Soft, light and fluffy this farmhouse white bread is the perfect beginner recipe to bake. Warm with butter, its mouth-wateringly good and better than any store-bought loaf, and cheaper too!
Maybe it’s just me, but I’ve always thought that making bread would be too hard. I’d crave cooking from scratch, but still, buy bread from the supermarket. Why did I do this? Tired and being lazy I suppose…
I decided to make my first farmhouse loaf one day and it turned out well, and it was surprisingly easy to do. I felt so wonderful and inspired to make loaves and loaves of bread. So, I did.
I think it’s best to start with an easy recipe like this beginner’s farmhouse white bread recipe. It’s my favourite daily bread recipe, which can be toasted or used to make sandwiches. When we don’t feel like cooking, it’s our go-to, so we make BLTs or cheese toasties with freshly baked bread. Yum!
It tastes divine slathered in thick wads of butter and garlic then grilled in the oven and served with my favourite pumpkin soup.
You don’t need any fancy equipment like a bread machine or stand mixer, I still don’t have any of these things.
In the long run, making your own bread is cheaper and healthier because it doesn’t have lots of sugar, preservatives, or nasty extras that make it last longer. You can even mill your flour just before use if you prefer freshly milled flour, I’m yet to get into this myself.
Why You Will Love This Farmhouse White Bread Recipe
- Suitable for beginners and simple to make
- Tastes delightful – as homemade bread should!
- Affordable to make especially if you need to be frugal
- Enjoyable to knead, bake and eat
- No fancy equipment required
Farmhouse White Bread Ingredients
This is an overview of the ingredients. Below is a printable recipe card with all the required measurements.
Baker’s flour – Not to be confused with plain flour. In high grade or baker’s flour, the protein content is higher. As a result, more gluten is created for better bread.
Yeast – I use active dry yeast that can be purchased in good-sized quantities.
Sugar – White sugar is used to help activate the yeast. It feeds on the sugar, I wouldn’t recommend swapping this out for something healthier because it may not work.
Salt – Good quality salt is important for a good loaf of bread. I use Himalayan pink salt, but sea salt will be fine too.
Warm water – Warm water is crucial as anything too hot will kill the yeast. I like to pop my finger into the water to check that it’s not too hot. The water should be 43°C (110°F).
Butter – Grass-fed butter acts as a preservative and gives the bread a softer texture.
Beginner Farmhouse White Bread FAQs
Is baker’s flour the same as plain flour?
No, they are different because plain all-purpose flour is not as high in protein as high grade or baker’s flour. The higher protein means the bread will have a higher amount of gluten which helps to create strong, crunchy bread.
Why do you put salt in bread?
Salt slows down yeast reproduction and growth stopping the yeast from eating all the sugar available in the dough. By adding salt, you can slow down how quickly the yeast reproduces, thereby controlling how long the dough rises. Salt will also strengthen the gluten in the bread making it a strong loaf that can be shaped easily. Lastly, salt adds flavour to your bread.
Tips For Bread Baking Success
- Always measure your ingredients by weight to get consistent results with your bread making.
- Under kneading is a common mistake lots of beginners can make. I have found that my best bread loaves or rolls were kneaded for a good 10 to 15 minutes and I have a heavy hand.
- Be diligent with the moisture of your bread. You don’t want it to be too dry or too wet. I’ve had the best results when the bread is slightly sticky just after combining the wet and dry, which works to a soft, smooth dough after kneading.
- Spray or brush your rising bowl with olive oil to make sure the dough doesn’t stick.
- Don’t panic if your bread comes out of the oven with a rock-hard crust. Let it cool down and this will soften as it cools and become easier to cut.
Farmhouse White Bread Recipe
STEP ONE: ACTIVATE YEAST
In a bowl add the warm water and sugar and mix until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. Don’t mix it, just leave it to activate for about 10-15 minutes. It will become frothy when it is activated.
STEP TWO: PREPARE DOUGH
In a large bowl mix the flour and salt together. Create a well in the centre and pour in the yeast and softened butter. Mix this together with a wooden spoon until a dough begins to form. Now you can begin using your hands to combine the remaining flour into the dough.
Check the dough is not too wet. If it is sticking to the bowl or your hands add a little bit more flour. If the dough is crumbly, it is too dry. Add a tablespoon of warm water at a time until it feels more workable.
STEP THREE: KNEAD THE DOUGH
Now that your dough mixture is ready, it’s time to knead. Lightly flour a clean benchtop or hard surface and place the dough on top. Begin kneading the dough to develop the gluten.
To knead fold the top back over like an envelope then push the dough away from you with the palm of your hand, quarter-turn the dough and repeat. Knead for 10 minutes or until the dough is smooth, soft, and silky. Pop your finger into the dough and if it springs out nicely this is when you know the dough is ready.
STEP FOUR: THE FIRST RISE
Now it’s time to let the dough complete its first rise. Lightly grease a large bowl and place the ball of dough in, smooth side up. Cover the bowl with a clean, wet tea towel or cling wrap and let it sit in a warm place for at least an hour or two until it’s doubled in size. It may take longer if you are in a cold area or shorter in a hot area.
STEP FIVE: SHAPING THE DOUGH AND FINAL RISE
Once the dough has doubled in size, knock it back by punching the dough then pour it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough for 2 minutes. Folding the dough back onto itself like an envelope again. Aim to create a rectangular shape as you knead.
Give the long side of the dough a roll on the bench with your hands to create a loaf tin shape. Watch this helpful video for more insight.
Place the dough into a greased loaf pan with the seam down. Cover and place in a warm spot to rise again. This could take about 45 minutes to an hour, but you want it to double in size again.
STEP SIX: BAKE THE BREAD
Preheat the oven to 210°C(410°F) fan bake or conventional is fine. Dust the top of the farmhouse white bread with flour. Place the bread in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Cool on a wire rack then you can slice and enjoy.
STEP SEVEN: STORE THE BREAD
I like to freeze my bread in zip lock bags so it can be enjoyed throughout the week and stay fresh. It will store in a zip lock bag or airtight container for 2 days, maybe 3 if it’s not hot where you are.
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