50 gms 5 seed blend
50 grms malted wheat flakes
100grms boiling water
50 grms wholemeal flour
150 grms strong bread flour
250 grms malthouse flour
5 grms dried yeast
8 grms salt
260 grms lukewarm water
30 grms poppy seeds
teaspoon sea salt flakes
10-12 ice cubes
Makes three batons
3 hours before making dough place the 5 seed blend and malted flakes in a small bowl add the boiling water stir well, cover and leave to cool.
Active the dried yeast according to the manufacturers directions in a small jug using some of the remaining water, if the instructions recommend adding a teaspoon of sugar do so, but not all modern dried yeasts need this.
Mix together the three flours and salt in a large, wide mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Pour in the cooled seed/malt mix, the yeast mixture and most of the remaining lukewarm water. Mix to a loose dough, adding the remaining water or a little extra stong bread flour as needed.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface, cover and leave to relax for about 5 minutes. Then knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth, springy and elastic. Put the dough into a large bowl, wrap inside a large plastic bag that seals in the moisture but has room for the dough to expand and leave in a warm place.
After about 1½–2 hours, when the dough has more than doubled in size, gently punch down the dough with your fist to deflate it and knead it again for about 2–3. Cover and leave to relax for a further 10 minutes.
Using a serrated knife cut the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll them into balls.
Lightly dust your work surface with flour. To shape the loaves take the first ball, place it upside down and then flatten it with the heel of your hand into a rough baton. Fold the dough in half along the baton and with again the heel of your hand press together. Roll the baton a quarter turn towards you bringing the open edge into the middle of the upper surface and then fold the dough in half again and press together. Repeat this process half a dozen times and you will give the baton some strength along its length.
Do the same with the other two balls of dough.
Brush the tops with water, roll in a plateful of poppy seeds so they stick well, then place on tray lined with a sheet of silicone baking paper about 3cm apart. Sprinkle lightly with the sea salt flakes. Cover and leave to rise for about 90 minutes, or until risen by half.
Heat the oven to 220C , set a roasting tin to heat on the lowest rack in the oven and ensure a rack is in place just above the middle of the oven for the bread.
With a small very sharp knife make 5 -7 shallow slightly diagonal slashes in the top of each loaf.
Put loaves into the heated oven and drop the ice cubes into the hot roasting tin. Bake until well browned on top and hollow sounding to tap on the base. Set loaves on a wire rack to cool.
Thanks to my father for introduing me to bread making 40 years ago when it was not as fashionable as today.