Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons dried yeast
  • 1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
  • 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) warm milk
  • 600 g (1 lb 5 oz/4 cups) wholemeal strong flour
  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Method

  1. Grease four 13 × 6½ × 5 cm (5 × 2¾ × 2 inch) baking tins. Put the yeast, sugar and milk in a small bowl and mix well. Leave in a draught-free place for 10 minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface. The mixture should be frothy and increased in volume.
  2. Put the flour and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture, the oil and 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) warm water. Mix to a soft dough and gather into a ball. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Add a little extra flour if the dough is too sticky.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and leave in a draught-free place for 1 hour, or until well risen. Punch down the dough, turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 1 minute, or until smooth. Divide into four portions, knead into shape and put in the tins. Cover and leave in a draught-free place for 45 minutes, or until risen.
  4. Preheat the oven to 210°C (415°F/Gas 6–7). Brush the loaf tops with the beaten egg. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven to 180°C (350°F/Gas 4) and bake for a further 30–35 minutes, or until golden and the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Cover with foil if the tops become too brown.

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