Tuesday, 14 January 2014

| Classic | Wholewheat bread loaf | 14 January 2014 |

Makes 1 large loaf | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Unattended proving time: 1
hour 15 minutes | Baking time: 40–45 minutes

What you’ll need:

750g wholewheat bread flour, plus a little extra for dusting
15g fast-action dried yeast
1 tsp salt
1–2 Tbsp olive oil
450ml lukewarm water

What to do:
1. Add the flour to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your electric mixer with the dough hook
attachment in place.

2. Add the yeast to the one side of your mixing bowl and the salt to the other. The salt can
damage the yeast if they have too much direct contact.

3. Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Slowly drizzle in about half of the water and mix until the mixture starts
to form a rough dough. Continue adding in more water until all of the flour is incorporated, the
sides of the bowl are clean and you have a workable dough.

4. Knead for 7–10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic and when rolled into a ball it
springs back if you gently press it with your finger.

5. Rub the dough with a little olive oil and place it into a bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and
leave to rise until approximately double in size, this will take about 45 minutes to an hour.

6. Remove your dough from the bowl, lightly flour your work surface and gently press out the air
using the heel of your hand (this is called ‘knocking back’ the dough). Give your dough a quick
second kneading.

7. Form the dough into a rough loaf shape, folding it into thirds. Place the dough into a lightly
greased large loaf tin, fold side down, and leave to prove again for a further 45 minutes to an
hour, covered with a tea towel. About halfway through this time, preheat your oven to 200ºC.

8. Gently flour the surface of your loaf and add two or three slashes with a very sharp knife
(optional) then place the loaf tin in the oven. Then to the bottom of your oven add a handful of
ice cubes to a shallow oven tray. The ice cubes will release steam and give your dough a good
rise and your loaf a nice crispy crust.

9. Bake for 40–45 minutes, or until the loaf makes a hollow knocking sound when tapped on the
underside with your knuckles.

The bread can also be made in a free-form loaf, placed on a floured baking tray and baked as per the
instructions above. For a slightly smaller loaf, use 500g flour; 10g yeast; 300ml lukewarm water; 1 tsp
salt and 1 Tbsp olive oil.

© Recipe copyright of Sarah Graham

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