Wholemeal, Oat and Sunflower Seed Loaf
- Time: 3 - 4 hours
- Serves: 8
- Level: medium
What you need
425g organic wholemeal strong flour
75g jumbo oats
50g sunflower seeds
2 tsp normal dried yeast (not the type for bread machines)
350ml warm still mineral water (35C – blood temperature)
1 tbs light brown/muscovado sugar
200mg vitamin C
1 tsp fine salt
30g light olive oil or groundnut oil
How Dad Cooked It
This method uses vitamin C which helps give wholemeal loaves a lighter texture. Dove’s Farm produce vitamin C specifically for baking. I also use a lot resting, which I am discovering is a great way to help develop gluten without kneading.
Important notes: Water is from a bottle of still mineral water, it should be warm (35C – about blood temperature, i.e. it should feel neither hot nor cold when you dip your finger into it). Flour is always strong organic bread flour. Do not leave traces of detergent when cleaning equipment or hands. Leaving somewhere warm for dough requires temperatures of 25C – 30C. These are temperatures of a very hot summer day. During hot weather leave in warm room, in winter use the airing cupboard. If the temperatures cannot be attained it may take longer for the starter/dough to develop. Makes one large (2lb) or two small (1lb each) loaves. I find smaller loves are more practical – we keep one in the freezer, so the loaves are always fresh.
- Prepare the liquid. Measure the water and bring to temperature. Add the yeast and sugar stir – rest for 10 minutes (measure and mix the flours while waiting). After 10 minutes add the vitamin C and salt. If using tablets for the vitamin C, pulverise it into a powder. Check: the liquid should have, water, yeast, sugar, vitamin C and salt.
- Mix the flour, oats and seeds. Weigh the flour, oats and seeds and mix in a large bowl.
- Make the dough. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix well until combined and can be rolled into a ball.
- COVER and REST for 15 minutes. This first resting allows the wholemeal flour and oats to absorb the liquid before adding the oil.
- ADD OIL and KNEAD. Knead for 5 minutes in the bowl, until the oil is completely incorporated. Cover and REST for 15 minutes. The resting will start to develop the gluten. (Oil helps to lubricate the strands of gluten).
- KNEAD for 5 minutes until soft and pliant. Use a little oil if necessary to lubricate the work surface.
- COVER and REST for 30 minutes.
- Shape the dough. Oil two 1lb loaf tins. Knead the rested and risen dough lightly on a floured surface ‘knocking back’ the dough. Shape into two even balls and roll each into a short sausage shape and then press out into a rectangle. Roll up and place in each in the tin with the fold at the bottom. Cover each in a plastic bag, such that there is no danger of the dough touching the plastic. Keep somewhere warm for 1-2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
- Bake the bread. Preheat the oven to 230C, Gas 8. (Place a shelf in the top third of the oven and put an oven tray in a shelf a couple rungs below (the edge of the tray in line with the front edge of the shelf). Boil the kettle. Place both loaves on the top shelf and immediately pour a cup or two of water into the oven tray. Close the door quickly but gently. Bake for 10 minutes – then reduce the heat to 180C, gas 4. Bake for a further 20 minutes. Take the loaves out of the oven and knock out from their tins. Put back into the oven and bake for a further 5-10 minutes. Check to ensure the bottom has a firm crust and very hollow sound when knocked with the fingers. Cool on a wire rack.