Basic Loaf

This recipe makes a very good basic loaf, but it is also infinitely flexible. You can make any number of breads, just by using different types of flour or adding herbs, nuts, cheese, olives, seeds, dried fruit and berries, or shape it into rolls.

Source: Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader’s Digest Canada


Servings Prep Time Cook Time Passive Time
1large round load (12 slices) 20minutes 35minutes 2hours rising
Servings Prep Time
1large round load (12 slices) 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
35minutes 2hours rising
Servings: large round load (12 slices)
Servings: large round load (12 slices)
  1. Sift the white and whole-wheat flours into a large bowl. Add salt. Stir in the dried yeast, then make a well in the centre and pour in the tepid water. Using your hands, gradually draw the flour into the water, mixing well to make a dough.
  2. Gather the dough into a ball that feels firm and leaves the sides of the bowl clean; if necessary, add a little more flour or a little more water.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  4. Turn out the risen dough onto a floured work surface and knock it back with your knuckles. Gently knead the dough into a neat ball shape, then place it on a large greased baking sheet. Cover with a damp dish towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size again.
  5. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC). Uncover the loaf and dust with a little whole-wheat flour, then make 4 slashes across the top with a small serrated knife. Bake for 35 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when removed from the sheet and tapped on the base.
  6. Transfer the loaf to a wire rack and cool completely before slicing. The basic loaf can be kept for up to 5 days.
Recipe Notes

Per slice: 192 calories, 7 g protein, 1 g total fat, 0.1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 38 g total carbohydrate, 0.3 g sugars, 4 g fibre, 204 mg sodium

Stone-ground flour is milled by traditional methods, which keep the wheat grains cool and thus preserve almost all the nutrients in the whole grain.