I love making bread. There is always something new to learn, the smell in the house is incredible and yes, you feel proud when you bite into a gorgeous piece of bread you made yourself. This bread is so simple that no one can truthfully say that they can’t make bread. It is so delicious, and even my husband, who is not especially keen on brown breads, loves this. So, in celebration of my 100th post (Can’t believe it) I have to share this with you!
Before starting, please remember tgat when you add water to your yeast, it should be warm. The kind of warm you would bathe your baby in. I didn’t know this when I started making bread and could not understand why my breads were flat and dense. (Yep, a true confession of a former yeast killer 😂). I hace since learned that the yeast is a living organism that needs warmth to do its job. Cold or hot water kills it. If you decide to use fresh yeast, multiply the quantity of dry yeast by three and you will get the correct measurement you need). Also, be sure that ALL your ingredients are at room temperature.
Adapted from Rachel Allen’s Irish Family Food.
450 g whole wheat flour
50 grams strong white flour [ That is bread flour. It has a protein content of a little less than 13 %. Check the package. This type of flour is important because it has a higher gluen content necessary for bread!]
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black treacle or molasses [Molasses are not easily found in Spain but you can replace them with honey or maple syrup. I used maple syrup]
14 grams of dry yeast
425 milliliters warm water
Sunflower or vegetable oil. [I used sunflower]
Sesame seeds, sunflower or poppy seeds (optional) [I used poppy seeds]
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F/230 degrees C/gas mark 8. Using the oil, lightly grease a 9 by 5 inch baking pan.
Mix the flour with the salt. In a small bowl or mixing cup, mix the treacle with 150 milliliters of the warm water and add in the yeast. Stir the yeast in and let sit for 5 minutes or so. The appearance will then be thicker and frothy.
Pour the yeast mixture into the bowl, along with the rest of the warm water, into the flour. Mix until incorporated evenly. Don’t panic if it is loose and wet. It is supposed to be that way! Pour it into the pan, spread evenly and sprinkle seeds on top if you are using them. Cover with a tea towel and leave
it on the counter or warm place to rise. It rises fairly quickly and it is ready to put in the oven when it rises to the top. This should take between 5 and 25 minutes, depending upon the type of yeast you use and the temperature in the house.
Put the loaf in the center of the oven. After about 20 minutes, check the colour of the bread. If it is already a deep brown, lower the heat to 400° and cover with foil.The bread will be ready between 30 and 40 minutes later, depending on your oven.When tapped, it will sound hollow and will be nicely browned.
* Times can vary because not all ovens are the same. I had to cut back the baking time by about 10 minutes because my oven is quite fast!