After drooling over the bread at Zeb Bakes website, I decided to browse through the Sunday Times Book of Real Bread, which my Mum and Dad edited together in 1982. It’s full of bread making recipes from around the world and celebrates the skills of the many people with a passion for quality in bread and concern for health. Bread has been a staple in our diet for centuries but these days the loaf you buy has very little resemblance to a home-baked loaf.
Many people don’t realise that bread now lacks nutritional value and we need better bread for healthy, happier people. Chris Young recognises this and has recently co-ordinated a new Real Bread Campaign. You can read about this here and learn how you can get involved too.
I decided it was about time I did some baking of my own. Having looked at so many different recipes, I did what I do best, closed the book and made up my own version. The aroma was mouth-watering, the texture was dense and I had a perfect slice toasted for breakfast this morning.
I used fresh flour, brought back from a trip to Norfolk. Always remember when baking that the fresher the flour you use, the tastier the loaf will be.
Makes: 1 loaf and a few rolls
500g wholemeal flour
250g plain white flour
14g dried yeast
400ml luke warm water
2 tsp olive oil
Handful mixed seeds
Mix together the yeast, honey and 200ml of warm water and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes until it has a ‘head’ like a pint of beer.
Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt, seeds and olive oil in a large bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture and gradually add the rest of the luke warm water to form a dough. Turn onto a floured surface and knead for 6-8 minutes or until smooth and springy.
Put the dough back in the bowl, cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place for 40 minutes. The dough will double in size.
Heat the oven to 225º/Gas mark 8.
Knock the dough back and tear off a third.
Divide the third of the dough into four and shape into balls to make rolls. Brush each lightly with olive oil and bake in the oven on a greased tray for 10 to 15 minutes.
Put the remaining dough into a greased bread-tin, brush the top with olive oil and bake in the oven for 35 minutes.
Cool the loaf on a wire tray before eating.