Put the flour, yeast, sugar and salt into a large bowl and blend them together.
Stir in the water, and when everything looks craggy and lumpy, stir in the oil. Using your hands gather everything together into a doughy mass.
Knead the dough for 100 presses, in the bowl or on a work surface.
Cover the dough bowl with oiled cling film and leave it in a warm place, for the dough to double in size, which will take about an hour.
Brush oil around the inside of a 1kg/2lb loaf tin.
Knead the dough for another 100 presses.
Shape the dough and put it into your prepared tin.
Loosely cover the tin with the oiled cling film and leave it to rise in a warm place for 35 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven.
Bake the loaf for 40 minutes. You will know it’s done when the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
1kg/2lb loaf tin
220˚C, fan 200˚C, 425˚F, Gas 7
This recipe has been altered since I last printed it. It works perfectly with 300ml of water. I add a teaspoon of ascorbic acid for a lighter bake too, and leave to prove on the second time for another 5 minutes or so. You can also swap the sugar for a tablespoon of honey. For something different you can add more honey, dates and walnuts. Delicious either way.
By Rachel Ogden
13 Jul 2019
I have just baked the white loaf and I am very disappointed. The wholemeal baked beautifully and very light texture. As Sarah Ralph sid the dough was very wet so difficult to knead it. I will try it with the same quantity of water as the wholemeal loaf.
By Flat Top
06 Apr 2018
No domed top - just flat even when proving in loaf tin. Lovely crust. Lots of air bubbles, good taste but could have been a bit lighter.
Very sticky, runny dough which stayed like that even after required kneading time. Unable to shape before going into loaf tin. Proved for extra 15 mins once in tin (perhaps that was my mistake).
Would make again but do I need less water (have noticed brown spelt version uses 50mls less).
Any advice welcome.