Traditional recipes

Basic white loaf recipe

Basic white loaf recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Bread
  • White bread

Nothing fancy, just a good basic white loaf for the bread machine. Sometimes the simple things in life are the best!

121 people made this

IngredientsServes: 12

  • 285ml (10 fl oz) warm water
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 400g (14 oz) bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons dried milk powder
  • 1 (7g) sachet dried active baking yeast

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:3hr ›Ready in:3hr5min

  1. Place ingredients in the pan of the bread machine in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Select White Bread setting; press Start.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(86)

Reviews in English (72)


Something else.For my first bread machine experience this recipe was very easy and most importantly the family loved it. I did bake it in the oven and not in the bread machine, I controlled the colour and texture of the crust better in the oven. Carol-15 Sep 2008

Used different ingredients.I used sunflower oil instead of butter.The best recipe I've used so far, much better than any in the instruction manuel.-11 Sep 2010

Used different ingredients.I used 1/2 wholemeal and 1/2 white flour. This made a lovely brown loaf. Much better than any recipie in my instruction manual-28 May 2010

Press SELECT for Yeast Bread. Press BAKING CONTROL for Medium. Press START. Bread will be ready in 4 hours and 4 minutes. from Easy Baking by Claudia Burns and Tom Lacalamita (came with the Welbilt) typed by Tiffany Hall-Graham


View line-by-line Nutrition Insights&trade: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.

Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.

Calories per serving: 5230

Get detailed nutrition information, including item-by-item nutrition insights, so you can see where the calories, carbs, fat, sodium and more come from.

Your First Simple Loaf of Bread

This recipe will make 2 Loaves. I would always recommend making two because it’s the same amount of work and double the shaping practice and you can always freeze one if you won’t eat it in time. If you prefer to make a single loaf, halve all the ingredients and you’ll be just fine.

The tins I use here are 2lb Loaf Tins: Base 10cm x 16.5cm Top 13cm x 20cm Height 9cm

Difficulty: Easy, a good place to start.

Start to finish: 3 hours 45 minutes plus cooling time

King Arthur's Classic White Sandwich Bread

This close-grained, nicely sliceable white sandwich loaf is the perfect "go-to" bread for breakfast toast, brown-bag PB & Js, or a grilled-cheese-and-soup supper.


  • 1 1/4 cups (284g) to 1 1/2 cups (340g) lukewarm water*
  • 1 heaping tablespoon (32g) honey
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons (11g) salt
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) butter, softened
  • 4 cups (482g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup (37g) Baker's Special Dry Milk or nonfat dry milk

*Use the lesser amount in summer or humid climates the greater amount in winter or drier climates.


Weigh your flour or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Mix all of the ingredients in the order listed, and mix and knead — by hand, or using a stand mixer — to make a smooth dough. It won't be particularly soft nor stiff it should be smooth and feel bouncy and elastic under your hands.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, or large (8-cup) measuring cup. Cover it, and let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes, till it's become quite puffy, though not necessarily doubled in size.

Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into a fat 9" log. Place it in a lightly greased 9" x 5" or 10" x 5" loaf pan.

Cover the pan, and let the dough rise for 60 to 90 minutes, till it's crowned 1" to 1 1/2" over the rim of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Tent it lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, till it's golden brown. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will read 195°F to 200°F.

Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out onto a rack to cool. When completely cool, wrap in plastic, and store at room temperature.

Tips from our Bakers

If you're short on yeast and want to reduce the amount you use in this recipe, here's how: Cut the yeast from 2 1/4 teaspoons to 1 teaspoon. For its first rise, cover the bowl and place the dough in a warmer than usual environment, about 85°F to 88°F or so. Let the dough rise until it doubles in size, about 2 hours. Shape the dough, put it in the pan, and let it rise in its warm environment for another hour, or until it's noticeably puffy. Bake as directed. Alternatively, you can let the reduced-yeast dough rise at normal room temperature (65°F to 70°) it will take about 3 hours for its first rise, and another 3 hours once it's shaped and in the pan. For more information see our blog post, How to bake bread using less yeast.

