Making bread maybe a slow process but once it is baked and you cut the first slice it is incredibly satisfying. I have recently taken to making the dough up just before I go to bed and placing it in the fridge to rise very slowly overnight. When I get up in the morning I take it out of the fridge and let it warm up for about an hour before knocking it back and shaping it for its second rise, which means I have fresh bread in time for a late breakfast
Aside from making sure that your bread has sufficient time to rise one of the most important things when you make the bread is how you shape it before placing it in the tin. I will freely admit that there have been many occasions where I have rushed the shaping and ended up with a hollow loaf. My tip it make sure that you knead the dough properly before the second rise and make sure that it malleable and supple enough to easily shape then slowly and carefully work the dough into the shape that you need for your tins.
If you haven’t made bread before do give it a try! It is a very straightforward process and kneading the dough can be hugely therapeutic especially if you have had a tough week. If that isn’t enough incentive then just think about the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through your house and being able to eat the loaf when it is still warm from the oven – heaven!!
Preparation time: +4hrs
- 300g spelt flour
- 100g strong white flour
- 4tbsp / 25g mixed seeds (a blend of: Golden linseed, sesame seeds, brown linseed, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1tbsp dried yeast
- 1tbsp sugar
- 25g melted butter
- 180-200ml lukewarm water
- Place the flour, salt and seeds in a large bowl.
- Place the yeast and sugar in a measuring jug and measure out the lukewarm water.
- Pour the yeast water and melted butter into the dry mix and bring the dough together using your fingers adding a little more water at this point if it is needed.
- Place the dough on a floured surface and knead for a good 10 minutes, stop kneading the dough when it springs back after being pressed lightly.
- Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise for about 2 hours in a warm place.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, knock the air out of the dough and give it one last quick knead before shaping it into cylinder and placing it in an oiled and floured loaf tin, cover with cling film and leaving it to rise for the second time for another 1 ½ – 2 hrs.
- Preheat the oven to 210°C – place a roasting pan with a little water in it in the bottom of the oven this will create steam in the oven which will help the crust become beautifully crusty.
- Place the bread in the middle of the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. To test if the bread is cooked tap the bottom of the loaf and it should sound hollow.
- Once cooked remove from the oven and leave to cool on a rack for about an hour.