Once you have got the hang of baking a plain bread loaf, you can start your creative juices flowing. This fruity seedy loaf is a great for the energy needed for long hikes, but also a great for a nutritious breakfast. As with my wholemeal loaf, I have adapted the recipe from Peter Mayle and Gerard Auzet’s book “Confessions of a French Baker”.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes / Resting Time: 80-115 minutes/ Cooking Time: 20-30 minutes / Makes 1 loaf
- 500g wholemeal bread flour, sifted
- 500g plain flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup sultanas
- 1/4 cup dates, chopped
- 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 10g salt
- 1tsp yeast
- 600mL warm water
- Plain white flour, for lightly flouring surfaces
- In a small bowl, place yeast into warm water and leave for a few minutes until mixture starts to bubble.
- Combine sifted flour and salt into a separate large mixing bowl
- Create a well in the dry mixture and slowly pour in the yeasty water, drawing flour in towards the well. Add enough water to create a soft dough.
- Knead dough until it starts to leave the sides of the bowl (it will take about 5 minutes) and then turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and combine the fruit and seeds.
- Knead until it creates a smooth, consistent ball with fruit and seeds, evenly dispersed throughout.
- Place dough into a oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap. Set mixture aside for about 30-45 minutes or until the mixture has doubled in size (a slightly warm temperature of around 25 degrees, away from draughts will help with this)
- Remove the dough from the oiled bowl and turn onto a floured surface and knead again into a ball. Place the dough ball in a clean floured tea towel for 20-25 minutes or until the mixture has doubled in size.
- Remove the dough ball from the clean tea towel and “knock back” the mixture on a lightly floured surface to disperse the carbonic gas and knead again into a dough ball. Leave ball to rest in he floured tea towel for 30-45 minutes or until the mixture has doubled in size.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 230 degrees (210 degrees for fan-forced ovens).
- Transfer the dough onto a floured baking tray and brush with water.
- Using a sharp knife or razor, slash the top of the bread.
- Just before transferring the bread to the oven, spray the inside of the oven with water. The steam helps to create a good crust
- Bake bread for 10-15 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 210 degrees (190 degrees for fan-forced ovens).
- Bake bread for a further 10-15 minutes.
- You will know the bread is ready when you knock the base of the loaf and it sounds hollow.
- Transfer to wire rack to cool.