I love the bread making process. I love trying different mixes of ingredients and have done an awful lot of experimenting with it over the past few years. Bread was one of the first things I stopped buying back when I decided our diet needed cleaning up. After making an awful loaf of bread, I decided we would just go without. But as time went on, my partner brought home a loaf or two of store bought bread and I decided I needed to work out how to make a good loaf. After I mastered wheat bread, I started playing with spelt flour and after a few loaves, I came up with this recipe. It is very good and has been very popular on the recipe community, where I originally posted it. Check out the notes underneath the recipe for the changes you need to make in order to make a white loaf – both versions are light and fluffy. The wholemeal loaf is a mix of wholemeal and white flour, as using all wholemeal flour results in a very heavy loaf.
2 tbs chia seeds
400g lukewarm water
2 tsp dried yeast
150g wholemeal spelt flour
400g unbleached white spelt flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp natural bread improver*
1 tsp raw honey
20g extra virgin olive oil
1. Firstly, combine chia and 120g of the water in a glass and set aside. It should sit for a little bit, to form a gel before adding to the other ingredients. By the time you get the rest of your ingredients out and ready, then get to the step in the recipe when it is added, it is about right.
2. Into mixer bowl, place remaining 280g water, yeast, wholemeal and white flours, salt, bread improver, honey, oil, linseeds and chia gel. KNEAD/4 minutes/MC on. The dough may be quite sticky. If it is, don’t add more flour. Sticky dough = fluffy bread.
3. Remove dough to either a silicon bread mat or a large oiled bowl. Either wrap in the mat or cover the bowl with glad wrap and leave in a warm place to double in size.
4. Oil your hands then knock all air out of the dough. Transfer to a bread tin, spray the top with water using a spray bottle (this will give a crunchy crust) and if you would like seeds on top, sprinkle them on now. Cover the top of your bread tin and leave to double in size again.
5. When dough has doubled in size, your bread is ready to cook. Spray the surface with water again then place the bread tin into the oven (do not preheat oven when making bread). Turn oven on to 200°. Cook for 30 minutes from the time you close the oven door.
6. When cooked, turn bread out onto a cooling rack straight away, this will prevent the crust from going soggy.
– If you would prefer to make your loaf white, replace wholemeal and white flour above with 590g unbleached white flour. You’ll notice that this is not a direct swap (weight) and that is because wholemeal flours absorb more water than white flours do.
– Bread improver is something I avoided for a long time in bread making, as the brands I saw at the supermarkets contained ingredients I didn’t want to use for my family. Then, I discovered that you can get natural bread improvers. I have been using them ever since, as they make a big difference to the finished product. The brands I use are Simply No Knead, Demeter Farm Mills and All About Bread.