Making your own wholemeal bread
During the Covid-19 lockdown, we have had plenty of time to toy around with some recipes. As we were searching the cupboards for ingredients, we found a loaf of wholemeal bread that had been in there for about 2 weeks and there was no mould! We had a quick look at the ingredients, many of which we had never heard of! We Googled how to make bread and the ingredients were very simple… strong flour, yeast, salt and sugar. You can then add anything else you might fancy to make your loaf a little more exciting.
So what gives? We aren’t too keen on eating unnecessary preservatives and what sound like chemicals. It took some time, but we managed to get some strong wholemeal flour and some instant yeast. We tried some of the different recipes from online and they were all absolute fails. So we went ahead and combined some of the different recipes to make our very own version – this wholemeal loaf is the result! It’s not the most exciting loaf – but is definitely the best recipe we have tried so far. There will be more to follow once different types of flour become available again.
Quick disclaimer, if you have never made bread before, kneading the bread can be quite difficult, so please be patient. I have linked some useful videos from YouTube to demonstrate the kneading process, I used these to help me.
Richard Bertinet’s White Bread Masterclass
500g Strong wholemeal bread flour
2 tsp salt
3 tsp soft sugar
2 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp flax seed
1 tsp chia seed
350ml room temperature water
Mix ingredients with a whisk
Add the 350ml of water
Mix thoroughly with your hands and make sure you collect all the flour – this will be sticky!
Knead dough for a while on the surface, then fold into a round shape and leave to sit for 20 minutes – cover with a tea towel.
Add water to your hands and remove from the bowl, repeating the above step 3 times.
Once complete apply some plain flour to the surface and scrape out dough onto the side. Add a little flour to the top of the dough then proceed to remove some of the air by stretching and folding it into the shape of your baking tray. Place the bread into a lightly oiled baking tray seam side down and leave to rest/prove for an hour and a half.
20 minutes before placing the bread in the oven, preheat to 230C. Sprinkle a little plain flour on top of the dough that should have raised above the tray and spray the preheated oven with water before adding the dough. Leave the bread in the oven for 15 minutes and then turn down to 200C. Leave the dough in the oven for an additional 20 to 25 minutes and remove from the oven. Remove from the bread tray and leave to cool (approx. 30 minutes).
There you have a fantastic loaf of wholemeal bread that isn’t too crusty and is fluffy on the inside.
Recommendation for purchases – make sure you use a large bowl for mixing the bread and leaving it to rest. I would also suggest a dough cutter that you can also use to scrape the dough from your surfaces. This will save you time on your clean up!