I’m a big fan of home-baked bread and tend to make quite a lot. I also love to experiment with different flours and added ingredients so I recently treated myself to several different types from Shipton Mill a long-established British mill in the Cotswolds. Along with the standard strong white bread flour (which I tend to buy in 15kg sacks) I also grabbed a few extras; one in particular, the Swiss Dark, caught my eye. It’s not a flour I’ve ever used before so I had a little hunt around for recipes. Nothing really grabbed me apart from a sourdough recipe on the Shipton Mill website, but that was too time consuming for the dinner I was due to cook that evening (a business dinner for a group of 25 doctors).
I was also looking for a recipe that didn’t produce a solid heavy bread and while I hunted I noticed that several recipes used a mixture of several kinds of flour, including white, so that is what I decided to do. I used a mixture of dark Swiss, Rye from Bacheldre Mill (a Welsh mill in Powys) and white with an added a handful of black sesame seeds for a bit of added bite (which one taster suggested gave the bread a hint of spice). I’ve never thought of black sesame as being spicy but the flavours worked well together. I also omitted fat from the recipe to accommodate any vegan guests. The resulting bread was light and springy, with a slightly nutty taste and a soft crust, not like many whole wheat breads that can be a bit heavy and leaden.
250g Swiss Dark flour
125g Rye flour (from Bacheldre Mill in Powys)
125g strong white bread flour (again from Shipton Mill)
a teaspoon of Halen Mon sea-salt
a sachet of fast acting yeast
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and add enough luke warm water (around 250-300ml) to make a dough. If it is too stiff or dry keep add a little more water, or if it’s too wet add a bit more flour until it makes a firm but not too sticky dough. Knead well for about 5 minutes or until its fairly smooth, but not too perfect! Put back into the bowl and leave in a warm place with a tea-towel placed over the top for an hour to rise.
After an hour it should have almost doubled in size. Knead again and shape into a loaf and leave again to rise for half n hour to an hour. Bake in a fairly hot oven (about 220 degrees) for 20 minutes or until nice and brown and has a hollow sound when tapped.