STONEGROUND WHOLEMEAL RECIPE
A Hearty Country Loaf
Our Stoneground Wholemeal is ideal for making a traditional farmhouse style loaf. It has all the goodness of “real bread” that our grand parents would have enjoyed: healthy, hearty and nutritious. You can make a lighter loaf by adding white flour, a denser loaf by adding rye flour.
300g Bread For Life Stoneground Wholemeal
190-220ml Luke warm water
5-6 g salt
4g/half sachet dried yeast
100g of your sour dough starter
If you are using your own sour dough starter and no yeast, then here is a simple feeding schedule.
First feed 1:2:2
- take 10 g starter
- add 20 g water
- and 20 g flour
Second feed 1:2:3
- take 50 g starter
- add 100 g water
- and 150 g flour
This gives you 300g of starter, enough to make 3x500g loaves or 2x750g loaves
Decide if you are using yeast or starter or a combination of both. You could use 100g of starter and 2-3 g of dried yeast as “insurance” in case your starter is not “fertile” or active enough. In time, home sour dough bakers get to know their starters like pets and often give them names!
Put your chosen ingredients in mixing bowl, stir together with wooden spoon until fully combined. This should take 3-5 minutes, the dough will be sticky. Then continue to stir the dough for another couple of minutes with the spoon, you do not have to get your hands covered in sticky dough. Place the bowl on top of a metal sauce pan half full with hot (not boiling) water. Cover the bowl with plate, leave for 3-5 minutes. The dough bowl should ideally not be touching the hot water.
Remove bowl of dough from the sauce pan and stir the dough with the wooden spoon for 1 minute. Pro tip:leave the wooden spoon in a measuring jug of water.
Replace bowl on top of saucepan, cover and leave for 3-5 minutes. If you kitchen is very cold and the water and dough go cold then simply replace the water or put the saucepan on the stove and heat it up a little.
Then repeat the stirring with the spoon a couple more times until the dough no longer feels sticky. You can touch, knead or fold the dough in the bowl with one hand dipped in saucepan warm water, this stops you from having to constantly having to wash dough off your fingers. If you want a softer dough then you could add a tablespoon of water when you fold the dough with your hand. Try this only when you are confident that the dough you have made is not too soft or sticky for you to handle.
Cover with the plate and leave on top of the saucepan of warm water to rest for 20-40 minutes. The dough should feel warm, not cold, on your elbow. There is no correct temperature, but it should be in the region of 24c to 29c. Pro Tip: A digital temperature probe is a cheap but invaluable addition to your baking equipment.
When dough has risen a little (it should NOT double in size) remove from the bowl and place on lightly floured worktop.
Gently shape the dough into a ball using the flour on the worktop to stop it sticking to your hands.
Pro tip: To avoid getting the work top covered in flour/dough you can use a tea towel lightly dusted with flour to place the dough on, this and floury hands makes the shaping and handling of softer (more water) doughs easier. Then the tea towel can used as a proving cloth.
Cover the dough ball with the bowl it was previously in and leave to rest for 10-30 minutes. Pro tip: This intermediate prove or bench rest really helps with the final shaping.
Then shape as desired (round or sausage shaped) and place in your chosen baking container.
At this stage you could decide to put the container of dough in your fridge and leave it overnight for for 6-12 hours. This “retarding” or chilling of the dough stiffens up the dough, slows the proving and increases the flavour of the bread. I like to place my dough in a floured tea towel inside a dish, or I put it in a lightly greased bread tin.
Or you could decide to keep the dough warm and prove it for approximately 45-120 minutes depending on the room and dough temperature. You should ideally keep the dough at the same temperature and out of drafts. I often place the bowl/tin inside a plastic bag. Check every 20 minutes by gently pushing your floury little finger into the dough, your finger should NOT leave a hollow in the dough. If you are unsure it is better to be cautious and place the dough in the oven sooner rather than leave proving for longer. As you gain more experience you will be much better at judging the proving time. But always remember that the dough and room temperature are critical.
Place the container or the dough into the middle of a pre heated very hot oven. Reduce temperature to 220c and leave for 28-38 minutes.
To check if done, hold loaf with clean tea towel and tap the bottom – it must sound hollow, like a drum.