I may be a total noob when it comes to making bread, but I’ve found it a very satisfactory way to spend some lockdown time, and you get the benefit of super tasty fresh bread at the end! This is a really simple wholemeal bread recipe, which will take about 20 minutes to mix and knead, and then another couple of hours to rise/proof and cook.
Delayed gratification at it’s finest.
You will need:
- 500g of wholemeal flour
- 50g of melted butter
- 3 teaspoons of yeast
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of sugar*
- 300ml of warm water
*I’m not actually sure you really need the sugar – personally I think my loaf came out a bit sweet, but maybe the sugar helps make the crust golden or something. If you know, drop me a comment below!
Boil a kettle for the warm water.
Also, start the butter melting in a pan.
Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl.
Add 100ml of kettle-boiled water to 200ml of room temperature water to make… warm water! Wow, science.
Mix in the sugar and butter. Resist the temptation to drink this.
Add it all to the bowl of flour/yeast/salt, and mix it together with a knife until it’s pretty much blended into a big ball of goo.
Pro-tip: pay attention while pouring the buttery sugar water into the bowl. I poured about 100ml of it all over my kitchen, and that stuff gets sticky.
Studiously avoiding making any kneading puns while kneading the doughy mix for about 10 mins.
A little flour helps but apparently too much will make it dry in the end. Here’s a handy video on kneading as I had no idea what I was doing:
After kneading, put the ball in a bowl on some non-stick baking paper, and lay a tea towel over the top of the bowl. You could grease the bowl instead of using paper if you prefer.
Leave it for around 30 mins and check that the dough has increased in size (about double the size). If it has, knead it a few times again to get the air out, then repeat putting it in the bowl to rise again, with the tea towel on top – it should have increased in size again after another 30 mins.
Preheat your oven to 200°C / 180°C fan. Grease or lightly oil a 2lb loaf tin (or similar oven tray if you don’t have one available).
When the dough has finished rising, roll it into shape and drop it into the tin.
For a nice added touch, slice it across or down the middle with a sharp knife, and sprinkle some flour over the top. It’s just for effect really but you’ll feel like a pro when it comes out the other end, trust me.
Bake for about 40 mins. I turned it 180 degrees half way through as my oven gets hotter near the door.
After this amount of time it should come out of the tin pretty easily (maybe use a spatula to lever it out), plus it will sound hollow if you knock the loaf on the bottom. Stick it on a cooling rack and wait a while before devouring it all in one sitting. It will still be warm after an hour or two so no rush.
Hopefully this recipe was easy enough to follow along with! How did you get on? Did you try anything different? Do I need to clarify anything? Let me know in the comments below…
I’ve got an interesting recipe for Manitoba flour bread so I’ll post that one soon – it makes Italian style bread which is equally easy to make.