Easy Wholemeal Bread
Easy Wholemeal Bread: a super easy and basic wholemeal loaf <3
I LOVE bread! I feel like I had to make that declaration before going on to talk more about bread. Making bread at home seems to quite popular at the moment and if you’ve found yourself with some bread flour then this is the easy simple recipe you’re looking for. I promise you baking bread is not as scary as it might seem!
To make bread at home you need a few simple ingredients and then the science of baking takes over to do the work for you. You’ll need strong wholemeal bread flour (or you can use strong white bread flour!), fast action dried yeast, salt and water. Yes that really is all you need.
I love making bread by hand and really feeling the dough change as you knead it and then glorious smell when the yeast begins to work its magic. Essentially making bread relies on providing the yeast with the perfect conditions to really get going so that means using lukewarm water to make the dough. You should be able to dip your finger into the water and the temperature be comfortable. Always put your yeast at the opposite side of the bowl to the yeast as they do not play well together. Follow these simple tips and you’re sure to have a delicious loaf to show for it.
To really get a crust on the top of your loaf the trick is to incorporate some steam into the oven when baking. I usually use a spare cake tin and fill half with water and place on the bottom of the oven before I put the bread in. The steam from the water evaporating in the oven will give you a great crust!
Once you’ve mastered this easy and simple wholemeal loaf you can start experimenting with adding additional seeds and flavours to suit you. I love slashing the top open a little and drizzling over some honey with a sprinkle of dessicated coconut… delicious!!
- 500g strong wholemeal bread flour
- 7g fast action dried yeast
- 10g salt
- 300ml lukewarm water
- Place the flour into a large bowl, add the yeast to one side of the bowl and the salt to the other. Make a well in the centre of the flour and add half the water. Mix with your hands and bring together into a dough. Add little amounts of water at a time as you may not need it all. You’re aiming for all the dough to come together and not be too sticky. If it has all come together and you have water leftover don’t worry!
- Turn the dough out onto a surface with a little flour. Knead for 10 minutes. You can check it’s been kneaded enough if when pressed with your knuckle it starts to bounce back or when a small ball of dough can stretch so you can see light through it (this is the window pane test).
- Place the dough into a clean bowl that has been greased with a little oil. Cover with cling film. Allow to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size. Be patient here and allow the dough to rise for as long as it needs to double in size.
- Once risen take the dough out the bowl and knock back. This literally means hitting the dough to knock some of the air out. Shape the dough into a round and place into a baking tin. I’ve shaped mine into a circle and used an 8 inch round tin. You can use a 2lb loaf tin as well.
- Allow to rise again in the tin covered in cling film for about 45 minutes. This time to check it’s ready when gently pressed it should spring back quickly. Pre-heat the oven to 200C fan/220C.
- Place a spare baking tin filled halfway with water in the pre-heated oven.
- Uncover the bread once ready and bake in the oven on the middle shelf for 30 – 40 minutes. Check after 30 minutes to see if crusted on top and when tapped on the bottom it sounds hollow, if it does then it’s ready. It should have coloured nicely on top, a slight golden tone.
- Allow to cool before slicing. You can freeze at this point in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.
Happy Bread Baking!!