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Bread Ahead's overnight white bread recipe

Because nothing tastes better than freshly baked bread – especially in lockdown

1y ago

Calling all bread lovers! The talented team at London's Bread Ahead have let us in on a delicious little secret – their overnight white loaf recipe. And lucky for you aspiring bakers out there, it's simple enough to be made from home.

Want to have a go at baking your very own white loaf, Bread Ahead-style? Then follow the instructions below and just wait for those delicious bready aromas to start filling the air!

Bread Ahead's overnight white bread

Plan ahead and make some bread.


  • Day 1: 80g strong white bread flour
  • 2g fine sea salt
  • 2g fresh yeast
  • 50ml cold water
  • Day 2: 370g strong white bread flour
  • 6g salt
  • Ferment mixture (from day 1)
  • 4g fresh yeast
  • 230ml cold water


Day 1: Ferment

  1. Place the flour and salt in a bowl and combine.
  2. In another bowl, add the yeast to the water, then mix until dissolved.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the liquid. Mix together.
  4. Cover and leave at room temperature for 2 hours, then place in the fridge for 12-24 hours.

Day 2

  1. Place the flour and salt in a bowl and combine.
  2. In another bowl, add the ferment and yeast to the water and mix.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the liquid. Gently bring the dough together.
  4. Once the dough starts coming together, take it out of the bowl and place it on your work surface. Don’t add any flour.
  5. With the heel of your hand, push the dough into the table and stretch and tear for about 8 minutes. Your dough will become nice and elasticated and have a velvety feel.
  6. Form your dough into a round and place it back in the bowl. Cover and leave for 1-2 hours at room temperature.
  7. You now need to take your dough out of the bowl. This will gently knock back your dough releasing some of the gas that has built up, encouraging the remainder of the yeast to start working a bit faster.
  8. Pre-shape your dough into a loose round shape, then cover and leave to rest for a good 10 minutes.
  9. Get your proving basket/tin ready. If you’re using a basket, dust it heavily with flour; if you’re using a tin, lightly oil it.
  10. Shape your dough as desired and place it into the proving basket/tin. Cover and leave to prove at room temperature for 1-2 hours. You can tell when your bread is ready by gently pushing your finger into the dough. If it springs back nicely, it’s ready – but if it leaves an indent, it isn't!
  11. Place a baking stone (or overturned tray) into the oven and preheat it to 250°C/fan 230°C/gas mark 9 (or as hot as your oven will go).
  12. If you proved your bread in a basket, dust a baker’s peel (or an overturned tray) with semolina or flour and upturn the proving basket on the centre of the tray. Then, with a razor or a sharp serrated knife, score your bread. If you proved your bread in a tin, you can score it down the middle or just leave it as it is. If you proved your bread in a basket, slide it from the peel to the baking stone in the oven; otherwise, if you baked in a tin, place the tin on one of the racks in the oven. Spritz all around the oven chamber with a water spray.
  13. Bake your loaf for a good 30 minutes, turning once. When it’s ready, your bread should have a nice golden crust and a hollow sound when you tap the bottom. If you had your bread in a tin it will take an extra 5 minutes to bake. Allow to cool and enjoy!

Recipe by

Bread Ahead

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