Sunday, 1 January 2017

Linseed and treacle bread by Nigel Slater.

Tested and Proven - delicious!
I heartily recommend putting a baking stone in the oven to heat up first.
Makes a medium-sized loaf.

rye flour 200g
strong white bread flour 200g
barley flakes 50g
sea salt 1 tsp
black treacle 2 tbsp, lightly heaped
warm water 350ml
fast-acting yeast 1 x 7g sachet
rolled oats/oatmeal 40g
pumpkin seeds 35g
sunflower seeds 25g
golden linseeds 30g
golden sultanas 75g

Warm a deep, wide mixing bowl - the warmth will help your dough rise more quickly.
Combine the flours and barley flakes then lightly crush the sea salt flakes in the palm of your hand and stir them in.

Put the black treacle into a jug then stir in the warm water, dissolving the treacle as you stir.
Tip in the yeast, let it dissolve then pour into the flour and barley.
Using a wooden spoon rather than your hands – the dough is sticky – stir in the rolled oats, pumpkin, sunflower, golden linseeds and sultanas.
Mix for a full minute, so the flour, liquid, seeds and fruits are thoroughly combined.
The texture of the dough should be very moist, poised between that of a bread dough and a cake mixture.

Dust the surface lightly with flour, cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for an hour or so.
Any warm, draught-free spot will work.
Check the bowl occasionally to make sure it is warm, but not too hot.

Get the oven hot – it will need to be at 220C/gas mark 8.
If you have one, place a bread or pizza stone, generously floured, in the oven to get hot.
Failing that, a baking sheet will do.
When the oven is up to temperature and the dough has risen to almost twice its original volume, transfer it to the hot baking stone or sheet, reshaping it into a round loaf as you go.
Bake for 35 minutes, until the crust is lightly crisp and the base sounds hollow when tapped.

Transfer the warm loaf to a cooling rack and allow to rest for a good 30 minutes before slicing.
The loaf will keep, wrapped in clingfilm and foil, for 4 or 5 days.

Barley Flakes:
If barley flakes remind you of oatmeal (rolled oats), it’s because they’re created the same way, by steaming kernels, rolling them, and drying them.
As with barley grits, flakes can be made from whole grain barley or from pearl barley, with only the former considered to be whole grains.
Barley flakes cook faster, because they’ve been lightly steamed and because of their greater surface area.
Substitute flaked barley: the oats will work just fine!

Rolled oats:
- Quaker is one of the best known and most widely distributed brands.
Quite often oatmeal is sold 3 forms and you should use the type labelled as "quick cooking oats" as this is the type that is the same as UK rolled oats.
Avoid "instant oatmeal" as this is made from oats that are too finely ground.
The other form of oatmeal is labelled as "old fashioned oats" or sometimes as "jumbo oats".
These oats are slightly less processed than rolled oats and could be used in the recipes but tend to be more fibrous and chewy.

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