Guest spot: Mildred's wholemeal undercover bread recipePosted by Fiona Nevile in Bread | 28 comments
Do you remember Mildred and Ian's hedgehog villas? Mildred also makes bread every day. She starts the bread in the evening and makes it when she gets up in the morning. It stays crusty until tea time.
Like all good cooks she adapts her recipes. Finds the best tips and combines them to make her own individual recipe. This recipe, "is adapted in part from Andrew Whiteley's 'Bread Matters' Book, with a bit of a twist from Elizabeth David's bread book! The benefit of leaving the yeast overnight allowing for a longer 'proof' time means it doesn't take as long to rise in the morning, and according to AW it is better for yeast to have a long time - rather than the modern style of bought bread, 10 minutes rising!
I bought my Pyrex bowls from Dunelms for about £3 - the shape of the loaf relies on the shape of the bowl so a big wide bowl wouldn't produce a nice round loaf."
Mildred's wholemeal undercover bread recipe
The NIGHT BEFORE (anytime from 5pm to 10pm) put, in a medium basin:
- 50g Wholemeal Bread flour (the Waitrose strong Canadian is fantastic, best flour ever!)
- 100g White strong bread flour and
- A good teaspoon dried yeast (I use Dove's quick yeast, 6g) OR 5g fresh yeast in which case stir it into the water before you put the flour in).
- Add 130g fresh water, just from the cold tap.
- Stir it up, pop inside a bag and leave in the cool end of the kitchen overnight.
In the morning put the 'sponge' mixture into the mixer bowl along with:
- 350g Strong White and
- 100g Strong wholemeal flour
- 6g salt
- A small dollop of butter
- Add enough water (good hand hot) usually 270g, I add about 200g and start the mixer up and watch for a minute adding JUST enough to make a stiff dough dollop. Just take your time, it will be obvious after a few times!
I mix it while I grind my coffee . . . . about 3 mins maybe? Then I take it out of the mixer and knead by hand, I like that bit best! It feels like a big soft but firm ball of dough then.
- Pop it back into the mixer bowl, place 2 tea towels over and leave in a warm place for one hour, it should have risen well. A bit longer if it is too cool. Mine sits on the closed cooker lid. It doesn't take as long as usual because of the overnight rising part.
- Put the oven on 200c ish (mine doesn't have a temp, it feels very hot though). Make sure the oven shelf is low enough to fit a well risen loaf!
Lift the dough out of the bowl and knead for half a minute quite firmly, shape into a round ball tucking the sides under, rather like a curled up hedgehog, place onto a tray with a shake of flour on, cut the top with a sharp knife 4 or 5 timers across. Then place the PYREX glass bowl over it - mine was from Dunelm (a 24cm one).
- Leave it to rise a bit. If warm it takes only 15 mins, maybe 20 - again this depends on how warm your kitchen is, it doesn't need to look full loaf sized yet, more like half sized.
- Then put the tray, loaf AND bowl (over the loaf) into the oven! Set the timer for 30 mins.
- When the time is up put oven gloves ON and a frying type spatula at the ready. Slide the tray out and with the spatula under the bowl edge and using the oven gloves lift the bowl off - IT IS VERY HOT so have a mat ready to sit it on, don't do what I did and put it in a sink of water, it breaks!!!
- Quickly get the loaf back into the oven, I spray a splash of water in the oven bottom to help crisp the crust but it doesn't matter if you don't.
- Check it after 12 to 15 mins, depending on the oven heat it should be golden. Better a good brown that hardly done!
Cool on a tray, I leave it all day as it stays crusty then for teatime!!
For a WHITE loaf just use the same quantities but use ALL white flour
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