Monday, 24 September 2012

White Bread with commercial yeast

Occasionally, despite enjoying the best bread baked using wild yeast, I fancy a loaf of white bread baked using commercial yeast. There are few things finer than a slice of this soft tender bread, almost hot from the oven spread with good quality unsalted butter and some home made jam; the current jam is gooseberry and ginger made a few weeks ago when gooseberries where in abundance.

I made gooseberry, gooseberry and elderflower and finally gooseberry and ginger, using glacé ginger. Each has it's merits and all have succeeded in winning me over to gooseberries.

Back to the bread, even if you decide to use commercial yeast, and for me that means easy blend yeast, the type you find in sachets that you can simply add to the other ingredients, it is possible to improve the final result greatly by simply slowing down the whole process. I make the dough last thing before going to bed and place it in an oiled polythene bag in the fridge. You need to be a little careful to position the bag so that the contents don't migrate in the fridge, because even at 5 degrees, the yeast will do it's work and the dough will rise a little.

In the morning, at some point simply take the dough out of the fridge, stretch and fold it a couple of times and put it back to keep cool. If I plan to bake around early evening, I take the dough out of the fridge early afternoon, I leave it to gradually come back to room temperature and shape it at least a couple of hours before baking. This process works well for all types of loaves, and pizza. Extending the process in this way improves not only the flavour and texture, but also the keeping qualities with virtually no extra hands on work.

To make two small loaves you will need:
600g of Strong white bread flour
1 packet of easy blend yeast
9g of salt
400 ml of cold water.

Mix all ingredients to form a soft by not sticky dough. Knead for a few minutes only before placing in a polythene bag that you have dribbled a teaspoon of oil into and squished together to line the bag with an oily film. This makes tipping the dough out easier. leave in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, tip the dough out onto a work surface and stretch & fold the dough a couple of times before returning it to the fridge.
Roughly 5 hours before needing to bake the bread, tip the dough out of the bag onto a work surface, stretch & fold a couple of times and leave covered with a tea towel to come back to room temperature. 2 hours before baking form the dough into two small loaves and leave to rise until double in size. heat the oven to 220 degrees C and bake the loaves for 25 minutes until golden, the loaves should produce a hollow sound when the base is tapped.


  1. maybe even I could have a go?!


    1. Absolutely! you should have a go, and believe me as long as you use water at room temperature and give your dough enough time to let the yeast do what it does best, feed, grow and produce carbon dioxide bubbles to make your bread light, you will be successful. Try the recipe above, it works perfectly well for rolls and pizza bases too. Tôbi.

  2. Tôbi's bred: The best either with commercial or wild yeast!

  3. how much yeast should
    i add in grams, please.i leave in US. found your blog and reading each recipe

    1. Hello and welcome, I am so pleased you are enjoying these recipes. A sachet of fast action yeast in the UK contains 7grams. Do get back to me if you have any further questions, happy baking, Tôbi.


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