This is one of my favourite recipes. I love it because its just SO simple. Baking your own bread requires a certain amount of dedication, forethought and planning. This recipe however is just so simple that you can throw it all together, skip the need for equipment and kneading of the dough, sit back and relax while it does its own thing.
I’ve experimented a lot with this recipe by using different flours, grains and adding some crazy ingredients at times. What I love is that it always works. Whether you want fresh buns or a loaf, it is quick and easy with a supple density and a hint of sourdough flavour which is achieved via the two step process (see recipe below).
In the past, I’ve trialled the recipe using 100% wholemeal flour which still works well but results in a very dense loaf which can have the tendency to crumble slightly more. This recipe is a combination of white and wholemeal flours which gives a nice balance between the extremes of fluffy and dense. I have come to loath fluffy supermarket breads which don’t even touch the sides when you’re hungry! I love a bread that is dense enough that I can slice it thinly for toasting without it crumbling to pieces, fills me up and of course tastes delicious! I’ve added a little less salt than you would find in standard bread recipes – so its heart healthier!
If you’re short of time, throw the dough into the refrigerator between stages & the yeast will continue to work, albeit more slowly. If I’m wanting some fresh bread for the next day, I often leave it to work its magic overnight in the refrigerator. In this recipe’s case, time only makes it better.
The two step process does initially sound a little confusing: In the first stage, you are making a starter dough, in the second stage you are essentially repeating the process by making another dough mixture.Then you add the two dough mixtures together and allow them to rise. If your seeds are distributed evenly throughout the final dough, you know you have mixed it well enough. Its a little tough on the arm to mix, but only for a brief moment, I promise!
For the first dough stage:
140g tepid water
2g dried yeast
140g strong white flour
50g cracked linseeds
50g white or black sesame seeds
- In a large bowl, measure out the tepid water. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and leave to sit for 5 minutes.
- Stir to dissolve the granules in the water, then add the flour and seeds.
- Mix well until there are no obvious big lumps of flour. The mixture should be more like a thick paste.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place at room temperature until doubled in size, approximately 1 hour. Alternatively, place in refrigerator until required (e.g. overnight).
For the second part (once the initial dough has doubled in size):
190g tepid water
4g dried yeast
180g wholemeal flour
90g strong white flour
5g iodised salt
- In another large bowl, dissolve the yeast again in the tepid water just as you did for the starter dough.
- Stir through the flours and salt until mixture is smooth.
- Now stir both dough mixes together until well combined. The dough should be stretchy and smooth.
- Allow again to double in size, about 2-4 hours (depending on how warm your house is), or leave overnight in the refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius on bake setting or 200 degrees Celsius on fan bake setting.
- Dust your work surface with a little flour and scrape the dough out onto the bench.
- Roughly cut into rolls or shape the dough slightly into a long log. You do not need to knead the dough as it is already nice and stretchy.
- Bake fist sized rolls for 20 minutes and whole loaves for approximately 40 minutes. The bread will be ready when it has a nice colour on the outside, has risen and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
Leave to cool before cutting, or serve rolls warm with a delicious soup.