To make two 1lb loaves
¾pint / 425 ml warm water
1 oz / 25 g fresh yeast or ½oz / 12 g dried yeast
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 ½lb / 700 g strong wholemeal flour
2 level teaspoons sea salt
- Pour the water into a bowl and add yeast and sugar.
- Leave about 15 minutes until frothy.
- Sift flour and salt into a bowl, make a well in the centre and add the yeast liquid.
- Mix to a soft dough.
- Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic - about 10 minutes by hand or 2 minutes in a food mixer.
- Shape into loaves and brush with salt water, then cover them with a damp cloth, or oiled polythene bag and leave to rise for 1½ hours. (Some dried yeasts will rise more quickly.)
- Bake at Gas Mark 8, 450° F, 230°C for 25- 35 minutes. Turn out and cool on wire rack.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds or poppy seeds over the top before baking.
- Add 1 oz / 25 g butter or lard and rub into the flour.
- The best results are obtained with 'strong' flour milled from hard wheats. You may need to use more liquid.