As promised here is Stefan's recipe for a wholegrain bread.It doesn't take that much hands-on time, the secret is lies in letting it rest and prove long enough. So you need to be making it on a day/afternoon you plan to be pottering around at home. The second secret is kneading the dough when mixing - this is easy peasy if you have a good kitchen mixer, if you don't have one it takes a little longer but your reward is a good therapeutic work-out toning you arms and upper body. We also use local flour from The Oxford Bread Group, and we can highly recommend it! We get flour delivered to our local hub every other week, but the main thing they do is delivery of bread.
This recipe makes three big loafs.
3 1/2 dl boiling water
180 g wholegrain rye
70 g wholegrain wheat
70 g sunflower seeds
50 g sesame seeds
50 g flax seeds
1 liter water - it needs to be fairly warm about 30C
1100 g strong white flour
150 g strong brown flour
150 g rye flour (sometimes we use oat flour instead)
40 g sea salt
25 g fresh yeast (if you can't get fresh yeast use dry yeast)
- Step 1: Place all the ingredients in step one in a bowl and pour over the boiling water. This helps the seeds blend in better with the dough and keeps it nice and moist. Cover the bowl and let is cool down. Stefan often does this the evening before or in the morning before he goes to the library.
- Step 2: Mix all the ingredients - including the seed mix in a big bowl, but keep about 1 dl of water back for later in the kneading process. Start kneading the dough at slow speed for about 4 min(7 min if hand-mixing) and then increase the speed and knead for another 5 min (8 min if hand-mixing). When you have increased the speed slowly add the rest of the water. The dough is ready kneaded when it is subtle and has a shine to it. When you stretch it, it should give you nice long strings of dough. This means that the gluten is doing its job and that you bread will rise nicely. By the way the dough is probably wetter and looser than what you are normally used to, this is how it is supposed to be so don't panic.
- Cover your dough with a clean tea towel and place in a warmish place, or at least out of the draft. (During winter we fill our sink with hot water and place the bowl on a baking tray on top of the sink)Let you lovely dough rest for about 1 1/2 hour while you get on with your life.
- Lightly dust your counter top with flour, 'pour' out your dough and divide it into 3 chunks and let them rest for 20-30 min on the counter top. Just enough time to wash up the bowl and have a cup of tea! Shape the 3 lumps of dough into loafs and place them in bread tins (that you have gently brushed with oil). Brush your loafs with lukewarm water and sprinkle on some seeds if you like.
- Let the loafs prove until they have doubled in size (again covering them loosely with a tea towel and leaving them in a comfy place). This might take 1 - 2 hours. Put you oven on 220C while the loafs are proving. When they have risen, bake them on the lowest section of the oven for about 30-45 min. They are done when they are lovely and golden and sound hollow when you give them a tap. Take them out of their tins and cool them on a rack.
- Enjoy while still slightly warm with butter and lovely jam!