Brown Bread

Preparation info

  • Makes

    2

    round cobs
    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

The Times Calendar Cookbook

By Katie Stewart

Published 1977

  • About

To make brown bread tin loaves, follow the directions for shaping and baking in the recipe for white bread. Otherwise bake crusty round cobs or rolls with your brown bread dough. A mixture of brown and white flour makes a loaf that slices better. All brown flour makes a crumbly texture, but it is the best from a flavour and health point of view. Use either in this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 350 g/12 oz strong plain flour
  • 350 g/12 oz wholewheat flour
  • 15 g/½ oz (1 level tablespoon) salt
  • 15 g/½ oz lard or white vegetable fat
  • 25 g/1 oz. fresh yeast or 1 level tablespoon dried yeast and 1 level teaspoon castor sugar or black treacle
  • 4.25 dl/¾ pint warm water cracked wheat for the tops

    Method

    Sift the white flour into a basin and add the wholewheat flour and salt. Add the fat and rub into the mixture. Blend the fresh yeast with the warm water. If using dried yeast dissolve the sugar or treacle in 3 dl (½ pint) of the water which should be 43°C. (110°F.) or hand-hot. Sprinkle in the yeast and leave in a warm place until frothy-about 10 minutes.

    Stir the yeast liquid and the remaining warm water into the dry ingredients and mix to a rough dough in the basin. Turn the dough out on to a clean working surface. Knead the dough well for about 10 minutes to make a smooth dough.

    Shape the dough into a round and replace in the mixing basin. Set the whole thing inside a large greased polythene bag. Leave the dough on the kitchen table until risen and doubled in size – about 1½ hours. Turn the risen dough out on to a floured surface and press all over with the knuckles to knock out air bubbles and flatten.

    For two cob loaves grease two baking trays. Divide the dough into two equal portions and knead each one into a neat round ball. Flatten slightly and place on the greased baking trays. Sprinkle with cracked wheat and put to rise until puffy – 30–45 minutes. Set in a very hot oven (230°C., 450°F., Gas Mark 8) and bake for 40 minutes.

    To make brown rolls divide the dough into 18 equal portions – each should weigh about 50 g (2 oz). On an unfloured surface roll each piece of dough into a ball inside your cupped hand. Press down hard at first, then ease up to shape them nicely. Arrange on greased baking trays about 2.5 cm (1 in) apart and sprinkle with cracked wheat. Place the baking tin inside a greased polythene bag and leave to rise until the rolls are puffy – 25–30 minutes. Set in a hot oven (230°C., 450°F., Gas Mark 8) and bake for 15–20 minutes.