2 Nov 2014

Basic White Bread

Baking a bread at home, is a dream for many especially when you know what all goes into baking a commercial bread. This post is to help you bake the most beautiful, soft and delicious white bread. 

Basic White Bread

I have tried to list all points and also make it easier to understand with pictures, hope this helps you achieve your dream! If you know to knead and make roti/chapathi, then you should be able to bake a beautiful bread, with a few tips mentioned below. Also, if I can make it then so can you :)

Basic White Bread

I got this recipe from the internet, long ago I copy pasted into my recipe file and don't know the source, so who ever is the author of this recipe, a big thank you!

Basic White Bread

Preparation time - 1.5 hrs | Baking time 30 mins | Serves - makes 1 loaf 

  • All purpose flour/maida - 3 cups
  • Butter/oil - 2 tbsp (I used oil)
  • Sugar - 2 tbsp
  • Instant yeast - 2.5 tsp
  • Milk - 1/3 cup
  • Water - 3/4 cup
  • Salt - 1 tsp
For brushing
  • Milk - 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Egg - 1 + 1 tbsp water (optional)
  • Melted butter - 2 tbsp

Basic White Bread

1. Slightly heat the water and milk. If using butter, add the butter too and heat it. 
2. Once the mixture is warm to touch, add the sugar and yeast. Let stand for 5 minutes.

3. If using oil, add it next. Sift in the flour and salt.
4. Stir until it forms a soft dough. Then lightly flour the work surface and turn the dough onto the work surface and knead for 8-10 minutes. Do the window pane test (check notes)

5. Oil your hands and knead until a soft non sticky pliable dough is formed. Do not add extra flour while kneading.
6. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Brush little oil on the dough so that it doesn't dry out.

7. Cover with a kitchen towel or cling film and leave it in a warm place for 1 - 1.5 hours or until it doubles. I left it for 1 hour.
8. Once it doubles, mildly poke the dough, if the imprint remains, then the dough has risen enough. Otherwise let it rise some more.

9. Lightly flour the work surface and turn the doubled dough onto it. Deflate the dough by mildly punching and pressing the dough.
10. Roll the dough into a log shape, pinch and seal the dough well. Keep the pan close by to check the length of the shaped dough.

11. Place the dough inside the greased 9*5*3 pan and lightly brush with milk. Cover with kitchen towel and allow to rise again for 30 minutes.
12. Towards the end of the 30 minutes, pre heat your oven to 190 degrees C. 

13. Lightly beat an egg with 1 tbsp of water and after 30 minutes of second rise, lightly brush your dough with this egg mixture.

14. Place the pan inside the pre heated oven. Add a couple of ice cubes inside a small heat resistant bowl and leave it in the oven. This creates steam which will form a beautiful crust and prevent cracking.

15. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Once done, the bread pan sounds hollow when tapped at the bottom.
16. Brush some melted butter on the loaf as soon as you remove it from the oven. This will keep the loaf soft.

17. Remove the baked bread from the pan as soon as possible. Do not let it cool in the pan for long. Do not slice the bread when it's hot. Let it cool completely on the rack and then slice.
18. Use a sharp serrated knife or a bread knife to slice. Turn the bread slightly to the side and cut the bread using a sawing motion.

Basic White Bread

1. I used instant yeast so did not need to proof it. If you use active dry yeast, you have to proof it for 10 minutes and then proceed.
2. When you leave the dough to rise (both first and second rise), leave the dough covered in a draft free warm place. I heated my microwave for 2 minutes, switched it off and left the dough inside to rise.
3. While kneading, do the window pane test to check if the dough has been kneaded enough. Take a small piece of kneaded dough and stretch, if you can keep stretching and pulling the dough until it's a thin membrane that you can see through then your dough is ready. Otherwise knead some more.
4. Creating too much steam while baking the bread can make your bread chewy. Make sure you add just a little water or place 2 ice cubes inside, that is enough to create the steam.
5. Do not add yeast to hot liquid. If it's very hot, it will kill the yeast. Make sure the warm+milk mixture is warm and not too hot.
6. You can choose to give a milk wash or an egg wash, you need not give both. I like to give both.
7. Instead of keeping a small bowl with ice cubes to create steam, you can even spray some water once you place the loaf inside the oven.
8. Do not add extra flour while kneading, the dough just needs to be non sticky but it's okay if it's soft, smooth dough.

Until next time,
Share this post if you found it useful!


  1. I have never baked bread though it is something on my to-do for long... thank you for all the tips, your bread looks super soft... good one dear...

  2. Bread luks soft n spongy , nice pics

  3. Lovely bread...baked to perfection!!! Thanks for the amazing tips...and the recipe...Would like to have a recipe using whole wheat flour sis...!

  4. Beautifully baked bread.. looks very soft..

  5. perfect dear...will try sometimes

  6. It is simply fabulous. Gosh!! perfectly made.

  7. a perfect white loaf. I love baking bread. Its fun.
    I am hosting an event where you can link your mushroom (vegetarian and eggs only) recipes. Please participate.

  8. Soft bread... always love home made bread

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Beulah...that bread looks perfect. It's soft and the color is so beautiful. I have to definitely try this bread.

  11. Bread looks just awesome .Well detailed recipe

  12. soft n puffed one,beautifully baked!

  13. Perfectly baked and looks just like store brought bread..

  14. bread is looking so soft and yummy

  15. Tried it today. Got a perfect loaf in terms of looks and taste. It was a little dense but soft. I did use the ice cubes in the oven. I baked in a lidded pan. Is there something I need to change?

    1. A slightly dense loaf could be due to many reasons, undermixing is one reason also if you incorporated a little too much flour during kneading to get a non sticky dough can be another reason. Using a good quality yeast is also important.
      Also it's important to never compare your beautiful home baked bread to store bought ones. They add too many stuff to make it soft and airy. Home made loafs will always be slightly dense compared to store bought ones.
      Thanks for trying the recipe and leaving a feedback. I appreciate you :)

    2. Tried it again. Came out perfect. Thanks

  16. Your recipe looks perfect. Can't wait to try but would appreciate a recipe for whole wheat bread instead. Can I substitute whole wheat flour for APF or is there a separate recipe for wheat bread?

    1. I have not yet posted a whole wheat bread recipe, will post soon. You can't just sub wheat flour for APF, proportion of flour to water will change when it come to whole wheat flour. You will have to add more liquid and knead very well.

  17. Will wait for your whole wheat bread recipe. Hope its soon :)

  18. Hi! your recipe looks so good and so is the picture. i want to try it. just one clarification, while preheating the oven i shall keep the bowl of ice but is it to be removed when i place the bread to bake? or the bowl will be inside the oven through out the baking? hope to hear from you soon.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment! The bowl remains inside the oven throughout the baking period.

  19. Hi
    Tried this,
    Tasted good,
    But base got little bit burnt.
    Can you tell me as why did that happen?

    1. Maybe it stayed in the oven for a tad bit longer. Next time reduce the timings just a little bit.

  20. Hi...if i use active dry yeast the quantity would be same as your instant yeast? Thanks


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