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The wheaten loaf

Recipe from: 28 June 2011

Ingredients 4
Servings 3
Time 18 hrs


  • 1
    stoneground white bread flour
  • 5
    instant dry yeast
  • 20
  • 850


50 mins
Dissolve the salt in 200g water.
In a large, shallow bowl, sift the flour. Mix in the yeast with your fingers and make a well in the flour.
Add a little water and, using one hand, blend in a little flour from the sides until it forms a paste.
Very gradually keep adding water and gently blend in the flour, a little at a time – this should take up to five minutes.
Add the salted water and mix more firmly until the mixture becomes a thick shaggy mass – another three to five minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl and shape the mixture into a rough ball.
Measure the dough temperature; it should be between 23 and 24°C. To bring down the temperature, refrigerate for a few minutes; to raise the temperature place in the oven with the light on at the beginning of the rising time.
Cover with a clean tea towel and leave the dough to rise for 45 minutes.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured board. Pick up the far edge of the dough and bring it towards you, folding it over the centre of the dough and pressing it down. Then take the edge closest to you; fold it away from you and onto the dough and press it down. Fold the left edge over to the right side and the right edge over to the left side, pressing down after each fold. Keep folding in this way until the dough cannot fold anymore and it feels springy.
Brush the bowl with extra-virgin olive oil; return the dough to the bowl, cover and refrigerate for eight to 18 hours.
Remove from the fridge, tip onto a lightly floured board and divide the dough into three pieces (around 570g each).
Fold each piece again as in step nine.
Cover the balls of dough and leave for 45 minutes to return to room temperature.
Brush the loaf tins with olive oil.
Take a ball of dough and pull and press it until it is a flat rectangular piece.
Roll the dough away from you – as if you were rolling a Swiss roll.
Towards the end, pull apart the corners before rolling to keep the loaf lengthened.
At the end, seal the seam using the palm of your hand. 
Place it in the pan, tucking under the ends and leave to rise for one hour and 15 minutes.

Place a cast iron pan on the floor of the oven and the rack in the lower third and preheat the oven to 250°C.
Just before putting the loaves into the oven, use a sharp knife to cut a slit into the top of the bread – this prevents the bread bursting at a weak point somewhere else in the dough.
Working quickly, slide the bread onto the oven rack and at the same time pour 120ml water into the cast iron pan.
Shut the oven immediately and bake for 10 minutes.
Turn down the heat to 200°C and bake for 40 minutes.
Remove the bread from the oven and immediately tip out of the pans onto a cooling rack to keep the crust crispy.
For shine, brush the tops with water while hot.
Makes three loaves.
Per loaf: 5 141kJ, 0g fat, 2 600mg sodium, 245g carbs, 9g fibre, 0g sugars, 45g protein

Reprinted with permission of Women's Health July Issue.

Read more on: bake  |  flour

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