Kneading bread or dough is very relaxing for me so I was very happy to try out this recipe from BBC GoodFood which looked very simple to make (Spoiler alert: it was) and yet so appealing with its use of wholemeal flour and mixed seeds to give it a bit of a bite inside. The smell of freshly baked bread is just simply amazing for breakfast, take a look at the recipe below.
500g strong wholemeal flour
7g sachet fast-action dried yeast
2 tsp bread improver (Optional)
1 tsp salt
up to 350ml warm water
100g mixed seeds (I used a mix of pepitas, sunflower seeds and pine nuts)
50g walnut pieces
a little sunflower oil, for greasing
1. Make the dough with the flour, yeast, salt (and bread improved if wanted) by tipping the flour, yeast and salt into a large bowl and making a well in the middle.
2. Pour in most of the water and use your fingers or a wooden spoon to mix the flour and water together until combined to a slightly wet, pillowy, workable dough (add a splash more water if necessary)
3. Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and start adding most of the seeds and all the walnuts as you knead. Knead for at least 10 mins until smooth and elastic (Can also be done in a tabletop mixer with a dough hook but why skip all that fun)
4. Place the dough in a clean oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size.
5. Knock back the dough by tipping it back onto a floured surface and pushing the air out. Shape the dough into a large round and roll the round in the remaining seeds, then lift the bread into a tray to prove for about 30 mins until doubled in size. (I left mine overnight to bake fresh in the morning)
6. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Bake the bread for 15 mins, then reduce the heat to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5 and continue to bake for 30 mins until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Leave the bread on a cooling rack to cool completely.
The loaf will stay fresh in an airtight container for 3 days or can be frozen for 1 month.
This bread was very easy to make, with just a small amount of waiting time for it to rise. The bread comes out soft inside but still crunchy with the pine nuts, pepitas and sunflower seeds. The fresh crust was also stunning and if you prefer the slices to be a bit more crunchy, just lightly toast it and then butter it and that’s basically all you need for a fantastic slice of bread. One word. Yum.