Dance of the Vegetable Patch


Breadmaking Lesson Five - A loaf for learning - basic white

Although I usually prefer wholemeal bread, if you're going to make a loaf by hand to feel how it all should feel and really get to know it, I'd suggest you do a white flour one first.  It allows you to feel the desired textures better.

Read this method in conjunction with the previous lessons.

Makes 2 small or 1 large loaf


30 grams compressed (fresh) yeast or equivalent dry

2 cups (500 ml) warm water

1 tablespoon sugar (white, brown, whatever you like)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (or melted butter)

4 cups plain white flour

1 tablespoon gluten flour

1 teaspoon salt

Garnish - glaze/seeds of your choice


1  Combine flours, salt and half the sugar in a large bowl.  Make a well in the centre.  Pour a little water into the well.

2  Sprinkle/crumble the yeast into this well of water.  Mix in a pinch of sugar.  Leave it to sponge.

3  Add the rest of the wet ingreidnets leaving out about half the water.  Mix dough, adding water as necessary.

4  Turn onto a floured board.  Knead until dough is smooth and elastic (this should take about 10 minutes).

5  Oil your bowl.  Put dough back in face down and then turn it over so you have a thin film of oil on the dough.  Cover and leave in a warm place until it has risen.

6  Push dough down to expel air.  Shape into loaves or rolls.  Leave to prove.

7  Glaze/sprinkle with seeds.

8  Bake in a preheated overn 210 degrees C for 15 minutes then reduct to 180 degrees C until bread is cooked - about 20-25 minutes for a loaf or only 5 minutes or so for rolls.

This quantity should make:

1 quite large loaf, or

1 smallish loaf and 6 rolls, or

12 rolls, or

24 dinner rolls, or

if sweetened and enriched, 7 cinnamon scrolls and 8 medium rolls,