Crusty Wholemeal Bread

Yes, bread is available in supermarkets, but take a look at the ingredients… Do you really know that you are eating stabilisers, E numbers and countless preservatives that are not necessary? Making bread at home is really not a laborious effort and tastes sooo much better. This loaf uses wholemeal flour, which makes it solid and amazing toasted with salty butter.

Crusty Wholemeal Bread

You need:
•500g/1lb 1oz wholemeal flour (I use malthouse)
•7g dried fast-action yeast
•1 tsp salt
•up to 350ml/12 fl oz warm water
•a couple of handfuls of seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, linseed – whichever you like)
+ some olive oil

1) Mix the flour, yeast and salt together and add the water bit by bit, until the dough comes together. Knead for 10 minutes either by hand or using a dough hook attachment. Leave to prove for about an hour, put on the kettle and read a good book.

2) Knead the dough again for 2-3 minutes, then shape into a baguette and massage the oil over the dough (remember dough is like a baby – it needs love). Leave to prove for another 30 minutes and watch an episode of Miranda to banish the depression of rain.

3) Slash the top of the bread (not too angrily) with a sharp knife, either in artistic crosses, stars, or just plain slashes! Bake the bread for 15 minutes at 220°C/200°C fan and then for another 30 minutes at 190°C/170°C fan. Cool on a cooling rack and eat for breakfast, with soup or make a cheese and pickle sandwich.

The bread will keep for a couple of days – I just wrap it in a tea towel and keep it in the bread cupboard, but you might have a fancy bread bin (why is it called a bin? One musn’t chuck the heavenly loaf away), so keep it in there. I will put some more bread recipes up, but don’t be scared to make good homemade bread, and if it goes wrong the first time – practise, practise, practise! x

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