- 400g malted grain brown bread flour, or wholemeal or granary bread flour
- 100g strong white bread flour
- 7g sachet easy-bake dried yeast (or 2 tsp quick-dried yeast)
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp soft butter
- 4 tbsp mixed seed (optional), such as linseed, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower, plus extra for sprinkling
- Mix your choice of brown flour with the white, the yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Put in the butter and rub it into the flour. Stir in the seeds if using. Make a dip in the centre of the flour with a round-bladed knife and pour in almost 300ml hand warm (cool rather than hot) water.
- Then mix in enough of the remaining water and a bit more if needed, to gather up any dry bits in the bottom of the bowl and until the mixture comes together as a soft, not-too-sticky, dough. Gather it into a ball with your hands.
- Put the dough on to a very lightly floured surface and knead for 8-10 minutes until it feels smooth and elastic, only adding the minimum of extra flour if necessary to prevent the dough sticking. ? Place the ball of dough on a lightly-floured work surface. Cover with an upturned, clean, large glass bowl and leave for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until doubled in size and feels light and springy. Timing will depend on the warmth of the room.
- Knock back the dough by lightly kneading just 3-4 times. You only want to knock out any large air bubbles, so too much handling now will lose the dough’s lightness. Shape into a ball. Cover with the glass bowl and leave for 15 minutes.
- Grease a 1.2-litre capacity loaf tin (about 23 x 13 x 5.5cm) and line the base with baking parchment. Using your knuckles, flatten the dough into a rectangle about 25 x 19cm. Fold both shorter ends into the centre like an envelope, make a ¼ turn, then flatten again into the same size and roll up very tightly, starting from one of the short ends. Roll the top of the dough in extra seeds and place in the tin with the join underneath, pressing the seeds gently into the dough. Cover with a clean tea towel. Leave for 40-45 minutess, or until risen about 5cm above the top of the tin.
- Put a roasting tin in the bottom of the oven 20 minutes before ready to bake and heat oven to 230C/210C fan/gas 8. Put the risen bread in the oven, carefully pour about 250ml cold water into the roasting tin (this will hiss and create a burst of steam to give you a crisp crust), then lower the heat to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden, covering with foil for the last
- 5 minutes if starting to brown too quickly.
- Leave in the tin for 2-3 minutes, then remove and cool on a wire rack. If you tap the underneath of the baked loaf, it should be firm and sound hollow.
Recipe courtesy of BBC Good Food