Sunday, 22 January 2012

Ever Reliable Wholemeal Bread

We all need a reliable wholemeal bread recipe and this one does the trick. It uses a mixture of white and stoneground flour to create a palatable wholemeal loaf. The crust is tasty but not too hard or chewy, it slices well and body of the loaf is soft and tasty. Remember that when making bread the dough should be fairly soft, if necessary add a little more water, otherwise your finished loaf will be hard.

Makes 12 medium sized rolls and a 1lb loaf

1 lb stone ground flour
1 lb plain flour
½tsp salt
2oz butter (I used Clover)
1oz fresh yeast (refer to Tip of the Week dated 17/09/11 regarding yeast if you don’t know how to source this)
1tsp sugar
1 pint water (tepid)

- Place the two flours in a large bowl and mix well. Rub in the butter and place the bowl in a warm place.
- Cream the yeast and sugar and add half the tepid liquid. Leave in a warm place.
- Make a well in the flour and add the yeast and enough water to give a rather soft dough. 
- Knead well, then put to rise till it doubles in size. 

- Knock back and re-knead. Just under half of the dough should be shaped and placed into the 1lb loaf tin. The remaining dough should be shaped into 12 equal sized rolls and placed onto baking sheets. Ensure the baking sheets have first been greased and floured.
- Allow the loaf and rolls to prove in a warm place for around 20 minutes and then bake in a hot oven at Gas Mark 7/220oC/425oF. Check the loaves after 15 minutes and remove loaves when they are brown and sound hollow when tapped underneath. The rolls will need to be removed from the oven before the loaf.

Remember, wholemeal flours generally require more moisture than white flour and will take longer to cook.

The flour I used today was sourced from Pann Mill Watermill and was very reasonably priced at £1 per bag:

For anyone living in Buckinghamshire or the surrounding area I would recommend a trip to Pan Mill Watermill when they hold a milling demonstration. Pann Mill is at the eastern side of High Wycombe at the edge of the Rye park. It is the last operating water mill on the river Wye, a tributary of the Thames. There have been mills on the site since at least 1086, and probably earlier. The previous Victorian mill was substantially altered in the early 20th century and mostly demolished in 1971. However, the High Wycombe Society saved the remains and the site, which is owned by High Wycombe Council, and a restoration project was started which continues to this day.

The mill is run entirely by volunteers and opens several days each year to hold demonstrations. It is possible to go inside the mill to see how everything works and the gardens surrounding the mill are lovingly kept. All in all a good afternoon out!

The next Pann Mill open day will be held on Sunday 13th May 2012 between 11.00am - 5.00pm.

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