Pass the Butter: The Story of Bread
If you sat down to enjoy a slice of toast for your breakfast this morning, you probably didn’t think too hard about the process that went into making that bread...how good it is for you...or indeed about the long history of binding flour and water to produce a food that has been a staple of our diet for thousands of years.
Frank Armstrong is a food historian and journalist and he joined Sean in studio.
Recipe for Frank's Sourdough Wholegrain Bread
1. Spoon 200g of sourdough into a non-metallic mixing bowl.
2. Now feed your remaining starter with sufficient flour and water to bring it to its previous consistency. If you want to have an active starter keep it out of the fridge, but if you are not baking for a few days put it in a fridge.
3. Next, add between 400-450g of water to the starter in the mixing bowl and take a wooden spoon to mix ingredients together.
4. In a separate bowl mix 600g of wholegrain flour (ideally Kamut, rye, barley, millet, spelt) with 10g of finely ground sea salt and 150g of ground seeds (sesame, linseed, chia, sunflower or pumpkin) if possible.
5. Add flour to water and starter and mix together, first with a wooden spoon and then with your hand or a spatula. Only use one hand so that both don’t get sticky.
6. Within five minutes the ingredients will have been brought together into a dough.
7. Leave to prove in bowl or immediately put into a bread tin lined with grease proof paper, or sprinkle oats at the base to prevent sticking.
8. When dough is in tin, take a small sharp knife and cut light incisions across the top to let it breathe.
9. Leave to rise for about 8 hours (or longer) in a warm spot if possible, at least one hour of which in the tin.
10. Bring oven to approximately 180 degrees (I use the baking oven of an Aga) and bake for approx. 40 minutes, turn it around half way through if possible.
11. Next, remove the bread from the tin, using a short knife to cut it out if necessary. Bake for a further approx 10 minutes.
12. Bread is ready if you tap it and it sounds hollow. It should also have a golden, but not burnt, crust.
13. Leave to rest for at least an hour before devouring!