Learn how to bake this wholemeal loaf with our simple step-by-step recipe.
Nothing beats the smell of homemade bread, fresh from the oven. This classic wholemeal loaf recipe is great for beginner bakers. When preparing the dough, leave to prove until it’s doubled twice in size – this will make sure your loaf is nicely aerated, allowing it to rise properly while baking. Lightly dust with flour and let the oven do all the hard work for you. With a soft, doughy inside and a crisp, golden crust, this loaf is delicious toasted and smothered in butter.
- 400g strong wholemeal flour
- 100g strong white flour
- 7g sachet easy-bake/fast-action yeast
- 2 level tsps light soft brown sugar
- 1 level tsp salt
- 2tbsps sunflower oil
Tip both flours into a bowl and add the yeast, sugar and salt. Add the oil and 350g warm water and mix to form a dough. Knead it on a floured surface for 5-7 mins, or in mixer fitted with a dough hook for 5 mins, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
If flavouring the dough, knead in your additional ingredients. Leave the dough to prove in an oiled bowl covered with a tea towel until it has doubled in size.
Place a baking sheet in the oven on the shelf below the one on which the loaf is going to be baked. Shape the dough into an oval, place on a buttered baking sheet and score the top in a diamond pattern with a sharp knife. Leave the loaf to prove until it is about double in size.
Set the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7. Working quickly, so as not to lose too much heat from the oven, put the loaf in the oven and spray water onto the hot baking sheet under the loaf, to create a steamy atmosphere. Bake the loaf for 30-40 mins, or until the base sounds hollow when tapped. Transfer it to a wire rack to cool.
Top tip for baking wholemeal bread
Adding white flour to the wholemeal lightens the loaf slightly. All wholemeal can be used, but the result will be heavier and slightly more water may be needed, as wholemeal flour is generally more absorbent than white flour.