Baking bread is one of those inimitable acts of kitchen purity that appears to impress a great deal everyone one should stumble upon. Thankfully, once one has achieved the knack for bread baking it isn’t at all difficult, barring the odd catastrophic mistake. Indeed, this recipe is born out of one such mistake, an error which left me with what can only be described as a weapon of seed infested dread. Well, either that or an incredibly dense bird feeder. Anyway, following on from that mistake it seemed appropriate to give the idea one more chance. So, the original and inestimably mistaken recipe found itself consigned wholeheartedly to the rubbish dump, never to see the light of day again. This time I would go it alone and use only my bread making instinct to make a delicious loaf. Thankfully, my efforts were rewarded with the boule you see before you.
White bread is all well and good; it yields the best crumb. However, it only very rarely achieves the feat of being as interesting as a loaf which contains another flour, such as wholemeal or rye. As such, it was deemed best to in some way combine the two along with the interesting grain afforded by the seeds. Indeed, despite the relatively small amount of linseed on offer in this bread, their golden colour and delicious taste shines through wonderfully.
As you shall see from the cost found below the recipe, everyone should be making their own bread. Besides, bread of this simplicity and quality is only rarely found in the supermarket. One solution to this problem would be to venture into the proud den of an artisan baker, in order to acquire such a loaf. However, purchasing bread from such places tends to have more in common with being stolen from or extorted, than it does grocery shopping. Oh well, one must suppose that they are performing an admirable service; their bread isn’t full of the excrement found in that which is mass produced.
Wheat, Rye and Linseed (Flax) Bread
Makes 1 loaf
• 450g strong white bread flour
• 50g rye flour
• 1 tbsp of linseeds (flax), be generous
• 7g sachet of fast action dried yeast
• A glug of olive oil
• A generous pinch of salt
• 300ml warm water
1. Place the yeast in a bowl along with a splash of warm water, set aside. Put the flours, seeds and salt into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Tip in the yeast after it has been left standing for 5 minutes, the oil and ¾ of the water. Bring the ingredients together, it should be sticky and malleable, but not wet; the remaining water may be needed. Knead the dough on a floury surface for 10 minutes, shape and place on a floured baking tray. Leave it to rise under a tea towel and in a warm place for 1-1 ½ hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 230C. Slit the top of the risen dough and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the underneath sounds hollow when tapped. Leave it to cool on a wire rack for at least an hour.
Cost: This entire loaf should set one back no more than 60p. That’s an absolute bargain, especially when you consider the fact that a dedicated bakery would charge upwards of £3 for something similar. Even then it may not taste as good.