Want to make this bread using a bread machine? See our Walter Sands' Favorite Bread — Bread Machine Version.

We call for a fairly wide range of water here due to two variables: how bakers measure their flour, and climate/season. Flour is drier and will absorb more liquid in winter, and/or in a dry climate in summer or in a humid climate, it's moister and will absorb less. So generally speaking, you'll use more liquid in your bread in winter, less in summer. In addition, some bakers measure their flour by dipping the cup into the bag or canister, tapping the flour to pack it down, and leveling it off. The way we measure flour here at King Arthur is to stir/aerate the flour, sprinkle it gently into the measuring cup, and level it off. If you're of the scoop/tap/level school, which measures a "heavier" cup of flour, you'll need to use more liquid. At any rate, for this recipe, start with a smaller amount of water and move up, if necessary it's easier to add water than to take it out! Your goal is a dough that starts out a bit sticky, but as you knead becomes soft (but not sticky) and smooth, not "gnarly."

This signature white sandwich loaf is an updated version of King Arthur's popular Walter Sands Basic White Bread, And who was Walter Sands? The Sands family became associated with King Arthur in 1820, 30 years after the company's founding. Walter headed up the company from 1943 to 1968, when his son, Frank, took over as president. Frank led an effort that made King Arthur a national brand by the turn of the 21st century eventually he and his wife, Brinna, sold the company to us, the employee-owners. to this day, Frank and Brinna remain the inspiration behind King Arthur's long-time quest: to serve our community, do the right thing, and provide Americans with the best flour in the world.

Basic White Bread

I love this Basic White Bread for everyday sandwiches and toast. It’s terrific for French toast, too. And no yeast-leavened loaf could be easier to make. Heck, all you need is a bowl, a spoon, and a loaf pan! Watch me mix, knead by hand, and bake the bread right before your very eyes:

Click the “play” arrow to watch. And please forgive the lengthy kneading tutorial. I wanted you to learn how to knead bread the old-fashioned way, in real time!

I should add that kneading by hand isn’t terribly time-consuming. Who doesn’t have 8-10 minutes to spare for a great loaf of bread?

Furthermore, it’s great fun to feel the dough change its texture beneath the heel of your hand. What started out as scruffy and lifeless will suddenly become springy and smooth.

Well. I hope you’ll give this lovely loaf a try. As mentioned in the video, the bread is infinitely better than anything we can buy in a bag at the supermarket. And that’s a good thing because…who wants to visit a supermarket these days? xKevin

