To me, there’s nothing more satisfying than making your own bread. I find bread making very therapeutic and then there’s the smell you get. You just can’t beat the aroma of freshly baked bread. On occasion I like to introduce different flavours and textures to my bread and the following loaf has Nuts & Seeds to give an added crunch.
No one should be afraid to try making a loaf of bread, it has minimal ingredients and you do get a buzz from knowing “I made that”
Recipe: Makes 1 Loaf baked in 3lb Loaf Tin
I like to mix all my bread by hand but you can, if you wish mix yours in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
150g Strong Wholemeal Flour
7g Easy Bake Yeast
7g Sea Salt
60g Mixed Seeds. Bought already mixed from Lidl. (Sunflower, Pumpkin, Golden Linseed and Sesame)
50g chopped Walnuts
2Tbsp Coldpressed Rapeseed oil
1Tbsp Clear Runny Honey
325ml Tepid Water
In a large bowl, mix Both of the flours. Then add the yeast and salt to opposite sides of your bowl.
Then add the mixed seeds and nuts to your flours.
Mix the nuts and seeds through, then make a well in the centre and add the Rapeseed Oil and Honey.
Add 300ml water and with your fingers like a claw, mix thoroughly in the bowl until the sides of the bowl are clean. Slowly add the additional water into your mix.
When all the water is added, tip onto your work surface and knead for a good 10-15 minutes. Hold the bread with one hand and push the dough away from you with the heel of your other hand, rotate the dough and keep repeating this process until the dough is smooth.
To test my dough is ready, I use the “window pane test” which involves taking a piece of the dough and stretching it, until it is thin enough to see the light through. If your dough rips while doing this, knead it a little more.
Once it’s ready work your dough into a ball and place into an oiled bowl. Cover with oiled clingfilm and place in a warm room. Depending on temperature of the room, it may take between 1 and 2 hours to prove.
When you dough proves (doubled in size), knock it back by punching the air out of the dough.
Tip the dough back onto your bench, to shape for your tin. Stretch the dough into an oblong shape. I use my tin as a guide to get the size I need.
Take the top of shortest edge of the dough and fold a third over to the centre and then do the same with the bottom edge.
Once shaped, make sure the seam is on the bottom and tuck the ends under a little. Then place the dough into your tin and cover again. It will take around 45 mins to 1hr to prove.
As your bread proves, heat your oven to 240°C / 220°c fan / Gas mk9 Just before your Bread is ready to bake, place a tin with ice cubes on the bottom of the oven. This helps the Bread rise as it bakes and gives a great crust.
Place your tin in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 220°C / 200°C fan / Gas mark 7 and bake for 30 minutes.The bread should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom, this will indicate it is cooked
After 30 mins, I remove The bread from the tin and then place back into the oven for a further 5 minutes, as I like a crisp crust. I like the crackling sound from the bread when it’s first taken out of the oven. Its like the bread is singing.
stand the bread on a wire rack and allow to cool fully before storing, if it last that long.
The tin I used for this bread was bought after a recommendation from another great baker / blogger. Sammie Prior to this I used a shallow 2lb tin, which resulted in small slices of bread and a loaf that would have a muffin top. This gives nice big slices of bread.