Bread

Best of Both Loaf – Wholemeal & Plain

Best of Both Loaf

This is the first time I have ever made a loaf of bread. I asked my mum for a recipe because the stuff she made while we were growning up was nommy, and she sent me this –

Hand-written bread recipe

My lovely gran had handwriting I think only my mum can read so I had to resort to the second more reliable recipe source – Delia Smith. I adapted this to be half wholemeal flour but the original recipe is here if you’d like it.

Sliced bread

To make one 2 lb (900g) loaf, or two 1 lb (250) loaves (obviously) – this means a tin that is 22cm x 12cm and 6cm deep, or half that twice.

  • 350g strong white bread flour & 350g of wholemeal bread flour (plus extra for top of bread)
  • 1 level tablespoon of salt
  • 1 level teaspoon of easy-blend drief yeast (this didn’t seem like much, but it seemed to have worked)
  • 1 level teaspoon golden caster sugar/light brown sugar
  • 425ml hand-hot water

Pre-heat the oven to the lowest setting and warm the flour for ten minutes. I think this has something to do with helping to wake the yeast up.

Directions

  1. Sift the flour, salt, yeast and sugar into a bowl
  2. Make a well in the centre of the mixture, then add the water. Now mix to a dough, starting off with a wooden spoon and using your hands in the final stages of mixing, adding a spot more water if there are any dry bits. (I added a bit too much here and it was sticky but it doesn’t seem to have effected it so don’t panic like I did.)
  3. Wipe the bowl clean with the dough and transfer it to a flat work surface (you may not need to flour this). Knead the dough for 3 minutes or until it develops a sheen and blisters under the surface.
  4. Return the dough to the mixing bowl  and cover it with clingfilm that has been lightly oiled. I didn’t have any clingfilm, but a damp tea towel worked just fine.
  5. Leave it until it looks as though it has doubled in bulk, which will be about 2 hours at room temperature.
  6. After that, knock the air out, then knead again for 2 minutes.
  7. (If you’re using two tins, divide the dough in half at this point.) Pat the dough out to an oblong, then fold one end into the centre and the other in on top.
  8. Place it into a buttered tin, sprinkle each with a dusting of flour, then put the oily clingfilm/damp tea towel back and leave until the dough rises above the tops of the tins – this time about an hour at room temperature.
  9. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 8, 450°F (230°C).
  10. Bake the loaves on the centre shelf for 30-40 minutes, or 35-45 minutes for the large loaf, until they sound hollow when their bases are tapped.
  11. Now return them, out of their tins, upside-down to the oven to crisp the base and side crust for about 5 minutes, then cool on a wire rack.

Now, mine turned out with a crispy crust, which was fine, but I am feeding grandpa tomorrow so I’m a bit worried. I read somewhere you should put water in a tray at the bottom of the oven so it steams. I’ll try that next time!

Cost

That seems a lot of flour but when they come in 1.5kg bags for £1.30 that’s only 65p for the loaf. Then the small amount of yeast, sugar and salt don’t amount to much. Say 80p total? I got 14 slices out of it so it would make 7 sandwhiches!

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