Basic white loaf recipe - Recipes

» Best of Basic Italian White Bread recipes ever «

  1. Sprinkle yeast onto warm water and let sit a few minutes until it begins to foam.
  2. Add salt, sugar and oil and mix vigorously.
  3. Add one cup flour and beat 100 strong strokes with a wooden spoon (or in an electric mixer until absolutely smooth).
  4. Add 1 additional cup of flour and work it in then work in 1/2 cup at a time until the stickyness is gone from the dough (add only 1/4 cup at a time as you come near the end - working the dough by hand once it becomes too hard to work with the spoon).
  5. Knead the dough JUST until it is smooth.
  6. If the dough is still a bit sticky dust it with about ¼ cup flour, cover it and let it rest for about 10 minutes.
  7. Knead the dough, again, for about 7 minutes - until it's silky-smooth. Add flour in small amounts only until the stickiness is completely gone but the dough is not hard and dry.
    If using a dough hook - Finish the kneading by hand - allowing you to feel the dough's texture and stickiness.
  8. Form the dough into a flat ball and lightly rub a thin coat of oil over the surface of the dough. Then return the dough to the mixing bowl and cover it.
  9. Place the bowl in a warm, draft-free place (we use the oven with the oven light on) and let it rise for 75 minutes (or until the dough has doubled in bulk).
  1. Turn dough out onto your (lightly floured) work surface. Press the bubbles out of the dough - flattening it into an oval shape. Cover it with a dish towel and let it rest for about 5 minutes.
  2. Knead the dough using the pull and fold method as illustrated here . pulling one side out and folding it over, then pull the other side and fold it. Pull the bottom out and fold it upwards, then pull the top out and fold it down. Repeat this process one or two times until the dough becomes stiff and holds shape.
  3. Form the loaf by making the seam, on the final fold, with the heel of your hands (as shown here), pinching the ends and tucking them under to create a nice, smooth end. Roll the dough to the desired shape (length and width) under hands curved to force the dough into shape. This dough should be formed to a length of between 12 and 16 inches (30 and 40 cm).
  4. Place the loaf on your baking sheet and cover it with a dry, lint-free tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 40 to 50 minutes or until double in bulk.
  1. Place a shallow pan of water on the lowest shelf of the oven and preheat the oven to 400ºF (205ºC).
  2. Slash the top of the loaf (gently so as not to collapse the dough). Cover the dough again while the oven heats.
  3. Remove the tea towel (or other cover) and place loaf in middle of hot oven and bake for 25 minutes.
  4. After 25 minutes remove the pan of water, lower the temperature of the oven to 350ºF (175ºC) and bake for about 15 minutes or until done. Cover the loaf, loosely, with a piece of foil to keep the top of the loaf from darkening too much and to prevent too deep a crust. Optionally: Finish the baking (the final 3 to 5 minutes) on a pizza stone or stone tile (should already be in the oven if you will use it - it will, otherwise, crack - Click Here to learn about use and care of your pizza stone).
  5. Tap test (tap the bottom of the loaf) to check for doneness. If tapping the bottom of the loaf yields a hollow sound the loaf is cooked. Otherwise, return the loaf to the oven for just a few minutes more.
  6. When cooked, move to a wire rack to cool.
  • A Bread-baker's Tip: Covering the loaf with foil in the final stages of baking yeilds a softer crust. If you like a very soft crust cover it earlier in the second stage of baking. Do not cover the loaf in the first stage of baking.
  • To soften the crust bag your bread in plastic for a minimum of 4 hours . or even more but only after the loaf cools fully.

The Background Story
Basic Italian White Bread

As with most of our recipes, pretty much no special tools are required to make this basic Italian white bread. This Italian white bread recipe is very like our French bread - the primary differences being that it uses, specifically, olive oil and no diary (or dairy substitutes). The dough itself is a little bit saltier but there is no wash or salt surface on this bread as with the French loaf. Like basic white bread, this loaf is bread crumbs - un-crumbed . it is a good foundation bread suitable for french toast (once it has staled a bit). It is a wonderful base for so many things including bruschetta, or garlic bread. If you are of the Jewish faith, it is Pareve (can be used with milk or meat) and, for Muslims, it is halal as it uses no meat fat. Like the basic white bread, this bread is a pallette for what ever decoration or topping may strike your fancy.

Mostly oil free, this loaf of about 1 ½ pound (around 675g) has only two teaspoons of salt and even less sugar. While you may elect to make small adjustments based on taste, this vegan loaf is a wonderful, rustic looking foundation bread.

If you like this Italian style white bread, you'll probably also like our Calabrese bread recipe


Add all ingredients listed in the order of the list and using the "Dough mode" dough function set time to knead for 10 minutes and turn dial to start. Wrap in a Thermomat or place in an oiled bowl with cling film to cover. Rest dough in a warm spot until doubled in volume. I just place it in my cold oven and the doughs own warmth is enough heat for the proving process.

Shaping Your Loaf

On an oiled bench or Thermomat knock down dough until it's fairly flat and all the gasses have been expelled. Roll into a log the length of your bread tin and place it in. This is great for a nice even high top or an even flat top if using a lid. The log can also be cut into 3 or 4 sections with cut edge facing the sides of the tin for a fancier top to your loaf. Place in a cold oven until your dough rises 2/3 of the way up the tin sides. In cooler climates you might want to add a tray of boiling water to the bottom of your oven for this process to be successful.

