. (I wait for it to treble in size). This may take longer if it is a particularly cool day and may not take as long if it is a hot summers day.
  7. Once risen remove from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface.
  8. Begin to knock back the dough. The aim is to remove as many air pockets as possible so you have an even bread loaf and not one full of holes.
  9. Once knocked back (about 5 minutes) flour a loaf tin and add the dough. Place in a plastic bag and leave to rise for another 30-45 minutes.
  10. Preheat the oven to 200degrees C.
  11. Once risen in the tin add the loaf to the oven. Bake for 15 minutes and then turn the oven down to 160degree C and bake for a further 30 minutes.
  12. The bread is cooked when it sounds hollow in the middle.
  13. Remove from the tin and leave to cool completely on a rack.
Recipe Notes

I use a freestanding mixer with hook attachment to initial mix the ingredients together but this can all be done by hand.

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