WHOLESOME WHOLEMEAL LOAF

(c) Matt Russell

Ingredients (makes 1 large loaf)

Stage 1

  • 125g strong wholemeal flour
  • 125ml tepid water
  • 2g fast-action yeast

Stage 2

  • 125g strong wholemeal flour
  • 125ml tepid water
  • 2g fast-action yeast

Stage 3

  • 250g strong wholemeal flour
  • 150ml tepid water
  • 2g fast-action yeast
  • 10g salt

Essential equipment

  • 2lb (900g) loaf  tin 

Method

STAGE 1: In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ‘stage 1’ ingredients with a spoon, and leave, uncovered, to rest for about 1 hour.

STAGE 2: To the ‘stage 1’ mixture add the ‘stage 2’ ingredients, mix as above, and leave to rest for 1hour. 

STAGE 3: Now add the ‘stage 3’ ingredients, mix well, then knead for about 10 minutes by hand, or 56 minutes in a machine, until you have a smooth dough. This is a quite wet dough, but as I learned from Paul Hollywood, a wetter dough equals a better loaf. Leave the dough to prove, uncovered, for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

FINAL STAGE: After the dough has doubled in size, knock it back by firmly prodding the surface of the dough, which will cause it to shrink in on itself.

Roll into a fat sausage, the length of your 2lb loaf tin. Place it in the tin and allow to rise for between 30 minutes and 1 hour, or until doubled in size again. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 230°C/Gas 8.

Bake the loaf in the hot oven for 2530 minutes. Using oven gloves, tip the loaf out of the tin and tap it on the bottom to find out if it sounds hollow. If it does, it’s done. If not, allow the loaf to fall back into the tin and give it a few minutes more. Cool, then slice into thick chunks, as I do, and slather it in salty butter.