Bake Your Loaf

Without removing your loaf from the oven turn oven on to 180°-200° and bake until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. This could take between 30 - 45 minutes. When loaf is baked empty from tin straight away and cool on a cooling rack before slicing.

Choose Quality Ingredients

This recipe was developed as a variation of the Basic Bread in The Basic Cook Book and the White Bread recipe featured on the back of the Defiance Brand Bakers Flour 5kg bag.I strongly advise seeking advice on max quantities of dough mix for your thermomix when kneading larger quantities in your machine.

What ingredients are in a white tin loaf?

You only need five ingredients to make this loaf &ndash strong bread flour, yeast, salt, butter and water. So simple! Strong bread flour is recommended as it has a higher protein level to give the best rise to your loaf.

I use instant dry yeast, table salt, unsalted butter and tepid water. Nothing fancy or complicated. So if you can get your hands on these ingredients at the moment you&rsquore all good to go!

The most simple recipe for basic homemade white bread. Made from just yeast, sugar, water, flour and salt this white sandwich bread will become a staple in your house!

Friends, we are in the middle of a very unsettling time. A strange virus has taken over the world, we have been instructed to stay home and suddenly popping out to the shops for a loaf of bread is something that just can't happen. We can't see our friends, there are no social gatherings happening and all non essential businesses are closed.

It is very overwhelming and there is a whole lot that is completely out of our control. What I am choosing to focus on, is what I can control.

We are so lucky that living rurally, not a whole lot changes for us. We are at home most days anyway and as our kids aren't yet at school we don't have that to contend with either. Our pantry and freezer is stocked, our garden is growing and I am going to be spending this time making even more things from scratch than before.

The thing I want to encourage over this time is coming together as a nation and world and connecting even though we have to physically isolate. We are so incredibly lucky to be isolating in a time where it's never been easier to stay in touch online. Over the weekend I baked a loaf of this bread on my Instagram stories and I was amazed at how many people baked along with me! I will be doing more of this, so if you are on Instagram, be sure to follow along.

This basic white bread recipe is just that. Simple ingredients, no fancy equipment needed and the softest, fluffiest loaf of homemade white bread that you can make.

It makes amazing sandwiches, toast and freezes really well. You can also turn it into bread rolls very easily (see recipe for details)

Ingredients needed for basic white bread

  1. Active dry yeast/instant yeast - you can also use Surebake yeast, you just need double the amount
  2. Sugar or honey
  3. Warm water - around 45°C/110°F
  4. Flour - I have used plain and high grade (bread) flour and both work great!
  5. Salt
  6. Butter - for brushing on top of the loaf midway through baking - this gives the crust extra crunch and flavour!

How to make basic white bread

  1. Activate the yeast in warm water with sugar
  2. Make the dough - add flour, salt and more water
  3. Knead the dough - 7 minutes in a stand mixer, 10 minutes by hand
  4. Cover the dough and let it rise - this will take about 1 hour in a warm place
  5. Shape the dough into a loaf and place in the loaf tin
  6. Second rise - his will take about 50 minutes in a warm place
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, brushing the top with butter after 25 minutes

Bread baking FAQ's

What type of yeast should I use?

I always use active dried yeast – this yeast needs to be activated before using it in the dough. The reason I like using this yeast is that it’s a safeguard to bread rising failure. You can actually see that the yeast is activated which is essential for the bread making process!

To activate active dry yeast, add it to a small amount of warm water (somewhere between 40-45°C/105-115°F) and sugar (the amount called for in the recipe) and whisk it around and leave it sitting for about 5-10 minutes. It will start to bubble and foam when it is ready. If this doesn’t happen your yeast may either be too old or the water may have been too hot or too cold. Throw it away and start again. When the yeast is activated using warm water it produces carbon dioxide gas, which causes the bread to rise. You can also use instant yeast (use the same amount as active dry yeast) or Surebake yeast which is a mixture of active dry yeast and bread improvers and is typically used in breadmakers. Both these types of yeast can be added directly to the other ingredients without activating the yeast first. You will need to use twice as much Surebake yeast as you would active dry yeast.

