Home » basic » Basic loaf: Nigella Lawson (Thu 11.02)

Basic loaf: Nigella Lawson (Thu 11.02)

“The essential white loaf” from “How to be a domestic goddess” by Nigella Lawson.


  • 500 g white bread flour
  • 15 g fesh yeast
  • 1 tablespoon salt (far too much according to me 9 g or about 1 teaspoon used)
  • 300 ml warm tap water or potato water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

The recipe encourages the use of old potato water as liquid. Alternative is water with 1 tabespoon of instant mash. Used the last option.


1. Put flour, salt and yeast in a bowl. Use to mix the salt with the flour first, do not add fesh yeast directly on the salt. Pour in 200 ml water and start mixing. “be prepared to add more water”. The amount of water needed depends highly on the type of flour, this makes exact measures indeed useless to a certain point. But 200 ml water on 500 flour seems certainly too low. 300 ml is a good starting value.

Mix to a “shaggy mess” and add the butter.


Start kneading for at least 10 minutes. At max I did 3-5. Dough becomes smooth and silky.


Return to a clean bowl, and leave to rise for 2 hours. Interesting alternative with an overnight rise. Took the 2 hours option, but the dough doubled within 55 minutes.

2. Knock down the dough

Form into a loaf and put on a baking sheet.

Leave to rise for half an hour to an hour. Seemed OK to me after 50 minutes.

3. Bake in a preheated oven at 220 C for 35 minutes. Check if done by tapping underneath. I don’t understand the recipes starting to pre-heat the oven before the final forming of the loaf. Mine only takes about 15 minutes and not 60.

Nice recipe, good bread, works well. Too much salt to be healthy imo.

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