These wholemeal country cobs are great healthy breads that can be enjoyed all year. They are also great to learn if you are a bread baking beginner. The addition of rye is optional, but it adds an extra depth of flavour to the bread, almost like it is asking a question. I love it!
This basic wholemeal loaf evokes feelings and character like only artisan bread can. This recipe makes two wholemeal cobs and takes around 5 hours.
What you need to make a wholemeal country cobs
To make these country cobs, you’ll need the following equipment:
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- A board lined with baking paper, or a bakers peel
- Mixing bowls
- A metal and plastic dough scraper
- A lid or some plastic wrap (something to cover the bowl)
- Scales, if you don’t a decent set you might want to try these scales from Myweigh
- A baking stone
Using a thermometer will help you with controlling proofing times. For accurate dough temperature readings try this thermometer from Gdealer. Aim for dough temperature between 25C and 30C (77-86F).
What if I don’t have a baking stone?
A baking stone conducts heat into the loaf. Using one increases the height of the oven spring and helps to give an even bake on the base of the loaf. If you don’t have a baking stone, preheat the thickest baking sheet that you have.
Can I use a dutch oven to make this recipe?
Yes, if you would rather use a dutch oven to make this wholemeal cob recipe you won’t need to add steam to the oven. Simply preheat the dutch oven and drop the doughs inside on a sheet of parchment paper to bake. If you are looking to get a dutch oven, I recommend getting this one from Challenger.
- 480g Wholemeal (whole wheat) bread flour
- 130g White bread flour
- 40g Dark rye flour
- 460g Water
- 10g Fresh yeast (5g dried yeast)
- 13g Salt
- 6.5g Vegetable oil
For a lighter bread, increase the white flour and reduce the whole wheat by the same amount. White flour contains gluten that is easier to break down, this generates better gas retention properties.
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, warm 20 grams of water to 35C (95F) – no higher! Add the yeast with half a teaspoon of sugar, whisk and leave to stand for ten minutes before adding to the dough. Remove 20 grams of water from the recipe.
Changing the size of the recipe
This recipe makes 2 small whole wheat cobs. If you want to change the size of the recipe, use the bakers formula.
How to make wholemeal country cobs
1) Prepare the ingredients
Weigh all the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another. Bloom the dried yeast (if using).
2) Combine into a dough
Add all the ingredients to a mixing bowl or dough mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment.
Using a plastic dough scraper incorporate the ingredients together using a fluid half turn method until the dough forms. Remove from the bowl and place on a worktop.
Using a dough mixer:
Mix for 7 minutes on slow speed and then increase the speed and knead at fast speed for 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the mixer, place into a mixing bowl and skip to step 5.
3) Slow knead
Set a 8 minute timer and slowly knead using the heel of your palm in a stretching motion. Continue slow kneading until the timer sounds, then, place back in the bowl, cover put in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
Wholemeal flour absorbs more water than white flour. It also takes a bit longer to absorb so don’t worry if the mix seems too wet at first. Give it a bit of time for the water to incorporate before thinking about adding more flour.
4) Fast knead
Remove from the bowl from the fridge and turn the dough back onto the table. Start a timer for ten minutes and this time we’ll knead the dough more aggressively. Use the stretch, slap and fold technique for best results until the timer sounds. Place the dough into a mixing bowl.
5) Bulk fermentation
Cover and leave to rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
6) Stretch and fold
Remove from the bowl and stretch and fold or knocking it down to remove the air from it.
7) Bulk fermentation part 2
Take a temperature check, if above 28C (82F) put it in the fridge, if it’s under this temperature, leave it on the kitchen table. Either way, allow to rest, covered for another hour.
8) Divide and preshape
Place the dough on the worktop and divide into two equal peices using a metal dough scraper or palette knife. Round both doughs into balls leave to rest on a lightly floured area of the table for 20-30 minutes.
9) Final shape
Prepare a board or peel by lightly dusting with flour and semolina. Knock out the air and shape into rounds again. This time, put the dough pieces on the board. Cover with a mixing bowl or loosely fitting bag and let it rise.
10) Final rise
Proof for 2 ½ hours whilst preheating the oven at 230C (440F) with a baking stone and a tray below it.
Once the dough has doubled in size, loosen from the board by running a metal scrapper underneath. Dust some rye flour over the top of the dough, cut with a bakers lame in a cross pattern.
Using a peel, drop into the oven directly on the baking stone, adding a cup of hot water to the tray beneath to make steam. Bake for 35-40 minutes.
Open the oven door after 20-25 minutes to release the steam. This helps form a nice crusty crust.
13) Remove and cool
Bake until the crust is a golden colour and the base of the bread sounds hollow when knocked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack. Enjoy….
How to make wholemeal country cob video recipe
Nutritional information per loaf
Calories: 1101kcal | Carbohydrates: 208g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Fiber: 30g | Sugar: 7g | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 5mg