This is of course an approximation and no historical accuracy is implied…but it is close to the original(s), and one of my favourite breads.
200g Shipton wholemeal rye flour
200g Shipton wholemeal spelt flour
200g sifted wholemeal wheat flour
300g rye or wheat leaven
2 teaspoons salt
Using Shipton Mill stoneground organic wholemeal, sift it through the finest kitchen sifter you have which should remove about 15% of the coarse bran, leaving a nice brown flour with germ and fine bran intact. This is a very common traditional flour.
In a large bowl, mix the flours well. Mix the leaven and water and add to the flour with the salt. Work the dough into a round-ish shape and gently knead for 5 minutes. It will become less sticky, and then slightly sticky again. Cover with a cotton cloth, place in a plastic bag in a warm spot and allow to rise/prove for 1 hour.
This loaf is a round crusty shape, so using rye, flour a banneton or cloth lined bowl in preparation.
After an hour, the dough will be less-sticky and relaxed. Gently knead for a few minutes and form into a round. Allow to relax for a few minutes, then round to its final shape and roll in plenty of rye flour. Place in the banneton, seams uppermost, cover with a cloth and put in a plastic bag in a warm spot for 2-2 1/2 hours until well risen.
Turn out on to a baking sheet/stone and slash with a sharp blade. Not too many cuts or the loaf will spread.
Bake at 250°C for 20 minutes, then at 220°C for 15 minutes more.
This works well in a cloche.
Variations are to use a white flour such as Shipton’s traditional organic white instead of the brown flour, and similarly use sifted rye and white spelt instead of the wholemeals.
Please refer to A Guide to a Better Crust for a refresher on baking crusty breads.