banner image

Free Form Multigrain Bread (by Monica Shaw)

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)

Seeded White Free Form Multigrain Loaf by Monica Shaw


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:

Seeded White Free From Multigrain Loaf Dough by Monica Shawseeded-white-organic-dough-pic-by-monica-shaw-resized - Samantha Livy - Tortepane

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.)

Seeded White Free Form Multigrain Loaf by Monica Shaw

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.

Adapted from a River Cottage Malted Grain Loaf recipe.