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Wholemeal Sandwich Bread

From Peter Reinhart's Whole Grain Breads: New Techniques, Extraordinary Flavor

I avoided making this bread for two years due to a lack of confidence. I REALLY wish I had had a go much earlier. It's so simple and utterly delicious AND it's 100% wholemeal.

Day 1


227g of wholemeal four (I used Shipton MIll Stongeround Organic Wholemeal Flour - it's fabulous)

4g of salt

198g of milk, butter-milk, soy or rice milk.

Mix all ingredients together for one minute.
Cover losely with cling film and leave at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.


227g of wholemeal flour

1g of instant yeast

170g of water

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and then knead with wet hands for 2 minutes. Should be very tacky at this stage.
Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.
Knead again with wet hands for 1 minute. Will still be tacky, but a little less so.
Transfer to a clean bowl and tightly seal with clingflim and then refigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.
Remove the Biga from the fridge 2 hours before the next stage.

Day 2

Final dough

Use all the soaker and biga.

56g of wholemeal flour

5g of salt

7g of instant yeast

42g of honey, agave nectar, sugar or brown sugar

14g of unsalted melted butter or vegetable oil

Extra wholemeal flour for adjustments

Chop the soaker and biga into 12 pieces each. Use some of the extra wholemeal flour to stop the pieces sticking together.
Combine the soaker and biga in a bowl with all the ingredients exept the extra flour.
Knead by hand for 3 to 4 minutes. Use some of the extra flour if it's really sticky. It should feel tacky.
Rest for 5 minutes.
Knead for 1 more minute.
Form into a ball and put in a lightly oiled bowl.
Leave for 45 to 60 minutes

Shape the dough as required.
Put it in to a bread tin, banneton etc. depending on what style of bread you want.
Let it rise for 45 to 60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 220C.
Add steam, if desired.
Put the dough in the oven and drop the temperature to 175C.
Bake for 20 minutes and then rotate 180 degrees.
Bake for another 20 to 30 minutes.

Put it on a rack to cool and allow at least an hour before serving.