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How to make wholemeal bread

 

All you need is three simple ingredients, 100% strong wholemeal flour, fine salt and easy bake yeast.

You will also need some hand hot water but not too hot that you can’t hold your little finger in it comfortably for a few seconds. Too hot and it kills the yeast, too cold and it slows up the action.

Measure the flour into a large mixing bowl, then all you do is simply sprinkle on the salt and easy bake yeast, using a spatula mix everything together thoroughly.

Make a well in the centre and pour in all the hand-hot water.

Then mix the water into the flour gradually to form a dough: the exact amount of water you'll need will depend on the flour.

Finish off by mixing with your hands until you have a smooth dough that leaves the bowl clean – there should be no bits of flour or dough remaining on the sides of the bowl and, unlike pastry, it is better to have too much water than too little.

Now transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and stretch it out into an oblong,

then fold one edge into the centre and the other over that.

Now put the dough into a well-buttered loaf tin and sprinkle the surface with a generous dusting of flour.

Place it into a roomy greased polythene bag. The reason for this is because yeast doesn’t like sudden drafts.

Close it with a clip and leave it to rise for 1½ to 2 hours at room temperature (but this could be much quicker depending on the warmth or the room).

When the dough has risen to above the top of the bread tin, remove the bag.

Then bake near the centre of the oven for 40 minutes.

When the bread is cooked, loosen the edges with a palette knife and turn it out on to a cloth to protect your hands.

Then tap the bottom of the loaf with your fingertips to check if it is cooked through.

As you tap you should hear a hollow sound.

If you like it crusty then return the bread, out of its tin, upside down to the oven for a further 5-10 minutes to crisp the base and sides.

Cool the bread on a wire rack, and never put it away or freeze it until it is absolutely cold.

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