Basic Bread - Easy Wholemeal Recipe (Whole Wheat)
Basic Bread Formula
If you have read any of my previous recipes then you might have an idea about kneading and rubbing in or you may be an experienced baker but I will go through some of the basics again for first timers in this one.
Most bakers professional or not nearly always base their recipes on this basic formula. You can amend and change the formula to suit when you are experienced but for what most of you have everyday for your daily bread then these are the ratios of basic ingredients that should go into your home baked loaf:
(Note: When baking with wholemeal flour I add 5% more liquid than with White as it absorbs far more)
One of my Favourite Baking Books
Water / liquid
What about extras?
You can replace water with yoghurt, milk, buttermilk or any other consumable liquid, experiment and see! If you do add a thick liquid other than water like thick yoghurt or honey then remember to add an extra glug to compensate for the thickness.
There are all kinds of seeds, dried fruit, sweets, cheeses, herbs and even meats that you could add to your bread. I would add up to 50 grams of any of the ingredients listed below (remembering to try out some combinations).
Some ideas for extras for you...
Fresh Herbs and other bits
Thyme (Leaves only)
Honey (replace with some water)
Rosemary (Leaves only)
Good Quality Beer (Guinness works)
Olives (Chopped or not)
Milk (Makes it rich and soft)
Any Chopped nuts
Chutney (Best layered in)
Paprika (Dust over top)
Matt's Seeded Wholemeal Loaf...
Below is a basic recipe I use often. It makes great day to day bread for sandwiches, toast or as a side to a nice salad or hearty stew!
- The wholemeal (Whole Wheat for you Americans) contains more B vitamins and has a higher Fibre content than White (Wheat) Flour.
- The little Honey makes it sweet, aromatic and appealing to kids, (contains natural sugar which is the best kind).
- The Linseed (or Flax) contains fiber and has been known to reduce cholesterol!
- Sunflower seeds contain all kinds of essential nutrients the list would never end!
- 500 Grams Wholemeal 'Strong' Bread Flour
- 300 Grams Luke warm water
- 25 Grams Honey, This does take the liquid content to 65% however wholemeal will take more liquid than white flour.
- 10 Grams Salt
- 5-10 Grams 'Fast Action' Yeast
- 2 handfulls Linseed (Flax)
- 2 handfulls Sunflower Seeds
- Wholemeal (Or Whole Wheat) creates a closer crumb structure than white flour, so if you want it to be a bit lighter then replace 100 grams of wholemeal flour with 'Strong' white flour to give it a bit of extra gluten!
- Never Open your oven door after you have put your dough inside until at least 10 minutes have gone by. If you do the loaf will collapse and be dense!
- If you leave a baking tray at the bottom of your oven then throw some cold water into it just before closing the oven door, the steam it creates helps make the crust go crusty!
How good was the recipe below?
It's actually really important to keep your bread properly - it will last longer and taste better!
Step by step...
- First measure out your ingredients one by one. This will allow you to have everything to hand and not get floury hand prints on your cupboards when you go looking for things.
- Now, take your chopped up butter and put it in the bowl. Start picking up handfuls of the butter and flour together and sprinkling it back into the bowl. Do this for 5 minutes and your butter will disapear and the flour will look like fine bread crumbs. This is called 'Rubbing in'.
- Next add your yeast and salt to the flour and butter bowl. Remember to keep them on seperate sides of the bowl at first (Salt kills yeast if pilled together) Now mix the salt and yeast seperately then together with your fingers until they both disapear into the flour.
- Now its time to add the liquid. I like to make a crater in the centre of the flour but this is not essential. If you do make your crater then pour in the water, then squeeze in the honey. Now start collapsing the sides of the crater into the bowl. Press and mix with your hands until the whole thing comes together and you are able to start cleaning the side of the bowl with your brand new dough!
- Knead your dough. If you are an experienced baker then you will know the drill here. If you are not however then turn the dough out onto your work surface. Use one hand to hold the dough in place and use the other to roll the dough out in front of you, breaking the surface and stretching it out. Then roll back up and repeat. Eventually your dough will become very elastic, and feel less sticky as you knead. When you can stretch the dough out as thinly as possible and are almost able to see light come through it then you know you are there.
- When you have been kneading for about 7 minutes, stop for a moment and flatten out your dough to about pizza size. Take your two different types of seed (Linseed and Sunflower Seeds) and sprinkle all over. Then roll up your dough with the seeds inside and seal the edges all round by pinching tightly. Then continue to knead for at least a further 3 minutes to distribute the seeds evenly.
- Once kneaded, oil your dough bowl and put your dough back inside it. Cover with a damp tea towel or failing that some cling film and leave it in a warm place in your house until it has at least doubled in size.
- Push down on the dough to knock the air out of it and transfer to your work surface again to shape. (There will soon be a hub on shaping your bread but for now follow any of the links I have given higher up the page)
- Once shaped carefully place onto an oiled oven tray and re-cover with your damp towel to double in size once more. (about an hour total)
- Turn the oven on 20 minutes before the dough has finished rising and gently cut the tops two or three times. This will allow the cuts to widen a little and the oven to get to the right temperature.
- After the rising time put the dough in the oven at up to 230 degrees Celsius or 459 degrees Farenheit for the first 15 minutes. Then quickly open the oven and rotate the tray so that it browns evenly all round for another 10 minutes. Tap the bottom to test - if it sounds hollow when you do then your loaf is ready. Leave to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before slicing!
Slice and enjoy...
Nutritional Information or Wholemeal Flour (Whole Wheat)
|Serving size: 2 Thick Slices|
|Calories from Fat||18|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 2 g||3%|
|Saturated fat 0 g|
|Unsaturated fat 0 g|
|Carbohydrates 87 g||29%|
|Sugar 0 g|
|Fiber 15 g||60%|
|Protein 16 g||32%|
|Cholesterol 0 mg|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|