Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Busy people's bread

A colleague passed on this recipe by Annabel Langbein for busy people's bread. It is quick and easy to make (just 15 minutes to prepare - 10 of those minutes are 'standing' time!) and the yeast mixture smells amazing when set aside to ferment. You don't need to leave it to proof as it rises in the oven during the first stage of cooking and there is no kneading. It really couldn't be simpler to make, especially on a weeknight.

Busy people's bread has a delicious nutty flavour and a slightly crunchy texture that you could vary by experimenting with different seeds or by substituting some of the wholemeal flour for cornmeal. It is fast becoming my new favourite everyday bread.

This recipe makes a decent sized loaf of bread that stays fresh for several days and toasts well. It can also be frozen. I've rewritten the recipe here because I prefer to weigh rather than measure ingredients. Also, I usually halve the original recipe to make just one loaf so this saves recalculating each time. You can find the full twin-loaf recipe here.

Busy people's bread

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 15 g honey
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast granules
  • 205 g high grade white flour
  • 205 g wholemeal flour
  • 8 g salt
  • 150 g sunflower seeds
  • 25 g pumpkin seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 80ºC. Grease and line a ~25 x 10 cm loaf tin.
  2. In a large bowl, dissolve the honey in the boiling water. Add the cold water and yeast and set aside for 10 minutes. 
  3. Whisk the yeast mixture then add in the white and wholemeal flours, salt and sunflower seeds. Mix with a large spoon until evenly combined. It will be a loose, wet batter.
  4. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared loaf tin. Sprinkle the pumpkin seeds over the top and gently press them in to the mixture. Run a sharp knife diagonally through the top of the loaf in 4-5 places so that it rises evenly without splitting.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes at 80ºC, then turn the oven up to 210ºC and bake for a further 30-40 minutes. (Leave the loaf in the oven as it heats up to the second temperature.) The cooked loaf will sound hollow when tapped. Turn out of the tin while still hot and leave to cool on a wire rack. Makes 12 slices.
Busy people's bread

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