A recipe by guest blogger Monica Shaw of Smarter Fitter adapted from a River Cottage malted grain loaf recipe (pictures ©Monica Shaw)
You can read the full blog piece here: Free Form Bread with Seeded White Organic Flour
- 500g Shipton Mill Seeded White Organic Flour
- 5g dried yeast
- 10g fine sea salt
- 300ml warm water
- About 1 tbsp melted butter, or rapeseed or olive oil (I used olive oil)
- Rye flour, for coating (optional)
1. Combine the flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the water and mix to a rough dough (I recommend using your hands). Add the butter or oil and mix well. Adjust the consistency if you need to with a little more flour or water to make a soft, easily kneadable, sticky dough.
2. Turn the dough out on to a work surface and knead until smooth and satiny – roughly 10 minutes (or if you have a blender with a dough hook, use that). Cover the bowl with cling film and leave until doubled in size – anywhere from 45 minutes to 90 minutes, possibly even longer depending on the temperature of your kitchen. When it’s ready it should look like this:
3. Deflate (‘knock back’) the dough by tipping it on to the work surface and pressing all over with your fingertips. Then shape the dough into a loaf, dusting it with a little rye flour if you have some. Transfer to a well-floured board, linen cloth or proving basket, lay a plastic bag over it and leave to prove, until almost doubled in size again.
4. Preheat the oven to 250°C/Gas Mark 9 (or at least 220°C/gas 7, if that’s your top limit), then put a pizza stone or baking tray in to heat up. Have ready, if possible, a clean gardener’s spray bottle full of water – you’ll be using this to create a steamy atmosphere in the oven, which helps the bread to rise and develop a good crust. (You can achieve the same effect with a roasting tin of boiling water placed on the bottom of the oven just before you put the loaf in – but the spray bottle is easier.)
5. Transfer the loaf to the hot tray, removed from the oven. Slash the top, if you wish, with a serrated knife. Put the loaf into the hot oven and give a few squirts from the spray bottle over and around it before closing the door as quickly as you can.
6. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200°C/gas 6 and continue baking until well browned and hollow-sounding when tapped – around 30 minutes.
7. Leave to cool completely on a rack before slicing.