Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Wholemeal Loaf

Okay, so posts are not being done as quickly as I would like right now.  I started my post-grad course last week and it has already gotten slightly on top of me.  I think it's mainly due to not having so much to do in a long time and hopefully once I get used to it I won't be quite so overwhelmed.  That's the theory anyway.  Knowing my luck I'll get to grips with things and then lose them all when I go out on placement late October.

Anyway, there are still three posts, including this one, to get done from the birthday weekend.  I want to try and get them all done by the end of the month since they are August bakes.  I like to avoid posting about something in a different month to the one it was made in.  For the most part I manage it.  So, continuing on from where I left off, today's post is about bread!

Bread may seem an odd thing to be a birthday bake but the fiancĂ© loves bread.  Thus I decided to make him a little loaf of wholemeal bread to accompany his birthday tea of tomato soup and onion bhajis (he's not that keen on white bread).  Half ended up being eaten with said tea and the rest became toast for the two mornings afterwards.

For a change, I did not have to resort to my favoured bread book.  I found a great recipe in a different one that worked out really well.  Nice and simple and the end product was great.  I admit, I was a bit on edge due to my last adventure baking bread and was worrying about it being raw inside right up until it was finally cut open.  Turns out it was fine.  The fiancĂ© thought it was really delicious. 

Recipe - adapted from The Baking Book
Makes 1 x 1lb loaf

  • 115g/4oz strong plain white flour
  • 225g/8oz strong plain wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp fast-action dried yeast
  • 225ml/8fl.oz warm water
  • Vegetable oil for greasing
  1. Sift the white flour into a large bowl.
  2. Add in the wholemeal flour, salt, sugar and yeast and mix together.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add most of the warm water.
  4. Stir together and then use your hands to shape into a soft dough.  If you need to, add some of the remaining water.
  5. Knead the dough for 10-15 minutes until it is smooth.  
  6. Grease a bowl with oil, shape the dough into a ball and place inside.  Cover with a clean cloth or clingfilm and leave to rise for about two hours, or until doubled in size. 
  7. Grease a 1lb loaf tin with oil.
  8. Punch the dough down on a floured surface and shape into a loaf.  Press into the oiled tin, cover and then leave to rise for another 30-60 minutes an hour.
  9. Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8 and bake the loaf for 15 minutes.  Then turn the oven down to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until the bread has risen and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped.
  10. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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