Easy Homemade White Bread: Mastering Mary Berry’s Classic Recipe

Ah, baking homemade white bread – there’s nothing quite like it! I’m excited to share my take on a classic white bread recipe, inspired by the simplicity and elegance of Mary Berry’s approach, but with my own twist.

Mary Berry White Bread Recipe Overview:

This recipe is a delightful journey into the world of bread-making, perfect for both beginners and seasoned bakers. It yields a beautifully fluffy and soft white bread, ideal for sandwiches or simply to enjoy with a slather of butter. The process takes about 2 to 3 hours, including rising time, and this recipe makes one large loaf.

The key to this recipe is patience and precision – bread-making is almost a science! But don’t worry, I’ll guide you through each step.

Ingredients

  • 750g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 60g unsalted soft butter
  • 18g fast-action dried yeast (about 3 sachets)
  • 3 tsp salt
  • Approximately 450ml tepid water (it should feel warm, like body temperature)
  • A bit of olive or sunflower oil, for greasing

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Flour Mixture: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and butter. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Add Yeast and Salt: On one side of the bowl, add the yeast. On the opposite side, add the salt (to prevent it from directly contacting the yeast, which can hinder the rising process).
  3. Combine: Gently stir all the ingredients together.
  4. Add Water: Gradually add the tepid water, mixing with your hand or a wooden spoon until you have a soft, but not sticky, dough.
  5. Knead the Dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
  6. First Rise: Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Take a damp cloth and cover the bowl with it. Now allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  7. Shape the Bread: Knock back the dough by gently kneading it again for a couple of minutes. Shape it into a round or a loaf shape, depending on your preference.
  8. Second Rise: Place the shaped dough onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover it with a clean tea towel. Leave to rise for another hour.
  9. Bake: Preheat your oven to 220°C (425°F). Bake the bread for 25–30 minutes. Meanwhile, it will be golden brown and will sound hollow when tapped underneath.
  10. Cool: Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Tips :

  • Water Temperature: Use tepid water – not too hot or cold – for the yeast.
  • Kneading: Spend about 10 minutes kneading the dough until it’s elastic.
  • Rising Spot: Let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free place.
  • Gently Deflate: After rising, gently press down the dough to deflate it.
  • Steam for Crust: For a crispy crust, add a pan of hot water to the oven when baking the bread.

Also Try: Mary Berry Venison Casserole Recipe

How To Store :

Storing homemade white bread properly is crucial to maintain its freshness and texture. Here are some tips for storing the bread:

  1. Cool Completely: Before storing, ensure the bread is completely cool. Storing it while it’s still warm can lead to moisture buildup, making it soggy.
  2. Wrap Tightly: Wrap the bread in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. This helps to keep air out and maintain its freshness.
  3. Room Temperature Storage: Store the wrapped bread at room temperature for up to 2-3 days. A bread box or a cupboard is ideal to protect it from direct sunlight and air.
  4. Refrigeration: While refrigerating homemade bread is not recommended as it can dry out quickly, if you must, wrap it tightly and consume it within a week.
  5. Freezing for Longer Shelf Life: For long-term storage, slice the bread and freeze it in airtight bags. Frozen bread can last for up to 3 months. Thaw slices as needed at room temperature or toast them directly from frozen.
  6. Revive Stale Bread: If the bread becomes stale, you can briefly heat it in the oven at 150°C (300°F) for about 5-10 minutes to refresh it.
  7. Remember, homemade bread doesn’t contain preservatives like store-bought bread, so it won’t last as long. It’s best enjoyed within a few days of baking.

Related: Mary Berry Raspberry Jam Recipe

Nutritional Value (per slice, approx 15 slices)

Calories: 180

Carbohydrates: 36g

Protein: 5g

Fat: 2g

Sodium: 390mg

Fiber: 1g

FAQs

Can I use regular all-purpose flour instead of strong bread flour?

While you can, strong bread flour is recommended for its higher protein content, which helps develop gluten for a better rise and texture.

Why do you add salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl?

Direct contact between salt and yeast can deactivate the yeast. Keeping them separate initially ensures proper yeast activation.

How do I know if my dough has risen enough?

The dough should double in size. You can gently poke it with a finger – if the indentation remains, it’s ready.

Can I add other ingredients like seeds or nuts?

Absolutely! Add them during the kneading process for even distribution.

My bread didn’t rise. What went wrong?

This could be due to expired yeast, incorrect water temperature, or not enough rising time. Ensure your yeast is active and the rising environment is warm.

Conclusion

Making your own bread can be immensely satisfying. This recipe, with its soft interior and golden crust, is a testament to the joys of home baking. Remember, each loaf you bake will teach you something new, so enjoy the process and happy baking!

White Bread Recipe Mary Berry

Mary Berry White Bread Recipe

Total Time 3 hours
Course Breakfast
Cuisine British
Servings 1 Large Loaf
Calories 180 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 750 g strong white bread flour plus extra for dusting
  • 60 g unsalted soft butter
  • 18 g fast-action dried yeast about 3 sachets
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 450 ml Tepid water it should feel warm, like body temperature
  • A bit of olive or sunflower oil for greasing

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the Flour Mixture: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and butter. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  • Add Yeast and Salt: On one side of the bowl, add the yeast. On the opposite side, add the salt (to prevent it from directly contacting the yeast, which can hinder the rising process).
  • Combine: Gently stir all the ingredients together.
  • Add Water: Gradually add the tepid water, mixing with your hand or a wooden spoon until you have a soft, but not sticky, dough.
  • Knead the Dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
  • First Rise: Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Take a damp cloth and cover the bowl with it. Now allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  • Shape the Bread: Knock back the dough by gently kneading it again for a couple of minutes. Shape it into a round or a loaf shape, depending on your preference.
  • Second Rise: Place the shaped dough onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Cover it with a clean tea towel. Leave to rise for another hour.
  • Bake: Preheat your oven to 220°C (425°F). Bake the bread for 25–30 minutes.Meanwhile it will be golden brown and will sound hollow when tapped underneath.
  • Cool: Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

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