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6 High Street Bread

"6 High Street Bread"
Catherine Spratt


50g mixed seeds, e.g. pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, etc
450g bread flour of whatever type you like (or a combination of different flours). You might have to add more water for wholemeal flour.
About 300ml warm water (1 part boiling, 2 parts cold)
[If you are using a sourdough starter, subtract the flour and water in it from the 500g dry goods and 300ml water and modify the new flour & water accordingly.]
1 sachet of dried yeast
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
A swirl of olive oil
Vegetable oil for oiling
Beaten egg for brushing
Mixed seeds for scattering

Mix the flour(s) with the 50g seeds, sugar, salt and dried yeast in a warm mixing bowl. Swirl in the olive oil. [Add the sourdough if you are using it.] Add the water and combine all ingredients to form a soft dough.
Scatter a spoonful of flour onto the work surface and knead the dough for at least 10 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.
Oil the surface of the mixing bowl.
Form the dough into a ball and roll it around the bowl so that it collects some of the oil. Cover loosely with cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.
After the dough has doubled in size, punch it back to expel gas and knead for a few minutes.
Shape the dough as required and place in a bread tin or on a baking sheet.
Cover the shaped doughloosely with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 235C.
Remove the cling film.
Slash the bread diagonally across with a scalpel or sharp knife (1, 2 or 3 times for example).
Brush the top with beaten egg, avoiding the slashes, and sprinkle seeds on top.
Bake the loaf for 10 minutes at 235C.
Reduce the oven to 195C, turn the bread and bake for a further 10 minutes.
Check the loaf and turn and bake for another 10 minutes.
Knock the underside of the loaf and if it sounds hollow, it is done.
Cool on a rack before attempting to cut and eat.