Rustic Brown Bread
375g strong wholemeal bread flour
125g strong white bread flour
30g fresh yeast
45g butter softened
300ml tepid water
Add the flours to a large bowl, add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other side. Add the butter and about 2/3s of the water. Use your fingers to start to mix into a dough, continue to add the water until all the flour has been incorporated, you might not need all of the water. You want a soft dough, but not for it to be soggy.
I like to add a little olive oil to the worktop for kneading as flour can make the dough too dry. Tip the dough onto the surface and knead for about 10 minutes, ending up with a soft dough with smooth skin.
Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a tea towel, leave on the worktop to rise for at 1 least hour until it has doubled in size, but you could leave it for 2 hours, which can improve the flavour.
Lightly dust the worktop with flour and tip out the risen dough, fold the dough inwards to knock out some of the air. Roll the dough into a sausage shape about 10cm long, then tie the dough into a knot shape and place on a lined baking tray.
Cover with a tea towel and leave to rise again for 45-60 mins, it should be at least twice the size.
Heat the oven to 220 C/200 C fan. Put a deep roasting dish on the bottom shelf in the oven. Put the dough in the oven and fill the roasting tin on the bottom shelf with hot water, (this will create steam and helps to give the bread a light crust).
Bake for 30 minutes, check that the bread is cooked by tapping on the base, it should sound hollow. Cool full on a rack prior to serving.
Serve with lots of salted Shirgar butter!
Perfect served with homemade soup...