Wholemeal Bread

 

Gemmas' Wholemeal Bread

Bread has always been my Achilles Heel.  For me it has always been bread – first, last and always.

 Sadly, it was also the food which I was least skilled at making until the lovely Gemma taught me how to make this bread when I was 18.  I have never forgotten it and make it still. Thank you.

350 grams strong bakers flour

 

100 grams wholemeal bakers flour

1 teaspoon of salt (no more or it kills the yeast!)

30 grams of fresh yeast

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ a tablespoon dark brown sugar

360mls warm water

Pre-heat oven to 180°C.

 

Crumble the fresh yeast into a small bowl with the sugar with a little bit of the warm water.  Place bowl in a warm spot and allow yeast to bubble up and grow for at least 10-15 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, salt then add yeast mix all at once.  Use a butter knife to cut through the dough and to combine it, slowly adding the remaining water and oil.  Ensure all ingredients are well combined – the dough is slightly wetter than you may expect – that is ok!  Don't be tempted to dry it out with additional flour.

 

Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface  for 10 minutes until it is soft, warm and pliable (think fleshy). 

Clean your mixing bowl and wash it in hot water to warm it through, then grease it very lightly with olive oil.  Add your dough to the mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise in a lovely warm spot for at least 20 minutes.

 

Once risen, give your bread dough a little punch then knead again for 5-10 minutes.  If you wish, additional flavourings (like seeds, whole grains etc) can be worked in at this stage.

Gemma's Wholemeal BreadAdd dough to a high sided loaf tin and cut through the top with a bread knife – running the blade right down into the dough.  Brush the top of the loaf with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle over some of the wholemeal flour.  Leave to rise for another 20 minutes – it should be a proud little fellow by then and ready to cook.

Bake for  35-45 minutes or until desired crust colour is achieved (I prefer a darker, crispier crust).

To test if your loaf is cooked, tap the bottom of the cooked loaf, it should sound hollow and smell like warm toast.

Just try not to eat the whole loaf with oodles of butter in the first five minutes after comes out the oven...