I got some nice cookbook gifts this Christmas; Larousse from my auntie which is fantastic as it’s basically an encyclopaedia on mainly French cookery but pretty much every type of cookery gets a mention. I also got Heston Blumenthal’s latest offering which I’m really looking forward to reading (won’t be going near any of the recipes though – I have the fear) and my brother’s girlfriend gave me Rachel Allen’s 2008 diary which is great. There is a recipe for each month so I’ve vowed to try it out going forward.
This month’s recipe is a lovely seedy, oatey bread with only 3oz of white flour so it’s not the unhealthiest of breads. It was very easy to make; soda bread is actually more difficult to get right as if you mix / knead it too much, the gluten is released which makes the texture very doughy. No such problem with this bread, dry ingredients in a bowl, wet in a jug, pour, stir, rest, cook, easy!
I had the basics in the press, flours, yeast, honey & salt but my seed stocks were down so I just made do with what I had. I didn’t have poppy or sunflower seeds so used, sesame & pumpkin seeds instead. I didn’t have bran either so just increased the amount of oats (I’ve lovely jumbo oats from Sean Chara) and the bread turned out brilliant. Give it a go!
with oats & seeds
What You Need
7oz wholewheat flour
3oz plain flour
3oz mixture of poppy seeds, sesame seeds & sunflower seeds (plus two tablespoons for dusting)
1 Tbsp honey
1 7g sachet yeast
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp sunflower oil
350-400ml warm water
What You Do
· Pre-heat oven to 200C & grease a 2lb loaf tin.
· In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients reserving the seeds for the top.
· Mix 100ml of the water with the yeast and honey and allow it to stand until it turns frothy (takes about 5 minutes).
· When this happens add another 250ml of water to the jug as well as the oil and pour it into the dry ingredients. The mixture should be runny, if not, add some more water.
· Pour into the tin and allow to stand in a warm place until the bread mix rises to the top of the tin.
· Bake in the oven for 1 hour – if it sounds hollow when you tap the bottom of the loaf, then it’s cooked, otherwise put back in the oven for another 5 minutes.
· Cool on a wire rack.