Friday, 13 April 2012

Pam’s Staple Loaf

      To be honest, I love kneading. Lots of people say that kneading is the hardest bit of bread making. 
      But I find it quite enjoyable. Especially, when I'm baking in a lazy morning. However, when you have lots of other things to do and still want to have nice home-baked bread and don't have a fancy mixing machine what would you do? My friend Pam has an answer. Here is her "Staple Loaf" recipe. Apparently her husband is a regular baker of this recipe. I wasn't sure when I read this recipe for the first time. 12 to15fl of water for 1lb of flour? So, I tried 13fl for my first attempt. I didn't have black treacle in my cupboard, so I used brown sugar instead. The bread turned out very differently from the loaves which I usually bake. Very rustic outside and lots of bubbles inside. The texture was very different from my usual bread, spongy and bouncy. 
      Lovely flavour.   I really enjoyed it with "eggs in pots

Pam's recipe ...................................................................................................

  • sachet easy-blend yeast
  • 1 Teaspoon black treacle
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil (improves keeping qualities)
  • 12-15 fl oz warm water
  • 1 lb wholemeal flour (or a mixture of white/rye/spelt/granary etc)
  • Teaspoon salt
  • Tablespoon sesame seeds (optional) **   

  1. Grease a 5 x 8 inch loaf tin. (1lb)
  2. Put the flour and salt into a large bowl. Add the easy blend yeast to the flour and mix. Add the seeds, oatflakes and/or nuts, if using**, see below for details. Add the oil and treacle to the water, make a well in the flour and add water to make a wettish dough that would be just too wet to knead. Use a wooden spoon to mix.
  3. Put the dough in the loaf tin and smooth down the surface. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and pat down. (Optional) Or egg-wash the loaf.
  4.    Place the tin in a warm place and cover with a damp tea towel (or an oiled carrier bag does the trick). Leave to rise for about 1 hour at normal room temp. (Should double in size.) 
  5.    Preheat the oven to 220°C/200C fan/440°F/Gas mark 8 (unless you know something different about your oven). Then place the bread in the hot oven for 35 minutes. When cooked, the loaf should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Wrap in a clean tea towel for a softer crust and a lovely springy, moist, textured bread.    
** For variety, you can add any or all of these, don’t measure, just a handful altogether:
Pumpkin seeds, Sunflower seeds, Linseeds (good idea to grind these a bit in a pestle and mortar, or a grinder, otherwise they tend to pass straight through you, and they are very good for women, but only if you actually get to digest them!), Oat flakes, Chopped nuts, pine nut