to your Favourites...
This lovely rustic loaf makes a great sandwich/toast and is rather good for you too. The long ferment time really adds to the depth of flavor in the bread and it has time to break down certain elements in the flour which aids digestion.
- For the starter:
- 300g wholemeal flour
- 5g dried yeast (we recommend Doves Farm Quick Yeast)
- 275ml warm water
- For the bread:
- 300g wholemeal flour
- 15g salt
- 40g butter
- 225ml warm water
Preparation Time: 24 hours starter, 2 hours dough
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 2 medium sized loaves
- First, make the starter by putting the flour and yeast into a large mixing bowl. (If your yeast needs activating in water, follow the instructions on the packet and subtract whatever water you need to use from the 275ml water listed above. Then add it with the rest of the water in stage 2.)
- Mix them together, then pour in the warm water and mix it all together until it is completely combined.
- Stretch a piece of cling-film/plastic-wrap over the bowl and leave it to develop somewhere at room temperature for 24 hours (it should triple in size). This is known as the starter.
- The next day, weigh all the other ingredients for the dough into a bowl and add the starter to it.
- Mix it all together so it has combined to an even mass. Leave it for 10 minutes to develop.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it gently into a ball. Lightly oil the inside of the mixing bowl and then place the dough back into the bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a piece of cling-film/plastic-wrap and leave it to prove at room temperature for about 1 hour, until it has doubled in size.
- Tip the dough out of the bowl and gently deflate with your hands into a rough rectangle.
- Fold in the edges so they are neat and straight.
- Using your thumbs start rolling the dough towards you sealing the dough seam as you go.
- When you come to the end of the dough press the seam down firmly with your thumbs to create a seal.
- Roll the newly shaped loaf over so that its seal side is underneath.
- Place the loaves onto an oiled baking tray ready for the oven. Dust with a little flour and diagonally score the tops with a serrated knife.
- Heat the oven to 230°c.
- Leave the loaves to rise again at room temperature, when the loaves have doubled in size they are ready to bake. Carefully transfer them to the oven and bake them for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven temperature down to 200°c and continue to bake the loaves for 30 minutes.
- When they are cooked, remove the loaves from the oven, place them onto a cooling rack and allow them to completely cool to room temperature.
- When they are cool, slice and enjoy.
- The starter is essential for ensuring enough gluten has developed in the dough (because the gluten content of wholemeal flour is lower than that of white bread flour). If this is not produced, the loaf will flow more during baking and will not have that characteristic bloomer style shape. This process also starts to break down enzymes present in the flour releasing their nutritional benefits. The flavour is also greatly enhanced from this process because, as it ferments, the yeast releases alcohol in very small amounts (not enough to get drunk on) and produces an acidity, giving the bread a greater depth of flavour.