Saturday, January 19, 2013

Wholemeal, rye and linseed bread

I'm back into baking (at least on the cooler days anyway!) and that means more experiments for me. I still dream of having my own grain mill and grinding my own grain. I'm having another go at a sourdough starter too, hopefully with more success this time around.

Imagine baking with your own sourdough starter + freshly ground flour, now wouldn't that feel authentic!


So, here is what I came up with yesterday - Wholemeal, rye and linseed loaf.

200g wholemeal flour
100g rye flour (I used organic)
700g good quality unbleached plain flour
1 teaspoon dry yeast
2 tablespoons linseeds (whole)
2.5 tablespoons sunflower oil
2.5 teaspoons salt
 around 700 ml warm water - you may need less or more.

Mix flours, seeds and yeast in a mixmaster bowl. Attach dough mixers and arrange bowl ready for the machine to mix it.  Start the machine mixing on low. Start to slowly pour in the water, taking several breaks to observe the wetness of the dough. Don't add in all the water yet. Add the oil, allow to mix in, then add the salt.
* I do the water by feel. What you want with this dough, given that it has rye and wholemeal components which have the potential to be dry, is a nice moist dough. Keep adding the water until you're happy the dough is moist enough.  It should look sticky. I make this dough much wetter than my usual white loaf.
Keep it mixing for about 10 minutes.

Turn out onto an oiled surface and knead the dough - stretching it out and pulling it in. This part is not absolutely necessary but I always do it to get a feel for the dough. It shouldn't feel too stiff and definitely shouldn't feel dry. It should be sticky and firm but stretchy to handle.

Place in an oiled bowl and cover with oiled cling wrap. Now, this is important: this dough requires a long rising time as we only used a little yeast. The long rising time also allows the flavours to develop beautifully. I won't give you a perfect time frame, it depends on the weather, but at least a few hours rising time to double in size.

When doubled in size turn out onto the oiled surface again and press and shape into loaves. You can make just freeform loaves on a tray or place them in loaf tins as I did. Cover with the same oiled wrap and set aside to rise again, until the dough is high in the tin or doubled again on the tray. Lets say about an hour :) While the second rise is happening, preheat the oven to 240 degrees (C).

Slash the loaves with a sharp knife.

Place in the very hot oven for 12 minutes.
After 12 minutes, turn the oven down to 190 deg. (C) and continue to cook for another 20 minutes.

Turn out onto baking racks and cool.


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