White bread

White bread

Scandinavian Baking
2 loaves
Columbus Leth

For centuries, 100 per cent white wheat bread was for the rich, while darker bread was for peasants. That has all changed now. As we know, there is a lot of really bad white bread around, while many people prefer something with a bit more taste and fibre. I love white bread, but I could not live on it alone. When I was growing up, it was a treat. You had to eat your rye bread before you could have any white bread!


Quantity Ingredient
200ml Wheat-rye biga
or 200ml Wholemeal biga
800ml lukewarm water
20g fresh yeast
900g strong white flour, plus more to dust
20g salt


  1. Mix the biga and water, crumble in the yeast, then add the flour and salt. Mix really well, using either a food processor fitted with a dough hook, or a wooden spoon. The dough is quite sticky, but knead it on a floured work surface anyway, using a dough scraper to help. Return it to the bowl, cover with cling film and leave it to rise at room temperature for two or three hours, or until doubled in size.
  2. Take the dough and knead again on a floured work surface: use a folding technique for your kneading, folding the dough towards the middle and, at the same time, turning the dough around clockwise. Then flip it over, tuck the ends underneath and form it into two round, tight, smooth balls. Put on a work surface to rest for 30 minutes, in a warm place, covered with a tea towel.
  3. Preheat the oven to 240°C, or as hot as your oven will go. Place a baking stone or a sturdy, heavy-based baking sheet lined with baking parchment inside. With a razor blade or a sharp knife, cut a cross or slash in the top of the bread. Spray water into the oven to create steam inside. Place the breads on the baking stone or lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 200°C and bake for another 25–30 minutes. If you can only fit one of the breads on the baking stone at a time, cook the loaves one after another.
  4. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
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