Serves: Makes one loaf
I love this loaf, not only for its flavour (heavy on the malt) but mainly because it is so easy to make. The dough is barely kneaded and proofed overnight in the fridge so it is ready to bake the next day. I suggest the loaf is best baked in a cast iron lidded casserole dish which creates a lovely crust. If you don’t have a large enough vessel put the dough on a baking sheet- but just before baking the bread, to create some steam, throw a few ice cubes into a small roasting pan placed in the bottom of the oven. It is a really sticky dough so initially mix it with a spoon rather than your hands. The dough will firm up a little overnight but when you come to knead it don’t dust the work top with a lot of flour-just a light coating as adding lots of flour can change the structure of the crumb.
- 350g strong white bread flour
- 75g wholemeal rye flour
- 50g porridge oats (jumbo or plain rolled oats –not instant oats)
- 45g mixed seeds
- 2 teaspoons instant dried yeast
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 220g water
- 120g whole milk
- 90g malt extract
- 25g butter, melted and cooled
- Oil for greasing
- Put the flours, oats, seeds, yeast and sea salt in a large mixing bowl-making sure the yeast and salt are on separate sides of the bowl (salt can kill off the yeast).
- Mix the water, milk, malt extract and butter in a measuring jug. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are mixed together. Dampen your hands with water and gently knead the dough in the bowl-it is too sticky to turn out onto the work surface and the temptation is to add more flour which changes the structure of the dough. Lightly oil a large mixing bowl and turn the dough into it. Cover the bowl with cling film or a (clean!) shower cap and leave for an hour at room temperature. Place in the fridge overnight.
- The next day carefully turn the chilled dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 2-3 minutes. Shape into a ball and place on a baking sheet lined with non-stick parchment. Cover with a large upturned bowl and leave for 3-4 hours or until the dough has doubled in size. After about 2 ½ -3 hours put the casserole dish (with lid) into the oven and heat to fan 200°C, mark 7.4 Carefully lower the dough on its paper into the casserole and replace the lid. Bake in the oven for about 25-30 minutes. Take off the lid and return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes or until dark brown and hollow sounding. Leave to cool on a wire rack for at least two hours before slicing.