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Yeast bread

left hundred percent 
wholemeal right 30% wholemeal as in this recipe

I took the bread recipe on the back of a bag of flour and slowed it down by using less yeast. I cook the bread in a pre-heated cast iron casserole so the crust gets a bit of steam and goes chewy. This recipe takes 7 hours to a loaf, but only about half an hour or so of preparation. The result is a lot tastier.




I'm always surprised what a difference two tablespoons of water can make. At 325 ml water and Lidl flour (11.8% protein white and 12.8% protein wholemeal) you get a stiff easy to work dough that forms a nice boule. At 375ml water using Canadian white flour (14.8% protein) you get a very sticky hard to manage dough and a boule that spreads a little in the proofing bowl (big holes though). I think I'm sticking to 325ml for a bit.

The first step in the method is called the autolyse step. Some of the starches in the flour break up into sugars within the first half an hour or so and that helps the yeast get started later on, so you don't need to add any sugar or honey to this recipe. In parallel, there is some gluten development, and that makes the dough easier to manage. The rest of the time helps to soften the tough bran in the wholemeal flour.

I've used Lidl and Aldi bread flours (cheap, protein around 12% or so) and got tasty bread. I've used Doves Farm Organic Strong bread flour (not cheap), and got... tasty bread. It was a bit nicer. Sainsbury's do a Canadian extra strong white flour (15% protein) that makes a lovely dough and rises a tiny bit more.

One thing I'm going to try: proofing in the fridge overnight, as a way of fitting this recipe into a working day a bit better (autolyse, mix, ferment one evening, bake next morning).

Keith Burnett, Last update: Sat June 16 2018