As part of my Shipton Mill order I got a bag of coarse wholemeal flour, and I have been waiting to give it a try. Scientific rigor would suggest only changing one variable at a time, but I just can’t resist myself. After receiving a copy of The Handmade Loaf I was intrigued by Dan Lepard’s suggested technique, of minimal kneading, and the use of an oiled, rather than floured, surface.
I worked with an oiled surface before for a Focaccia, but that was to keep all the water in the dough. Dan suggests it to better maintain the ratio of flour to water, though he does suggest phasing out the technique when you are comfortable working with paddles.
So excited by his ‘new’ technique I made a quick wholemeal loaf. Trying to stick to the technique as best as possible I didn’t use the bread maker. Rather I followed the instructions of mix the ingredients, leave for 10 mins, knead for 10 sec, leave for 10 mins, knead and leave for 1 h 15.
Reshape, prove again, then bake for 45 mins.
The recipe was just a variation of my normal loaf, but with milk instead of water.
- 350 g Bread flour (200 g white, 150 g coarse wholemeal)
- 245 ml Milk (Skimmed)
- 1 1/2 tsp Yeast
- 1 tsp Sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp Salt – Though I forgot it
- Oats for topping
Not using the bread maker I decided to use dried active yeast, instead of my normal easy bake yeast. Not having worked with dried yeast for a while I don’t think I properly activated it. Never the less the dough came out well.
I decided on an oat topping, to give a rustic look to the coarse wholemeal flour.
The loaf didn’t rise much, either due to the weight of the coarse wholemeal flour, or my inability to activate yeast.
But it did bake well and form a nice solid crust. This is really one for soup, as it is quite dense with a hard crust.
It was only as I was tasting it that I realised I had comply omitted the salt. I am usually very heavy handed with the salt, so I really notice it lacking in this loaf, but we live and learn. Otherwise I am very happy with the loaf.