Monday is the day for new beginnings, great intentions and healthy habits. Making your own bread may seem like an unnecessary chore but having delicious, fresh home made bread is a healthy treat that is worth the effort. These days the breads we buy in the supermarket are often laced with all sorts of unhealthy surprises that most of us are unaware of. Ever wonder why shop bought bread stays fresh for so long? It's because breads nowadays often contain sugars and preservatives that they didn't many years ago. So the benefits of making your own bread are endless and all the more reason to get started with this healthy Wholemeal loaf recipe. I often bake a loaf of bread on a Sunday afternoon that keeps Molly and I fed right up until Wednesday. This wholemeal loaf is perfect for open prawn sandwiches, tune melts or for a quick fix served with jam and butter. There is very little actual work involved in this loaf but it is a little time consuming as you need to give the yeast time to activate and react. The loaf can be made in a round or square tin, depending on what way you like to cut your slices.
750g strong wholemeal flour
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tsp salt
1 sachet (7g) of fast action dried yeast
450ml lukewarm water
sunflower oil for greasing
milk for glazing
Handful of sunflower seeds
1. In a large bowl rub the butter into the flour using your fingertips. Next stir in the sugar, salt and
yeast. Create a well in the centre and add the water, a little at a time until a sticky dough is
2. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface before placing in a large oiled bowl and
covering with oiled cling-film. Place the bowl in a warm, draft free spot and allow to double in
size (approximately 1-2 hours).
3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for a further 3-4 minutes or until smooth.
4. Oil an 8 inch cake tin and place the dough into it. Flatten the dough gently with your hands to
fit the tin. Cover again with the oiled cling-film and allow to rise for a further 1-2 hours.
5. Finally brush the loaf with milk, sprinkle with seeds and place in a preheated oven (230C,
210C fan) for 20-25 minutes or until the base sounds hallow when tapped. Allow to cool
completely on a wire rack.
I chose to sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top of my loaf as I am allergic to nuts. That said you could just as easily sprinkle a few of your favourite nuts or alternatively poppy or sesame seeds if you prefer.