Seed & grain cottage loaf
- Preparation and cooking time
- plus 2 hrs proving
- Makes 1 loaf (cuts into about 12 slices)
A fail-safe bread recipe that produces the perfect loaf- once you've mastered it, try swapping flours and altering the shape
- STEP 1
Heat the butter, honey and 300ml water in a saucepan. Set aside to cool to hand temperature.
- STEP 2
Mix the flours, yeast and 1½ tsp salt in a bowl. Pour in the warm liquid and mix with a wooden spoon, then with your hands. Tip onto your work surface and knead for 10 mins or until springy. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave somewhere warm to rise for 2 hrs or until doubled in size.
- STEP 3
Flour a large baking tray. Tip the dough onto your work surface and knead to knock out the air bubbles. Remove ¼ of the dough so that you have 2 pieces. Shape both pieces of dough into smooth balls, put the large one on the baking tray then sit the smaller ball on top. Using a well-floured handle of a wooden spoon, push through the centre of the 2 balls of dough to stick them together. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for about 45 mins or until doubled in size. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and put a cake tin on the bottom shelf, with an empty shelf directly above for the bread.
- STEP 4
Remove the cling film from the bread. Brush all over with the egg, then sprinkle generously with seeds. Slash the edges of the loaf a few times with a sharp knife to create a pattern. Open the oven and pour a cup full of water into the cake tin – this will create steam and give the loaf a crisp crust. Put the bread on the empty shelf and bake for 20 mins, then turn the oven down to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and bake for another 30 mins until crisp and hollow-sounding when tapped on the base. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 30 mins before eating.