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Soft White Bread Recipe – Batch Bread 

 January 11, 2021

By  Gareth

easy

3-4 hours

uk

Soft white bread is such a popular type of bread and these batch breads are bang on trend. You will find them on the top shelf in UK supermarkets, sometimes labelled as farmhouse bread.

This recipe makes two large loaves that are perfect for sandwiches and thick chunks of butter. It's the perfect everyday bread, and it's easy and straightforward to make in a few hours.


How to make soft white bread video recipe

Ingredients 


   1100g White bread flour


     710g  Water


       22g  Fresh yeast (7g active dried)


       20g  Salt


       50g  Butter broken/diced into small chunks


1

If using dried yeast follow the instructions below.

2

Weigh the ingredients and combine them in a mixing bowl. Using a dough scraper in a clockwise motion combine the mixture into a dough mass. After about a minute the dough will start to form so turn it onto a workbench.

3

Slow knead with a stretching action for 5 minutes, put the dough back in the mixing bowl, cover it and place it in the fridge for 10 minutes. Remove from the fridge and start kneading as hard as possible for 8 minutes.

4

Return the dough into the mixing bowl. Cover, and leave to bulk ferment for one hour.

5

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and stretch out one side and fold it over the dough. Repeat for all four sides before returning the dough into the bowl. Cover and bulk ferment for a further hour.

6

Again turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, this time divide into two equal sizes and pre-shape to a round ball. Place the ball on a floured surface and leave to bench rest for 20 minutes.

7

Put in the oven and drop the temperature to 230C (450F), turn the top and bottom heat on if your oven allows. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until a golden colour is achieved. If you do not have a top heat oven setting, use the grill setting to brown the tops of the baps. After 10 minutes, open the oven door quickly to remove the steam.

8

Prepare a lined baking sheet and place both breads next to each other length-ways on the tray.

9

Allow to proof for 2-3 hours. Preheat the oven with a baking stone to 250C (480F). When the poke test says the breads are ready, lightly dust some flour over, cut and bake in the oven.

10

Drop the temperature to 230C (450F) and put the top and bottom heat setting on if you have that setting available. The batch breads should take around 20 minutes to bake. Once our soft white breads are nicely golden on the surface, remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Method using a dough mixer


1

If using dried yeast follow the instructions below.

2

Weigh and put all ingredients in the mixer that is fitted with the dough hook attachment. Mix for 5 minutes at a slow speed, then crank it up to fast speed for 5 minutes.

3

Remove the dough from the mixer and into a mixing bowl. Cover and leave to bulk ferment for one hour.

4

Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and stretch out one side and fold it over the dough. Repeat for all four sides before returning the dough into the bowl. Cover and bulk ferment for a further hour.

5

Again turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface, this time divide into two equal sizes and pre-shape to a round ball. Place the ball on a floured surface and leave to bench rest for 20 minutes.

6

Prepare a lined baking sheet and place both breads next to each other length-ways on the tray.

7

Allow to proof for 2-3 hours. Preheat the oven with a baking stone to 250C (480F). When the poke test says the breads are ready, lightly dust some flour over, cut and bake in the oven.

8

Drop the temperature to 230C (450F) and put the top and bottom heat setting on if you have that setting available. The batch breads should take around 20 minutes to bake. Once our soft white breads are nicely golden on the surface, remove from the oven and allow to cool.


Using dried yeast


If using instant yeast, divide the amount of fresh yeast used by 3 and follow the same method as fresh yeast.

Active dried yeast needs to be activated before use. In this case, warm 20 grams of water to 35C (95F) - no higher! Add the yeast with half a teaspoon of sugar, whisk and leave to stand for ten minutes before adding to the dough. Remove 20 grams of water from the recipe.


Top tips for soft white bread (batch bread)


Always preheat the oven with only bottom heat if your oven allows, this helps to get the stone thoroughly hot.

For information on dough shaping. take a look at the dough shaping page.

Take temperature readings of the dough after it is mixed and before the final proof. Ideally the temperature should be 27-28C (80-83F), if it is not try to warm up the room or cool by using a fridge.

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