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slice of white bread on rack

Soft and Fluffy White Bread Loaf

  • Author: Erin Clarkson
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 2 loaves
  • Category: bread
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: american

Description

Soft and fluffy white bread recipe - made with a simple white bread dough, this easy bread recipe makes two perfect loaves of white bread. The recipe uses simple ingredients and gives a light, soft bread that is perfect for slicing. Follow my step-by-step recipe to make the most amazing loaf of homemade bread.


Ingredients

Bread Dough 

  • One batch of white bread dough, risen and ready to use (see dough post for rising options)

To Finish

  • Softened butter for greasing the loaf pans
  • Egg wash - one egg whisked with 1 Tbsp water

Instructions

 

  1. Start with risen white bread dough. If you have chosen to do a cold first rise, you will need to leave the dough out at room temperature for about 30 minutes to allow it to soften slightly so that it is easier to work with. 
  2. Grease two 1 lb loaf pans (8.5 x 4.5" / 22cm x 12.5cm) with softened butter.
  3. Turn out the risen dough onto a lightly floured, clean work surface. Divide it into two even pieces (the dough makes about 850g of dough so divide it into two 425g pieces). 
  4. Shape each piece into a ball using a bench scraper and using the counter to create tension. Cover the pieces of bread dough with a clean tea towel and leave to rest for about 10 minutes. 
  5. Working with one piece of dough at a time, shape the dough into a loaf shape - turn the dough over so the 'good' side is facing down. 
  6. Flatten the dough out using your hands into a rectangle about the width that your tin is long. For a 1lb loaf pan, this is about 20cm x 15cm (8x6"). Fold over a little of the short edges to form a rough square shape (this does not have to be exact). This helps to give you nice clean ends on your bread.
  7. Fold the top third of the dough down, and press with your fingers so that it sticks to the dough underneath - you want to form a gentle seal. Roll the rest of the dough down toward you as tightly as you can. Pull the sausage of bread against the counter to help seal the seam and make sure that the ends are nicely tucked in. 
  8. Place the dough into the loaf pan carefully, seam side down. It will not completely touch the ends of the pan. 
  9. Repeat the shaping process with the second piece of dough to form a second loaf.
  10. Cover the pans with plastic wrap or a clean tea towel and place in a warm spot until the dough has doubled in size and is nearing the top edge of the pan, about one hour depending on the temperature of your kitchen. To check the rise on the dough, lightly press it with a floured finger - if it is fully risen it will leave an indentation that slowly springs back. If you have started with a cold dough, this step will take 2-3 hours as you need to account for the dough warming up. 
  11. While the loaves are rising, preheat the oven to 180°c / 350°f. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven.
  12. When the loaves are risen, brush the surface of the dough with egg wash. 
  13. Bake the white bread loaves for 25 to 30 minutes, until deeply golden brown. If you want to check the internal temperature, a fully baked loaf should register at 190°f / 88°c when probed with a digital thermometer. 
  14. Remove the loaves from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Leave to cool in the pans for 10-15 minutes then turn out of the pans and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  15. Slice when cool. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Best eaten fresh on the day it is made, however leftovers are amazing either slightly warmed up, or lightly toasted.

Notes

A slightly larger loaf pan will work too - the loaf may just bake up slightly shorter. If you only have one loaf pan you can shape the other half of the dough into parker house rolls or rolls of your choice. 

Keywords: bread, bread recipe, white bread recipe, easy bread recipe