330g Wholemeal Flour (Shipton Mill)
100g Barley Flour (Shipton Mill)
290g Strong White Flour (Shipton Mill)
12g Instant / Active Dried Yeast (Fermipan Red or Allison’s Easy Bake Green can)
12g Salt (Table or Sea)
25g Unsalted Butter
500g Warm Water
Mix all ingredients together in mixer for 10 minutes or by hand for 15 minutes until a dough is formed, making sure you keep the yeast away from the salt!
Put into a lightly greased bowl and cover with clingfilm and/or a damp tea towel. Leave to prove for about 1 hour, depending on the ambient temperature, until the dough has almost doubled in size.
Take the dough out of the bowl onto a lightly floured surface and knead the dough to knock out the air and ‘tighten’ the dough. This can be done by folding the dough over itself and rotating it ‘around in a clockwise direction’ so that you form a tight ball.
Lightly grease a baking sheet or tray using either olive oil or butter and some kitchen paper. Alternatively use a tin (2lb) or proving basket (large)
Shape the dough as you require (ball, oval, bloomer, cottage loaf style, etc) and place on to the lightly greased baking sheet/tray, and cover in a bag or with lightly oiled clingfilm so that the cover does not stick to the bread as it rises.
Allow to rise for about one hour, again dependent on the ambient temperature, until almost double in size. Don’t let the dough over prove.
Pre-heat the oven to 220c, 425f or Gas mark 7 and put a tray that can be used to put boiling water in at the bottom of the oven as it is heating up (with no water in it).
When the bread is ready to bake, make sure you have some boiling water ready and slash deep cuts into the top of the loaf with a very sharp knife (serrated will be best) or use a razor/lame.
Place the loaf on the top shelf of the oven and pour the boiling water in the tray at the bottom of the oven to create stream (if your oven doesn’t have steam facility built in). Bake the loaf on the same temperature (do not reduce) for 30 mins.
After 30 mins check the loaf is baked by tapping the bottom. If it sounds hollow, then it is baked. Pop back in the oven upside down for a further 5 mins, making sure there is no steam left (remove the tray of water if any remain). This will harden the loaf and make the crust ‘crispy’ when it is removed and cooled.
After the 5 mins, remove and allow the bread to cool on a wire rack to allow the crust to form properly. If you like cool the bread upside down, to ensure the base does not get ‘damp’ from any steam that can form from the heat of the loaf (there is less surface area for steam to form if it is cooled upside down).
Once cooled it can be stored for up to 3 to 4 days in a bread bin or airtight container.