I used to think that home baked bread was something for the really keen and experienced cooks. Not anymore. I have been baking my own bread for some time now and I have to say that all you need is love! Sounds corny maybe but somehow kneading and proofing and waiting for that dough to magically rise is a love filled process.
This is my favourite recipe for loaf bread and it’s absolutely delicious. It’s nutty and flavourful, wholesome and filled with everything good. Like carob honey which gives it a delicious sweetness and a lovely colour. It’s so easy to make. All you need is time to let it proof properly. If you have a mixer with a dough hook, all the better.
I find myself many times watching the dough rise, or siting in front of the oven watching the loaf swell and rise. The smell around the house while it bakes is so inviting and cozy. Bake your own bread. There’s nothing like it.
- ½ cup walnut halves
- 2 cups unbleeched bread flour («mitsides» green pack)
- 1 cup wholewheat flour
- ½ cup rye flour
- 1 ½ tsp dried active yeast
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 Tbs brown flaxseeds, crushed
- 2 Tbs pumpkin seeds
- 2 Tbs sunflower seeds
- 2 Tbs sesame seeds
- 2 tsp chia seeds
- 1 ½ cup lukewarm water
- ½ Tbs honey
- 2 Tbs carob honey
- 1 Tbs olive oil
Preheat oven to 175 C. Roast walnut halves in the oven for 6 minutes until slightly golden and fragrant. Cool and roughly chop.
In a large bowl (or mixer bowl) mix the flours with the yeast, salt and all the seeds and chopped walnuts(don’t let the salt touch the yeast directly or it may kill it. First add the yeast, mix slightly then add the salt). In another bowl mix the water honey, carob honey and olive oil (oil will not be mixed and that’s ok).
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the water mixture. Stir mixture first with a spoon until a dough begins to form. Continue kneading with your hands or a dough hook, until a soft dough forms.
Slightly oil a bowl and put in the dough twisting it around so that the surface is covered with the oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 2 hours. At this stage you can put the dough in the fridge and finish your bread the next day. Make sure you bring the dough to room temperature before proceeding.
Put the risen dough on a working surface and fold a few times. Dough will deflate and that’s ok. Slightly oil a 13 X 23 cm loaf pan and dust with flour. Shape dough into a log and place in the loaf pan. Cover pan with a soft kitchen towel (not terry cloth) and let it rise again for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 220 C.
When ready to bake, make a slash lengthwise, down the centre of the bread with a sharp knife. Bake loaf for 30 minutes. Carefully take out of the pan and leave on a wirerack to cool. Use all your will power not to cut and eat it before it’s cooled. The bread will continue to cook as it cools.
It keeps (but never lasts) for 3 days, at room temperature.