The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

White bread

jennyloh's picture

Recipe from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Bread - White Bread Chapter

I have an interesting bake last night.  This bread is very very tasteful,  with the caraway seeds,  brown sugar, and orange zest.  The taste is exceptional.  Somehow, this reminds me of gripe water that we give to babies.  Very very refreshing taste...if you are one of those that like caraway seeds,  try this...


3/4 cup water
2 tbsp brown sugar
Zest of 1 orange, grated
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 package yeast
2 cups of bread flour

1.    Boil water, sugar, orange, butter and caraway seeds for 3 minutes.
2.    Mix 1 cup of flour, yeast and the boiled ingredients (after cooled).
3.    Knead well and let it rise for 1 hour.
4.    Add rest of flour slowly and knead well.
5.    Shape into loaf pan and let proof for 1 hour.
6.    Bake at 180 degrees celsius for 1 hour

This bread is so easy to eat,  we had ate 3/4 loaf in the morning.  Eat it plain or just put tuna,  taste just as a good...


jennyloh's picture


I'm so happy to say that after so many tries of making white breads,  I finally got the taste and texture that I wanted.  Very very soft bread,  with a good slightly burnt crust.  Although without sugar,  the taste is sweet,  perhaps due to the water roux,  the overnight dough and butter.  This bread does requires time at least 12 hours waiting time,  but with good planning,  it'll work.


This type of bread is suppose to maintain its softness.  Well,  I will find out tomorrow. (yes - it remains soft even after 12 hours without toasting or heating up, 48 hours later and it remains soft, no heating up required,  unless you really don't like cold soft bread)


Click here for recipe:






jennyloh's picture


In the middle of the week,  I decided to make some bread after returning from 2 full days of meeting,  I need to de-stress.  Picked up Bernard Clayton's book and saw this attractive name - Feather Bread.  I wondered if this is the same kind of bread that I had at the restaurant of the hotel that I stayed.  So,  I started late in the night.  Click here for the recipe


Well,  it didn't turn out like the bread from the restaurant,  although I shaped it like it,  it turned out tasting really good when it is fresh.


Somehow,  I realised that white breads seems to harden fast?  Rye bread taste even better as the days goes by.  I tried heating up the bread,  but it was not the same as freshly baked.


My son and I discussed that perhaps I should wait till we want to eat these breads,  have it ready in the fridge and bake it near meal times.  suggestions anyone?


DownStateBaker's picture

Introduction to bread baking

Bread has been baked since 4000 BCE. Keep this in mind while reading this and other bread books or information. So really all you need is some simple tools, flour (in this intro flour quality won't be a huge issue), salt, water, an oven, and most importantly time.


Hands- These are your greatest tools. Their most important attribute is what they can tell you. They can tell you how strong, moist, warm, cool, and proofed your dough is. You will develop how to interperet these tactile sensations through practice.

The Bowl- While not entirely necessary, it was one of the earliest and best development in baking. When choosing one look for durability (I use a steel bowl) and size (big but not too big to hold under your arm while mixing, but big enough to have a lot of space for mixing).

A Mixing Implement- I use a wooden short handed flat spoon thing I found somewhere (pictured).My implement

Oven- In this introduction I use an electric oven.

Flour- We could go on and on about flour, but for the sake of brevity I'll keep it short. At home when I don't always have good bread flour I use King Arthur All-Purpose or Gold Medal All-Purpose flours. I am not above using store brand all-purpose if money and the availability of these flours are an issue.

Salt- A nice unrefined sea salt containing calcium and magnesium is best. If this isn't available then I would go with Diamond Crystal Kosher salt. In a pince non-iodized table salt will do fine (iodine is no good for yeast or other microbes that we might like in our bread).

Water- I am lucky enough to live in a house where I get really nice water from a well. I don't know the chemistry of my water but it works well. In general acidic water weakens gluten and alkali strengthens it. Hard water helps create stronger gluten networks because of the presence of calcium and magnesium. Less water makes denser easier to work with loaves and more water lighter more difficult to handle dough.

Yeast- In this introduction we're going to be catching some wild yeast. But store bought yeast will work if you want bread ASAP (this goes against my bread philosophy, but I understand when you want bread and you want it now). Dry yeast has a longer shelf life than cake yeast. So if you are unsure of the freshness of the yeast in your local store go for the packaged dry yeast. Check the expiration date.

Digital Scale- I am also lucky enough to have a scale in my home kitchen. I suggest anyone serious enough to be on a baking forum get one. Grams are what I use when writing my recipes. I like the exactness making rounding a rare occurence. If you don't have one on hand this website has good conversions

Time- The more the better.

