The Watermill’s very own traditional bread
The Watermill at Little Salkeld mill their own wholemeal and unbleached white flours from organic and biodynamically grown English wheat.
Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus 45 minutes proving time |Cooking time: 25-40 minutes Makes 2 x 1 lb loaves or 1 x 2lb loaf
For white bread:
- 500g flour
- 10g dried yeast
- 7g salt
- 350ml water
For wholemeal bread:
- 550g flour
- 11g dried yeast
- 11g salt
- 440ml water
Mix the flour, yeast and salt in a mixing bowl. Add the water and mix together into a well-combined, slightly sticky dough. If making by hand, place the dough on a lightly floured board or work surface. Knead the dough well for 10-15 minutes until the dough can be stretched quite far but holds together. Flours with lower gluten content need more kneading to develop the gluten and help the dough rise. If using a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment, mix for 10 minutes on a medium to high setting, ensuring that the dough is picked up and kneaded for at least half of the time.
Grease the bread tin well, making sure anywhere the bread will touch is covered, otherwise the loaf will stick to the sides or base when cooked. If making 2 x 1 lb loaves, weigh the dough and split evenly into two. Shape the dough by flattening into a rectangle roughly the same width as the tin. Then roll up the dough tightly so as to not leave any pockets of air. If there are any cracks on the top, flatten the dough again and repeat the rolling process until the top is smooth (if you have to do this more than three times the dough may need more kneading). With the join on the bottom, tuck under the sides of the dough.
Place the dough in the tin and leave to rise in a warm place (near a preheated oven works well, but no hotter than 40°c) for approximately 45 minutes. Depending on the room temperature, this may take over an hour but never leave dough for more than two hours. The dough is proved when it has risen to the top of the tin at the sides and above the tin in the middle, and springs back when pressed gently. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220°c.
Bake at the top of the preheated oven for 25 minutes (for 1 lb loaves) or 40 minutes (for 2 lb loaves). Avoid opening the door until the loaves are cooked. Tip out of the tin and tap the bottom to check; it should sound hollow when done.
Note: Using Bread Machines
In bread machines, lower gluten flours can sometimes overprove (the dough collapses). We recommend using the basic setting on your machine and substituting 150g of the wholemeal flour in this recipe with white flour. Alternatively, use the dough setting then bake in a conventional oven.