Basic white rustic loaf recipe

By Kate Belcher

  1. Makes about a 750g loaf/12 slices
  2. Takes 15 minutes to make, 20-25 minutes to bake, plus proving
  3. Rating

This basic loaf is a cinch to make. It’s best eaten on the same day or used for toasting the following day. For delicious variations, go to How To... make bread in the Know How section.

tried and tested
Basic white rustic loaf


  1. 500g strong white bread flour, plus
  2. extra for dusting
  3. 1 tsp fine salt
  4. 7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
  5. 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing


  1. 1. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl. Stir in the yeast. Make a well in the centre and gradually mix in 300ml warm water and the oil until the dough comes together – add a dash more water if it seems dry.
  2. 2. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes, until smooth. Shape like a rugby ball and put onto an oiled, large baking sheet. Set aside in a warm place for 40 minutes or until doubled in size. This is known as proving or rising.
  3. 3. Preheat oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7. Make deep slashes with a sharp knife in the top of the dough and dust with flour. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until risen, golden and cooked. To test if it’s ready, tap the base of the loaf – it should sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack and slice to serve.

Nutritional info

Per slice: 155kcals, 1.6g fat (0.2g saturated), 4.2g protein, 33g carbs, 0.6g sugar, 0.4g salt


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December 12

I've made this loaf and variations of it a few times and it's always great, I want to make it for Christmas Day to go with my Parsnip, Bacon & Thyme Soup starter and to save time and hassle want to make the week before, freeze then re-heat on the day itself. However I’ve read many comments on various other sites about how to specifically freeze homemade bread. Do I have to do anything special? One site suggested wrapping while still slightly warm to keep in moisture?


October 25

Yes, you can freeze it for up to 3 months.

October 21

Is it possible to freeze the loaf once cooked? I've never made before but want to give it a go!

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