wholemeal seeded bloomer
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The recipe for the uninitiated: the bread loaf that comes out a beauty every time, the no knead bread. It really – and I mean REALLY doesn’t need (pun!) any bread baking skills. You mix the dough, hotchpotch and rough, cover it and stick somewhere warm overnight, the next day you just fold it about a bit, like play-doh. And if you have a good casserole dish that can be heated up in the oven on its own, the result is truly and honestly every time guaranteed.
Flexible loaf too. I’ve found you can use any flours (except perhaps just rye, or just buckwheat) in any combination – a bit like having your own bespoke scent. Add seeds or herbs. Add bits of olives or sun-dried tomatoes. Add spices. Hell – even whack in a good amount of diced hard cheese, it will work extremely well.
The recipe was created by Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery and was one of the most popular recipes New York Times had ever published. The end product tastes a bit like sourdough, depending of course on the mix of flours. The suggestion below will bring you closest to the sourdough semblance: large part white, medium part wholemeal and a little rye flour.
wholemeal seeded bloomer
- The kind of seeds to use is entirely up to you, as long as the total amount is around 100g.
- 30g pumpkin seeds
- 30g sunflower seeds
- 20g linseed
- 20g millet grain
- 20g poppy seeds
- 100g wholemeal rye flour
- 200g stoneground wholemeal wheat flour
- 345g strong white flour
- 12g salt
- ½ tsp instant or 5g fresh yeast
- 510g water
Place the seeds, the flours, the yeast and the salt in a large bowl. Add water - at room temperature – and mix roughly so that the water is incorporated, no need to knead! Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for at least 12 hours.
The dough will have risen appreciably and will be airy and stringy when turned out of the bowl. Wet the work surface generously, turn the dough out and fold it over itself from all angles, stretching a little, to form a manageable shape. Dip it thoroughly in wholemeal flour and place it on a heavy baking sheet or the bottom of a clay cloche, if you have one.
Put the dish or tray in a plastic bag inflated a bit so it doesn’t touch the dough (just blow into it and tie the end!) and leave for about 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas 7. If using the cloche, preheat the cover for at least 20 minutes.
Score the top of the bread with several parallel lines using a sharp knife.
Bake for 40 minutes – the cloche version for 20 minutes with the lid on, and for another 20 minutes with the lid off.