Wholemeal Country Bread

Bread is one of my favourite foods on earth, but it also is an intimidating area for the novice baker so it’s an area I’ve skirted around for the last few years. Every now and again, I attempt to make a loaf of bread and inevitably it doesn’t turn out quite right- normally too heavy or it didn’t rise properly.

Recently, a quick read through Richard Bertinet’s Dough makes me realise exactly where I was going wrong. It turns out I was kneading so much extra flour into my dough that my bread was going to be stodgy and heavy. Bertinet advises that bread should be turned out on a clean worktop with no flour, meaning no extra flour is being kneaded into the dough and the moisture content in the original recipe remains the same. Instead, the baker should trust in the recipe to bring the ingredients together without any extra flour. Needless to say, I was nervous turning the dough out without any flour to prevent my worktop from turning into a sticky mess but I ended up with the most beautifully elastic dough and a clean worktop.

With this technique in mind, I tackled Mary Berry’s Wholemeal Country Loaf. This recipe is very straight forward and while it is a densely crumbed bread, it is also beautifully soft and perfect with a bowl of hot soup or toasted for breakfast. It should be noted that while the recipe calls for strong wholemeal flour, I used regular coarse wholemeal flour from Odlums as none of my local supermarkets carry strong wholemeal flour.

Wholemeal Brown Bread

Wholemeal Country Loaf

20-25 minutes preparation, 2- 2.5 hours rising, 25 minutes baking

2lb loaf tin
220C regular oven, 200C fan oven
750g strong wholemeal floir
30g butter
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp salt
1 x 7g sachet fast action yeast
450ml lukewarm water
sunflower oil for greasing
milk for glazing
1) Put the flour in a large bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips. Stir in the sugar, salt and yeast. Make a well in the middle of the bowl and add the water to make a soft, sticky dough.
2) Turn the dough out on a countertop and knead until smooth and elastic. This may take 10- 15 minutes.
3) Roll into a ball and put into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with oiled clingfilm. Leave to rest in a warm place for 60 to 90 minutes, until the dough has doubled in size.
4) Knock back the dough and knead for 2-3 minutes. Shape into a log and place into lightly oiled loaf pan. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for an hour. Preheat oven to 220C/ 200C fan oven.
5) Brush loaf with milk before placing in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Tap the base to see if the loaf is cooked, it should sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack.

6 thoughts on “Wholemeal Country Bread

  1. Pingback: Have you ever baked your own bread? | Run4joy59's Blog

  2. Pingback: Inspiring Blogger Award! |

  3. Heya,
    I don’t tell enough people about your inspiring blog so I’ve nominated you in my “Inspiring Bloggers Award” blog-along, I love reading your posts, all interesting and thought provoking, or hunger provoking!!
    ~Thank you!

  4. Pingback: Savoury Pecan & Stilton Loaf | James's Recipes

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