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Simple wholemeal

Back to basics this week in the kitchen.  After all the fancy-schmancy cakes of the last few weeks, we’re back to where it all started with a nice simple loaf. Everyone who stays in our Airbnb gets one of these beautiful loaves, freshly baked, along with half a dozen eggs, milk and other basic supplies. In this video, we’ll take you through step-by-step how we make this perennial favourite.

Using a pre-ferment really helps to develop the flavour and some careful shaping of the dough before it goes into the tin ensures we get a nice traditional ‘humped’ shape. This loaf is incredibly easy to make at home and you should certainly give it a try, you won’t be disappointed!

Ingredients

For the pre-ferment
250g  Strong white flour
330g  Water
10g     Fresh yeast

For the main dough
100g  Strong white flour
150g  Wholemeal flour
10g   Sea salt
15g   Rapeseed oil
and all of the pre-ferment

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Method

For the pre-ferment

  1. Place the flour in a bowl. Crumble the yeast into the water and whisk to combine. Pour on top of the flour and stir vigorously with a spoon to fully combine to a smooth batter.
  2. Cover the bowl with cling film (food wrap) and leave to stand for 2-hours in the kitchen. After 2-hours the dough will have bubbled up and increased in size. It should smell amazing! Alternatively, you can do the pre-ferment overnight for about 8-10 hours. If so, it should be placed in the fridge.

Method (Continued)

For the main dough

  1. Weigh the flours into the bowl of the stand mixer along with the salt. Briefly mix together the dry ingredients with a spoon and then, using a spatula, scrape the pre-ferment mixture into the stand mixer bowl on top of the flour mixture.
  2. Mix on a slow speed with a dough hook until the mixture comes together. Then increase to a medium-fast speed for 7-minutes. Add about half of the oil and continue to mix on a medium-fast speed for about 2-minutes or until the oil is absorbed. Add the remaining oil and mix for a further 2-minutes until absorbed.
  3. Turn the dough out, using a scraper if required, onto a lightly oiled surface and shape into a ball. Place the ball into a lightly oiled bowl and leave to rise for about 2-hours by which time it should have doubled in size.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a ball. Turn the ball over and flatten out to about 1inch thick. Bring the sides into the middle and press down to create a strong spine. Roll the dough between your fingers into the centre to make a sausage shape and pinch to seal. Place the dough in a lightly-oiled, straight-sided 2lb loaf tin. (We use a Pullman tin without the lid).
  5. Cover with cling film (food wrap) and leave it to do its second rise for about 2-hours in a warm kitchen. Remove the cling film and replace with a tea-towel or linen cloth for the last 30-minutes of the rise to avoid the dough sticking.
  6. Preheat the oven to 220℃ for at least 30mins before baking.
  7. Put the loaf in the oven and immediately spray water inside liberally with a spray bottle to create steam. Quickly shut the door and turn the oven down to 200℃. Set your timer for 30 minutes.
  8. Once the 30 mins have passed, take the loaf out of the oven and tip it out of the tin and place on a rack to cool. After a couple of hours to cool you can slice and enjoy.

Watch us make this on YouTube

Recipe

Download the recipe as a PDF.

Simple wholemeal loaf×
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Simple wholemeal