February 1, 2014 by Dewi
Fill the house with the welcoming smell of freshly baked bread.
I’ve often maintained on here that I’m not a baker; cooking is my pursuit of choice. However, over the last few months I’ve started baking my own loaves of bread and finding it to be an absolute joy. The process of transforming a handful of ingredients into a lovely little loaf has proved (sorry) to be something I find quite therapeutic.
When I’ve had a hard week at uni and am feeling tired form long hours of revision, taking some time out of the day and mixing, kneading, proving, knocking back, kneading, proving, baking is a great way to relax and recharge. What’s more, at the end of the process there are two brilliant rewards.
One, of course, is a delicious loaf of bread (best warm from the oven with plenty of butter. Mmm) However, the other reward is not to be under appreciated: the smell of freshly baked bread That smell. It’s wonderful. I’m sure on the days when I bake a loaf of bread, me and my flatmates are more cheerful than usual. When it’s cold and miserable outside, coursework deadlines are looming and exams are just around the corner, the smell of fresh bread really does raise our spirits. This isn’t just me talking nonsense either: it’s been shown that the smell of fresh bread makes people nicer! There have been studies, using science and numbers and everything!
This loaf is also healthy, as well as delicious; using wholemeal flour and a mixture of pumpkin and sesame seeds. It’s a really great bread for lunchbox sandwiches too. Baking a loaf is easy, enjoyable and makes you feel all warm and good inside, so why not give it a go?
Makes 1 loaf
- 500g strong wholemeal flour
- 350ml warm water
- 7g sachet of instant yeast
- Tsp salt
- Tbsp olive oil (plus extra for greasing the bowl and loaf tin)
- Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp mixed seeds (plus extra for topping)
Pour the flour into a large mixing bowl.
Add the yeast and salt on opposite sides of the bowl and, keeping them separate, rub into the flour.
In a jug, combine the water, olive oil and honey.
Make a well in the flour and pour in the wet ingredients and combine until a dough forms.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10minutes until the dough becomes quite elastic.
Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled mixing bowl.
Cover and leave to prove in a warm place (an airing cupboard is perfect) t prove for one hour, or until the dough has doubled in size.
Knock the air out of the proved dough, tip onto a lightly floured surface and flatten it out.
Pour over the seeds and knead the dough for 10 minutes.
Shape the dough into oval and place into an oiled loaf tin. Top with more of the seeds.
Put the tin into a plastic bag and seal it well. Leave to prove for an hour.
Pre-heat the oven to 200℃.
Remove the loaf from the bag and place into the preheated oven and bake for 35 minutes.
Remove the loaf from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
I normally have a slice or two whilst the bread is still warm, with lashings of golden butter!