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Make your own Country loaf


I sometimes find I get stuck in a rut with my bread baking, I find a recipe and some flour that I really like and I stick with it. It’s actually quite comforting to be able to turn out your favourite loaf every time you bake. On the other hand I sometimes fancy a change. One of the easiest ways to make a change is to swap out your usual flour with something completely different or even if you’re feeling brave to make an entire new loaf. I particularly like simple rustic farmhouse style loaves, the kind that you can eat as toast or as a sandwich or use as a base for particularly delicious cheese on toast. So I asked Vanessa if she could come up with a rustic style golden brown crusty loaf with plenty of texture.

This bag of Stoate’s Maltstar flour is packed with flavour. What makes it seriously delicious is the combination of rye flour and malt flour with stoneground organic white flour. It’s sweet and nutty and the malted wheat flakes give the loaves texture that perfectly complements the sweetness from the malt. It’s such an easy bread to eat and disappears so quickly in our house that I always make two and if you don’t think you are going to eat the second one then simply pop it in the freezer, it will take 2 hours to defrost.

Country Loaf

If you have a stand mixer, this is a good recipe for it as the dough is sticky. Put all the ingredients apart from the milk and malted wheat flakes into the bowl of your stand mixer and mix gently for a few seconds on the lowest speed, slowly increasing to a moderate speed until the ingredients come together and form a dough. Otherwise, knead by hand for around 10 minutes.

Rest the dough for 10 minutes. Once rested, knead for about 2 minutes in total, then rest for a further 2 minutes. Repeat until the dough is elastic and the sides of the bowl are clean.

Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave to rise until the dough has doubled in size.

Meanwhile, grease 2 x 2lb USA Pans loaf tins.

(I like these as very even heat distribution) with butter and dust lightly with flour.

Once the dough has doubled in size, turn out onto a lightly floured board and divide evenly into two pieces.

Stretch each piece into an oblong, about the size of an A4 piece of paper. Fold one end into the centre and then the other end over the folded dough, like a business letter and then turn the dough over so that the seam is underneath, tucking the ends under firmly. Smooth the top and gently place into the tins.

Cover again with the tea towel and leave to rise until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Once ready to bake, gently brush the top of each loaf with milk and then scatter over a tablespoon of wheat flakes over each loaf.

Place in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes or until golden and baked.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Ingredients:

1kg Stoate’s Maltstar flour, plus extra for dusting 600g water 25g fresh organic yeast 75g butter cut into small pieces, plus extra for greasing 20g sea salt 2 tbsp milk Malted wheat flakes, to scatter

Equipment:

Stand mixer (ideally) 2x 2lb USA heavy-duty pans Large mixing bowl

Stoate’s Maltstar Flour

The "Granary" style flour from the award-winning Stoates mill based in Dorset. Milled at Cann Mills in Dorset, this wheat flour is blended with malted wheat flakes, rye flour and malt flour for a distinctively malty flavour with a moist, grainy texture.

USA Pan Heavy-Duty 2lb Bread tin

This 2lb loaf pan from USA Pan is made from commercial grade bakeware and is designed for frequent use.

Malted Wheat Flakes

Malted Wheat Flakes smell fantastic and look great and have a pleasant chewy texture so are ideal for adding to breads to give a rustic appearance and an extra malty flavour.

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