Lammas celebrates the harvest and this recipe from Real Bread Campaign co-founder Andrew Whitley combines two (or more) cereals in a light loaf with a rustic crust and chewy crumb. This is a longer ferment Real Bread, made with a two-stage ‘sponge-and-dough’ process for a great flavour and additive-free keeping quality. Makes one large or two small loaves.
Note: 1 millilitre (ml) of water weighs one gram (g). If you have a set of digital scales, it is often easier to weigh small amounts of liquid than to measure them in a jug.
1. The sponge
5g Fresh yeast (or 3g active dried yeast/2g quick-acting yeast)
140g Water (at about 20°C)
160g Brown flour (i.e. around 85% extraction)
305 g Total
Dissolve the yeast in some of the water and add it to the ?our with the rest of the water. Mix until the dough has ‘cleared’, i.e. all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Put the sponge in a bowl large enough to allow it to expand to at least three times its original size. Cover with a lid or polythene bag and leave it at room temperature for at least 4 and up to 16 hours.
2. The soaked grains
Meanwhile, set up the following mixture:
100g Cracked wheat, jumbo oats, pinhead oatmeal or other grains or flakes
Stir the water into the grain(s), cover with a polythene bag and leave at room temperature while the sponge rises.
3. The dough
300g Sponge (from above)
260g Brown flour
170g Water (warm to the hand, i.e. 30-35°C)
200g Soaked grains (from above)
Mix the sponge, flour, salt and water together into a soft dough. You may need to adjust the water to get the right consistency of dough. Knead, without adding extra flour, until it is stretchy (about 15 minutes). Cover and leave to rise for 1 hour. Then gently fold in the soaked grains until they are evenly incorporated into the dough.
Grease one large (900g/2 lb) tin or two small (450g/1 lb) ones. Shape the dough into either one large or two small loaves. Spread some cracked wheat/pinhead oatmeal/jumbo oats on the worktop and roll the dough piece(s) until completely covered. If the grains don’t stick well, moisten the surface of the dough with a little water and try again.
Put the prepared dough into the loaf tin(s). Cover loosely with a polythene bag (making sure that it doesn’t touch the dough) and let the loaf/loaves rise in a draught-free place until they have roughly doubled in size. Bake in a moderate oven (190°C) for 25-35 minutes, depending on your oven.
© Andrew Whitley 2009 - Andrew Whitley’s book Bread Matters – the state of modern bread and a definitive guide to making your own is published by Fourth Estate and is available for £16.99 post-free from http://www.breadmatters.com/