Lets Begin

First get your bowl and mixing implement ready and clean.

Next get some flour and water (I use 80 F at this step). Weigh out 300g of flour and 300g of 80 F water. Now you can also get creative and add some ripe fruit or some bottle conditioned beer if you want a little help in cultivating the yeast. Water and Flour first added

Mix the water and flour until combined (Picture).

Keep the mixture covered in a clean warm spot in your house. Stir every few hours for the next 24 hours. Four or five times should do it. Don't worry if the mixings aren't equally spaced apart just so long as there is about 5-6 hours between mixings. We are mixing it this many times not so much to develop more strength in the dough but because we want to expose more of the mixture to the air containing ambient yeast as well as spreading out yeast that has begun colonizing the mixture.

Tommorow I will update.

Erzsebet Gilbert's picture

The mystery of the ghost biscuit

October 18, 2009 - 10:55pm -- Erzsebet Gilbert

This isn't a problem - it's just a big conundrum to me, and I'm simply wondering whether anybody can solve it...

The other day, I asked my husband what sort of bread he'd like for me to make the most.  He said a regular loaf - but salty! extra salt!  So I warned him that salt can kill yeast, and at best we'd have a very slow rise, but he said he didn't care - just salty!  (For safety's sake I made another loaf, the same recipe but without extra salt, too!)

carrtje's picture

My three-day, rotational, Country White dough...and first attempt at blogging.

I bake this bread every third day or so, and it pretty much always turns out the same.  The original recipe is the basic white dough from Richard Bertinet's "Dough", which I absolutely love.  I stumbled upon this process one day by accident.  

I woke up early one Saturday and decided it was a good day for some fresh bread.  After mixing up the dough, and putting it in the oven to rise (I usually use the oven with the light on trick), my wife reminded me that we had to get ready to leave for the day...oops.  I slid the dough into an oiled plastic bag, and popped it into the refrigerator.  

Well, as we all know, life happens fast.  I kept remembering that dough ball in the fridge, but didn't seem to have time to bake it.  Finally, a few days later I had the crazy idea to use it like a starter.  I have since read that this isn't a crazy idea, but a pretty common one.  Now it's become my bread of choice.  Every few days I take the bag of dough out of the fridge, chop it into thirds, and make three batches of the original recipe, adding a third of the old dough to each.  I've even gone as far as a week and a half between baking, which makes a deliciously sour loaf!

A few days early, mix up this dough and stash it in an oiled bag in the refrigerator:

18 oz white bread flour

12.5 oz water

2 tsp kosher salt

1.5 tsp instant yeast


When you're ready to bake, here's what I do.

First, take your dough out of the refrigerator, and divide it by weight into three equal portions.  Take one portion, and cut it up into little strips or balls about an 1x1 inches.  The smaller it is, the easier it is to mix into the dough.  Measure out your water.  If the dough is really cold, I use pretty warm water.  Plop your old dough into the water and let it hang out while you measure out your other ingredients.  You end up making the recipe three times, so I like to get all the old dough in separate water portions, with three bowls of dry ingredients ready, too.

Old dough in water

I pour the first batch of water / old dough into the Kitchenaid bowl with the paddle attachment, and mix on low for a few minutes until it's pretty well homogeneous.

I mix the flour, salt, and yeast in a bowl by swirling it with the dough hook by hand.

Next, I pour the dry mixture on top, replace attachments with the dough hook, and turn the machine on to level 2 for two minutes.  If it doesn't seem to be picking up the flour as well as I like, sometimes I stop the machine, and scrape the bowl with the hook a few times.

After two minutes, I turn the machine up to level four for seven minutes.  Notice it's a nice, wet dough.

I turn the dough straight out onto a floured surface, and tri-fold it into a ball.  I put this in a floured bowl, and place in the oven until risen double.

After the first rise, I gently pull it into a square, and tri fold it again.  I put it back in the bowl, and rise it in the oven for a second time.

After this rise, I square it, and form the final loaf.  I put it on a floured tea-towel.  I put a 12 inch dutch oven, with lid in the oven and preheat it to 525F

Pretty much by the time the oven is pre-heated, I take the dutch oven out and set it on a cutting board.  I flop the dough into it, put the lid on, and put it back in the oven for 20 minutes.  

After 20 minutes, I remove the lid and bake for 15 more minutes, or until it's nice and golden brown.

Now, just do it again.  The third batch I bag up and save in the refrigerator for next time.

This bread makes really yummy, crispy toast.  We ate it just this afternoon as chicken salad sandwiches.  It's our all-purpose bread.


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