Soft White Loaf

soft white bread loaf recipe
This is the recipe for which I've had the most compliments and is one of my favourites too.

The bread is richer, softer and chewier than the basic bread recipe, and is just as easy to make.

If you enjoy great bread with a thick spread of real butter, this one's for you.

Soft White Loaf

500g/17 oz/3⅓ cups strong plain flour
1 tsp instant dried yeast
2 tsp salt
1 egg*
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp plain Greek yoghurt*
200ml/7 fl oz/¾ cup water

*Edit for vegans: Many things have changed since I wrote this recipe. One of the things is that I now prefer a whole-food plant-based (which we might as well call vegan) diet. If you want to make a vegan version of this loaf, please omit the egg and substitute vegan yoghurt.

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.  I prefer to mix by hand – literally – but feel free to use a spoon or a dough hook.

ingredients for soft white bread

Leave the dough to rise until it has doubled in size.  This can take several hours and will happen faster in a warm place, such as an airing cupboard.

bread dough mixture for white loaf

dough rising

Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead well.

bread dough

As you knead, the dough becomes more smooth and workable.

well kneaded dough

Place the dough into a greased loaf pan and leave it to rise again.

white bread dough rising in tin

The loaf is ready to bake when it has reached the top of the pan.

well risen bread loaf

Bake at 230oC/450F for five minutes then 180oC/360F for 30 minutes.

The loaf is properly cooked when it tips easily out of the loaf pan and sounds hollow when you knock on its bottom.

Leave the loaf on a wire rack to cool before slicing.

soft white loaf of homemade bread

Want this recipe in a more convenient format? It's available in my ebook, available via the link in the sidebar.


  1. You state use plain flour, is this as opposed to strong bread flour? Also the methodology differs slightly in these instructions as to the ones in the e-book. Which will give me the best results?

    Sorry to be a pest but these are early days for me.


    1. Good questions! Sorry, my fault - I wrote this recipe ages ago, before I went on the bread course. I've altered it for optimal dough hydration but haven't updated the method (although, as you noticed, the method in the e-book is edited to show preferred way) My aim is to change all of the 'old' recipes on here to reflect my (current!) preferred method but it's a gradual process. Following the method given for Awesome Everyday Loaf ( will work well with any of the loaf recipes on here.

      Strong bread flour is ideal for this recipe, though in the 'old' days, I used to use just plain flour, as stated. These days, I only ever buy 'strong' flour to use for all my bread recipes. You can take it that the white flour in all doughs on this site should be strong flour, although plain would do if you found that was all you had in the cupbard. The higher the protein content, the better.

      Re the differences in method: It's basically a matter of whether to knead first or second, which I think makes little difference, either way. I'm coming to the conclusion that it is the length of knead that makes more difference than when you acually knead. If you're too busy to knead for long, it'll be fine, but for a really superb texture, try to knead for at least 10 mintes.

      Your manner of kneading can be whatever you find easiest but remember that the aim is to stretch the dough as much as possible, getting those gluten strands as long as you can. After a good knead, you'll reach a point where the dough becomes more pliable, smooth and can be stretched without breaking so easily.

      I hope that helps and sorry for the confusion :o) Let me know how you get on!

    2. Thanks, I used plain white flour and kneaded it first time round. It seems to be going OK, risen nicely so far, I've just popped it into a bread tin in the airing cupboard to let it rise again. I'll let you know how it ends up.


    3. Sounds very promising! It'll be great!

  2. Just taken the loaf out of the oven, it looks good - too early to taste it yet. I'd attach a picture if I knew how to.

  3. Ooh I want to see!!! Can you post a pic on the Flickr group? Or email me a pic and I'll post it up? Great to hear that it looks nice anyway :o)

  4. OK, I've put a couple of pictures on Flicker and joined the Group - it took me a while as I've never heard of Flicker until today but the pictures haven't come up on the Freshly Baked Bread website yet - probably at the limit of my IT skills now.

    1. I see pictures in the Freshly Baked Flickr group now - you must have figured it out.
      Your loaf looks delicious - well done! (and I love the hat too). Thank you for sharing - I'm really delighted!

  5. I'm trying this bread out today! Thank you so much. My husband is greatly trying to limit his sugar intake. Your website is very helpful and insightful, sharing that bread can be made without sugar added. I have only "kneaded" dough a few times before, this will be an experiment, but I'm excited to try it out! Currently, it's rising in the bowl. I don't have an airing cupboard. Hopefully it will rise properly, just on the counter.

    1. Thanks for your encouraging comment, Kate! I hope the bread turned out nicely. It should rise just fine on the counter (mine always does, even in a cold kitchen). I think I'm right in saying that yeast is active at as little as 4oC (albeit slowly) so room temperature is fine. Sometimes patience pays off for a better rise but the results are always tasty, however light the dough. I hope to hear how you got on. Pics on Facebook?

    2. Love love love love love! I'm in love! It took a lot longer than I anticipated, but patience did paid off! I was able to serve warm swoon-worthy bread at dinner tonight! I made a bit of olive oil, garlic, sea salt and fresh ground pepper for my husband to dip his bread in after dinner, he was so pleased! Thank you SO much for this recipe, your website and for your time in posting it! I can't wait to make this again soon-- probably Saturday! (I'll try to figure out the facebook)

    3. Yippee! I'm so pleased it was a success Kate! It sounds delicious with the dip, I love garlic!


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