400g Shipton Mill Extra Course Organic Wholemeal Flour
300g Shipton Mill Finest Bakers White Bread Flour (No 1)
100g Shipton Mill 5 Seed Blend (401)
16g dried yeast
16g fine sea salt
25g oil (rapeseed oil preferred or olive oil)
450g warm water
It is important that all ingredients are measured accurately with scales.
Put the flours and the 5 seed blend in a large bowl and mix together well.
Measure the yeast and the salt separately and place them on top of the flour mix at opposite sides of the bowl (this is important so that the salt does not kill off the yeast). Using your fingers as a paddle, stir the contents of the bowl well again.
Add the measured oil and water to the bowl.
Using a rounded scraper bring the contents of the bowl together into a rough ball of dough.
Now tip the dough out onto a work surface and knead for 5 to 10 minutes – the dough is ready for the proving stage when it is smooth and elastic.
Form the dough into a rough ball by lifting from the side and folding and pressing into the centre. Repeat a number of times rotating slightly with each fold.
Turn the rough ball over to the smooth side and rotate between the palms of your hands and using your little fingers to tuck under the bottom of the ball. After a few turns a neat ball will be formed with a little pucker underneath (this pattern is known in French baking as la clé).
Liberally flour your original mixing bowl and place the dough, smooth side down, into it and cover with a tea towel. Leave the dough to prove in a warm place or a proving drawer for around an hour – or until the dough doubles in size.
When the dough has doubled in size empty it out onto your work surface again, using your scraper to ease the dough from the sides of the bowl.
Repeatedly prod the dough flat with your fingers until it forms a large flat round. Then fold/press into the centre (as above) to form a rough ball then turn over to form a smooth ball again as above with la clé in the centre underneath.
At this point you need a large proving basket which should be liberally dressed with flour (If you don’t have one a medium sized mixing bowl lined with a clean, very well floured tea towel will suffice).
Place your dough ball, smooth side down into your proving basket, or bowl, pressing it down lightly. Cover with a tea towel and place in a proving drawer or warm place for around an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Variation: If you want more seed on your loaf: Before placing the ball of dough into the proving basket brush the smooth side with water. Sprinkle a small handful of the seed mixture into the basket. This will then adhere to what will become the top of the loaf.
Whilst the dough is proving your oven should be prepared. Ideally, if you have, one a granite chopping board should be placed on the lower shelf of the oven. (Safety Note: Do not use a marble chopping board for this as marble cracks or explodes at high temperatures). If you don’t have a granite board a large baking tray turned upside down will do.
Also place in the bottom of the oven, under the bottom shelf, a low profile Pyrex bowl full of water.
Now pre-heat the oven to 250º C
When the dough has double in size, turn it out of the proving bowl onto a lightly floured peel (If you don’t have a peel, another upturned lightly floured baking tray will do.
Quickly slash the dough in a deep cross using a very sharp knife (I prefer to use a sharp breadknife for this deep cut).
Now slide the dough onto the granite slab in the oven.
Using a clean water hand-sprayer, spray water into the oven to form a cloud of extra steam around the dough. Close the oven and set your timer of 5 minutes.
After five minutes are up, turn the oven down to 220º C and set you timer for 25 minutes.
When the timer sounds open the oven and slide your peel under the loaf to take it out. Slide it onto a cooling rack – and you should now have a perfectly formed 5 Seed Coburg Loaf.