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The easiest way to make your own bread (without a bread maker!)

I like making my own bread and I usually use my ‘magic’ live bread starter, leaving the dough to slowly rise for up to 48 hours. It’s an easy process, but you must be well organised so you always have a bread supply whenever you need it. This level of organisation, however, often belongs in the ideal world! It almost never happens in the real world of busy working mums. And so, I often need bread ‘pronto’. That’s when I make this super quick recipe, using instant yeast, for a great last-minute loaf. Apart from water, you only need three simple ingredients and it takes less than 5 minutes to make the dough, about an hour and a half to rise, and 40 minutes to cook. In other words – a little effort and a little time for the satisfaction of fresh, handmade bread!


  • 500 g of strong bread flour (you can use any bread flour, I love the seeded one!)
  • 7 g of instant yeast
  • a pinch of salt
  • 300 ml of lukewarm water

Using olive oil, grease well a 900 g loaf tin. Make the dough by tipping the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl and making a well in the middle. Pour in the lukewarm water and use a mixer with a dough hook to mix the flour and water until combined to a pillowy and workable dough.

Place the dough in the oiled tin, cover with a clean cotton tea towel and leave to rise until doubled in size. Once risen, dust the top of the loaf with a little flour and slash the top with a sharp knife. Cover again with the tea towel and leave to prove for about 30 minutes. In the meantime, heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Bake for 40 minutes, then leave it on a wire rack to cool completely. The loaf will stay fresh in an airtight container for 3 days or can be frozen.

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