This is a basic white bread that has countless uses.
Yield: 1 large loaf
3 cups bread flour
1½ tsp instant yeast
1¼ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
1 2/3 cups tepid water, as needed
9 × 5 in (23 × 13cm) loaf pan
1. Stir the flour, yeast, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the oil. Stir in as much of the water as needed to make a soft dough.
2. Knead on a lightly floured work surface about 8 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Shape into a ball. Turn into a large oiled bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place about 1 hour, or until doubled in volume.
3. Oil and flour the inside of a 9 × 5in (23 × 13cm) loaf pan, and tap out the excess flour. Punch down the dough. Shape it into a rough rectangle to fit the pan and place in the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand about 30 minutes, or until almost doubled in volume.
4. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Dust the top of the loaf with flour. Cut a shallow slash down the center of the loaf. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C) and bake for 20 minutes more until the loaf sounds hollow when removed from the pan and tapped on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
Freeze for up to 3 months Good with butter and jam or marmalade for breakfast, or to make a tasty sandwich.