5 - 6 hours
I made brown bread with a brand new recipe so decided to share it with you. Look at the steps I take to make a new recipe work for me and incorporate them into your baking.
This recipe is a 40% wholemeal bread. It’s the perfect combination between light and wholesome,
I loved eating this bread, especially the oat topped crust - It's also much healthier than white!
How to make wholemeal country cob video recipe
For the dough:
230g Wholemeal bread flour
350g White bread flour
380g Cool water
20g Cool water (separate)
11g Fresh yeast (5 grams dried active yeast)
17g Salted butter in small flakes or cubes
Plus 2-3 handfuls of porridge oats to cover the top of the bread
Method to make easy brown bread
Weigh the ingredients
Weigh the ingredients and add the salt to the 20g of water. Give the water a whisk and set aside.
Begin the autolyse
Add both the flours to the 380g of water in a mixing bowl. Using a dough scraper, gently incorporate the ingredients until it forms one roughly mass (about 1-2 minutes). Cover and allow to rest for 1 hour.
Add the salt and yeast
Uncover the dough. Add it to the bowl containing the salt water and crumble the yeast into the bowl.
Incorporate the ingredients
Gently incorporate the ingredients until it forms one mass (about 1-2 minutes).
Using a dough mixer?
Mix at slow speed for 4 minutes, and then increase the speed for another 3 minutes before dropping the speed back down to slow and add the butter, a few cubes at a time. Increase the speed to fast and mix until incorporated which should take around 2 minutes. Skip to step 8.
Slow knead the dough
Turn the dough out on a table and gently stretch it for 3-4 minutes until an even consistency is created.
Fast knead the dough
Set a timer for 5 minutes and start fast kneading the dough on the table as the video describes.
Add the butter
Lay the dough flat on the table and place the small flakes of butter on the surface. Stretch and fold the sides over the dough and to help incorporate the butter gently knead for one minute before changing to a fast kneading technique. Continue kneading until the chunks of butter have dissolved into the dough.
Put the dough back into the mixing bowl, cover and leave to rest. If the dough is warm and sticky (use a temperature probe, above 26C or 79F is too warm) use the fridge, otherwise it can be left on the kitchen counter. Rest for 1 hour.
Bulk fermentation continued
Return the dough straight back to the bowl, cover again and leave on a work surface for a further 60 - 90 minutes. The temperature of the dough now should be 25-28C (77- 83F). If it is much warmer, place the dough in the fridge for all (or part) of the bulk fermentation. If it's cooler, place in a warmer place.
The dough should be gassy and risen up about double the original size, give it a little bit longer if you need to. Place the dough on the table and pre-shape into a boule shape, pushing some of the air from the dough as you shape. Leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Flatten the dough and shape it into a round shape again. Wet the dough with a water mister and roll it into the oats. Place the dough into a banneton with the oat side of the dough facing downwards. Cover loosely with a bag or large bowl and leave to rise.
Proof for 1 - 2 hours. Preheat the oven with a baking stone and a baking tray, just below to 250C (480F).
Cutting the bread
Once the dough has risen to the top of the basket and passes the poke test the dough is ready to go into the oven. Turn the dough out of the banneton onto a dusted peel. Using a bakers lame (or a serrated knife) I made a small cut in the middle of the bread.
Place into the oven on top of the baking stone. Pour a small cup of boiling water from a kettle to the tray below or spray inside the oven with a water mister for a couple of seconds.
Lower the temperature to 220C (430F) and bake for 30-45 minutes, opening the door after 20-25 minutes to release the steam.
Testing if the bread is ready
After 35 minutes if the colour of the crust is nice and golden, remove from the oven. Give the bottom of the bread a tap with your finger. If it doesn't sound hollow, put the bread back on the baking for a few more minutes.
Once you are happy that your bread is baked, take it out of the oven and leave to cool on a cooling rack for 3 -5 hours before tucking in.
Using dried yeast
If using instant yeast, divide the amount of fresh yeast used by 3 and follow the same method as fresh yeast. Active dried yeast needs to be activated before use. In this case, remove 20 grams of the 1st water addition from the recipe. Prepare the autolyse by adding the 1st water (minus the 20 grams) and flour together. 10 minutes before the yeast and water are to be added, Warm 20 grams of water in a small bowl or jar to 35C (95F) - no higher. Add the yeast with a teaspoon of sugar, whisk and leave to bloom.
After 10 minutes, add the yeasty water to the dough along with the salt and kneading can begin.
Top tips for the best Wholemeal Country Cob
Take a temperature reading at the end of kneading. If it is above 24C (75F) place the dough to rest in the fridge, if under this it should be keep on the worktop, providing the kitchen temperature is not excessively hot.
For a more uniform shape, final proof the bread till it pokes above the surface of the basket.
It is not necessary to cut wholemeal bread. The complex starches in the flour create a much less volatile oven spring than white bread flour. As this recipe is 40% wholemeal and 60% white, it's up to you whether you cut it or not!