- 550 g malted brown flour
- 10 g salt
- 200 ml warm bottled water
- 200 ml warm milk
- 7 g quick acting dried yeast
- 10 g caster sugar
- 50 g melted unsalted butter or olive oil
- beaten egg, to glaze
- a few sunflower or poppy seeds
- Place the flour and salt in a mixing bowl and mix well.
- Mix 150mls of each of the water and milk, add the yeast, sugar and melted butter.
- Pour into the flour and mix well to a soft dough.
- Check the consistency and add a little more liquid to form a soft dough but not too sloppy. It's always very difficult to give exact measurements when talking about flours. All flours have different absorption rates, so it's best to err on the side of caution.
- Knead the dough well for at least 5 minutes non-stop to work the gluten. It was a strict rule when I was an apprentice.
- Then return to the bowl and cover with cling film and leave to prove in a warm place until about doubled in size. This should take about 25-30 minutes.
- Once proved, cut into 2 pieces and shape into loaf form. Place into 2 buttered loaf tins. Cover with cling film and prove until about doubled in size roughly, again about 30 minutes. Do not overprove.
- At this point, preheat the oven to 220C, Gas 7.
- Dust with flour, slash the tops with a sharp knife 2 or 3 times. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes, turn down the heat to 200C and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until light brown, golden and cooked.
- Once baked, cool on wire racks and rewarm in a moderate oven before eating.
- Hot bread straight out of the oven is not good to eat. It needs to cool completely and then be rewarmed for a perfect result. They also freeze well
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