So somewhere in the middle of my veggie kick I finally gave into temptation and found some time to bake this bread…and then I almost passed out. This stuff smells so good.
The first time I made it I really just wanted fresh bread for dinner. We were out of our usual [organic, no chemicals, no soy, sourdough] loaf which is nice but still just grocery story sandwich bread, I was a bit over wraps and we’re trying to avoid loose rolls from the supermarket. Not to mention that once you’re hankering for homemade fresh-baked bread nothing else will do.
The craving was for a soft egg-y bread – the kind that traditionally has loads of milk, butter and sugar in it, and is always made of white flour – but with none of those things. After having a bit of a look around on the Internets for oh, about a minute [cue short attention span] and not finding what I wanted, I just gave it a go on my own using some yeast bread basics, and ingredients that we actually eat.
The thing about yeast bread is that it is not nearly as scary as people think. It does take some practice, and it does take a bit of time and effort…
…but once you work out the right consistency and the kneading, it is so cool to see it rise…
…and then form the dough and see it grow into a proper loaf shape…
The smell of it baking was enough to make my eyes roll back in my head. What came out of the oven was a little bit sweet, a lot rich and dense with a really nice crumb.
It was fantastic fresh that evening and wonderful toasted [both with almond spread and for sandwiches] pretty much every day after.
I recon it would make great rolls for sliders or burgers too but for now, just a big thick slice…or three.
Best Wholemeal Bread
½ cup apple juice
½ cup hot water
1 sachet dried yeast
3 cups wholewheat flour, divided
1 cup wholewheat spelt flour
1 cup rye flour
1/3 cup natural plain or greek yogurt
2 Tbsp apple concentrate*
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp rolled oats for the pan
Under 100 words:
Combine apple juice and water, dissolve yeast. Mix in 1 c wholewheat and beat with with a wooden spoon for 50 strokes. Add in all remaining wet ingredients and beat again. Stir in all rye and spelt. Stir in 1 c more of wholewheat flour. Turn out and knead in enough remaining flour to make a smooth dough. Let rise. Punch down, form into loaf, let rise again. Bake.
Combine apple juice and hot water in a jug, and if necessary cool slightly till just warm – you don’t want it too hot for the yeast. Sprinkle over the sachet of yeast and stir with a fork to mix well. Set aside for 5-10 mins till frothy [so you know the yeast is activated].
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of the wholewheat flour with the yeast/water mixture and stir with a large wooden spoon for 50 strokes. Add in remaining wet ingredients [yogurt through egg] and stir in well. Add in salt and all of the spelt and rye and stir well. Add 1+ cups of the remaining wholewheat flour and mix until dough can no longer be stirred with the spoon*.
Turn out onto a floured countertop and adding additional flour if necessary, kneed for 8 mins, until dough is smooth. It will be tacky but not sticky.
Form into a ball, place in a bowl and coat lightly with oil [I just put it back in the bowl I mixed it in but I don’t bother to wash it since it is just dough ingredients anyway]. Cover with a sheet of baking paper and a tea towel and allow to rise till doubled in size – about an hour to and hour and a half*.
Punch down risen dough and turn out onto the countertop – you probably won’t need any flour at this point. Kneed gently once or twice and roll into a rectangle as wide as your loaf pan, and about 30cm [12”] long. Roll tightly and pull sides over ends to seal. Lightly coat the pan with cooking spray and sprinkle with some rolled oats.
Place rolled dough in pan, brush or spray with a bit of oil and sprinkle with oats. Cover loosely with baking paper and tea towel and allow to rise till just above edge of the pan – 40 mins to an hour.
Bake in a preheated oven at 180° (350) for 40 minutes until browned and hollow sounding when tapped. Turn out of pan to cool on a rack.
- Need to substitute the apple concentrate? Use honey or golden syrup. For a richer flavour you can even use molasses [treacle] or in a pinch, maple syrup.
- The amount of flour you have to add depends on the flours you are using, the humidity on the day and the mood of the dough [yep, seriously]. As you knead it you will get a feeling on if it is too sticky still or just kind of tacky. Better it is a bit too wet than too dry!
- Since there is not always a ‘warm place’ in our apartment I usually put the covered bowl with the dough into a larger bowl or pan with a bit of hot water in it [in the pics the dough is in the clear bowl, the green one has hot water in the bottom that comes about halfway up]. Works a treat to make it rise. Putting the loaf pan into a roasting pan the same way can help as well.