Can I substitute wholemeal flour for white flour?

You can't substitute it completely. Wholemeal flour makes a much denser loaf of bread which I find not very enjoyable. If you really want to sub some wholemeal flour in, start with 1 cup wholemeal, 3 cups plain flour and see how that goes. Over the next couple of weeks I will be working on a wholegrain sandwich bread recipe so watch this space!

Where is the best place to leave my bread to rise?

I put my dough to rise in our linen cupboard. The hot water cylinder is in there which makes a nice warm environment. If you don't have a hot water cupboard you can use the following places:

  • On a sunny windowsill or other sunny spot in your house
  • On top of the fridge or on a high shelf - heat rises
  • In your car - this is often a warm spot!
  • In the warming drawer of your oven - turn on the warming drawer and place the covered dough in the drawer along with a cup of water to keep the environment humid
  • In the microwave - heat a cup of water on high for 2 minutes then place the covered dough in the microwave with the door shut
  • You can heat the oven to low or just turn the oven light on, but as you need to heat the oven for baking during the second rise, I prefer not to use this method

What if my bread doesn’t rise?

Your yeast may be old – see above for how to activate the yeast. If your yeast doesn’t activate, it’s no good. Throw it out and start again.

It may simply be too cold where you are trying to rise your bread! If it’s cooler where you live, try putting the bread in the hot water cupboard or preheat the oven to 50°C and then turn off before placing the bread in there to rise.

How do I know when my bread is ready?

When the bread is golden brown and you tap the bottom of the loaf (remove from the tin first) and it sounds hollow, it’s done.

If you have an instant read thermometer you want the internal temperature of the bread to be 88°C/190°F – this post explains it and tested a few different types of breads – it’s a really interesting read if you are keen to learn more about bread baking!

Basic White Bread

Hi Marilyn,
Yes, see the Notes section for substitution recommendations.

Will all purpose bread flour be ok for basic white bread ?

Also, can oil be substituted for butter?

Hi Mary Ann –
Bread flour is preferred for most yeast breads. However, in a pinch you can use all-purpose flour. If you have vital wheat gluten, add 1 tsp per cup of flour. If not, you may not get as big a volume. Absorption is different with AP flour, so you may need to add more – just keep an eye on the dough as it is mixing, adding 1 tsp at a time until you get a soft dough (not too wet or sticky).
Substitute 3/4 teaspoon oil for each 1 teaspoon butter.
Happy baking!

I have a 2lb bead machine and want to know if I can double the 1lb recipe? Also, what size bread pan should I use if I bake it in the oven after hand shaping?

Hi Nova,
Yes, you can double the recipe. Use a 9࡫-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees F, check after 30-35 minutes. Internal temperature should be 200 degrees.
Happy baking!

Would the new Platinum Instant Sourdough yeast and sourdough culture rise fast enough to work with this recipe in a bread machine?

Hi James,
Yes, use the ‘medium loaf’ recipe, and add the entire packet of the Platinum Instant Sourdough. Let us know if you make it.
Happy baking!

I don’t keep powdered milk on hand. And I don’t want to use liquid milk with a timer bread recipe. Is there another substitution for powdered milk?

Hi Jill,
Some people have had success with using a powdered coffee creamer in place of dry milk.
If you don’t have that on hand either, and do not want to use liquid milk, just leave it out. If the dough seems too dry after a few minutes of mixing, add in 1 tablespoon of water. If it seems too wet, add in 1 tablespoon of flour.
Happy baking!

Can I make the dough in the bread machine, then bake it in an oven? I just like to shape my breads. Also, I have a bread pan I like to use from time to time.