1Tablespoonsoftened butter(to brush on the baked loaf)
Activate the yeast - Add 1 cup of the water to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl and whisk in the sugar and yeast. Leave it to sit for 5 minutes or so until it starts to bubble and foam.
Make the dough - Add the flour and salt to the yeast mixture and start to combine with the dough hook on your mixer or with a wooden spoon if making by hand. Slowly add the remaining ½ cup water as needed to make a dough. You want the dough to be slightly tacky and sticking to the bottom of the bowl but clearing the sides when kneading.
Knead the dough - Knead for 7 minutes using the dough hook on your stand mixer on low speed, or for 10 minutes by hand on a lightly floured bench, until the dough is smooth, soft and bounces back when pressed gently.
First rise - Leave the dough in the mixing bowl or place back in the large bowl, cover with a clean tea towel film and put in a warm, draught free place to rise until approximately doubled in size, around 1 hour.
Shape the loaf - Grease the loaf tin with non stick cooking spray, oil or butter. Punch the dough down to release the air and then gently tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Flatten it into a rectangle the length of the loaf tin and fold in half lengthways and tuck in the ends. I repeat this process 2 or 3 times until I have a smooth loaf with tightly tucked in ends. Transfer the loaf, seam side down into the loaf tin.
Second rise - Loosely cover the loaf again with the same tea towel or greased gladwrap and put it in the same warm place to rise until it has doubled in size again, is round on top and just over the top of the loaf tin. It is ready when the loaf will resist slightly when you gently press down with your finger but will still spring back into shape. This step will take about 45 minutes. Once you have left this to rise, pre-heat your oven to 190°C.
Bake the bread - Bake for 25 minutes and then remove the loaf from the oven and brush the top with softened or melted butter, letting it drip down the sides into the loaf tin. Place the loaf tin back in the oven and continue baking for a further 5-10 minutes until the loaf is golden brown on the top, bottom and sides and sounds hollow when you tap the bottom. If you have an instant read thermometer, you are looking for an internal temperature of 88°C/190°F.
Remove from the oven and tip the loaf out of the tin and cool on a wire cooling rack before slicing and serving.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days or slice and freeze the loaf.
To make bread rolls After the first rise, punch the dough down and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll into balls and place side by side in a greased baking tray, leaving about a 2cm gap between rolls. Allow to rise, covered, for 45 minutes then bake at 190°C for 15 minutes, brush with melted butter and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until golden brown