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How to bake bread at home

Beginners Artisan White Bread Recipe

This loaf is the perfect introduction to breadmaking.  
The recipe introduces all the basic hand techniques you need to make fantastic bread. Yet the dough is forgiving in the hands of a novice. No loaf will flop and your worst attempt will be better than any shop-bought alternative.
And it's a loaf that's sure to be a favourite with all the family.
Hang up your reticence, roll up your sleeves and give it ago – you won’t regret it!
Step-by-step instructions for all the hand technique used in the recipe here
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Proving time 18 hrs
Total Time 55 mins
Course Bread
Cuisine British, Scottish
Servings 1 loaf



  • 135 grams Strong white flour
  • 95 ml water
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch dried yeast
  • 1 pinch salt

Final Dough

  • 400 grams strong white flour
  • 280 ml warm water
  • 3 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pre-ferment



  • Weigh the flour into a large bowl
  • Make a well in the centre
  • Sprinkle the salt around the outside edge of the flour avoiding the well in the centre
  • Add the pinch of yeast into the well
  • Stir with a cutlery knife slowly incorporating the flour into the water
  • When the flour and water mix is too heavy for your knife, briefly work the dough with your fingers until it forms a ball
  • Cover with cling film and leave overnight at room temperature

Final Dough

  • Mix the dried yeast into the warm water
  • Weigh the flour into a bowl with the salt and olive oil
  • Add the pre-ferment in walnut sized pieces
  • Pour in the water and yeast mix
  • Use your fingers to blend the dough together
  • Scrape the dough from the bowl onto your kitchen table
  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes
  • Return the dough to the bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to prove for 2 hours. Fold the dough once approximately midway through the prove
  • Turn the dough onto your table and pre-shape it
  • Cover with cling film and leave to rest for 5 minutes on the worktop
  • Shape your dough into your desired loaf - round, bloomer or loaf tin
  • Place on an oiled baking sheet or in your loaf tin
  • Return to the warm place for final proving of ¾-1¼ hours


  • Preheat your oven to 240˚C /465˚F with a heavy roasting tin on the bottom shelf
  • 2 minutes before baking moisten your oven with ice cubes
  • Score your loaf
  • Put your loaf on the oven's middle shelf
  • Pour a cup of boiling water into the roasting tray before you close the oven door. (Take care to protect your hands and face, steam can scald)
  • After 15 minutes your loaf should have started to colour and reached its maximum volume. Carefully remove the roasting tray
  • Don't fully close the oven door. Leave the oven door very slightly ajar for the rest of the baking time
  • Bake for a further 25-30 minutes
  • When ready remove your bread and cool on a wire rack


If you’re unsure of any of the breadmaking techniques in this recipe there are step by step instructions in this article.

How to make bread at home – an essential guide to baking homemade bread

Edinburgh yoga teacher, kettlebell coach and nutritionist
Keyword beginners bread recipe, easy bread recipe, homemade bread recipe, white bread recipe