Whilst flicking through one of my Scandinavian baking books, I noticed that a few of the recipes call for oat bran or wheatgerm and this intrigued me. I’m all for healthy baking and, as I’ve said in previous posts, I am a lover of baking with a variety of different flours. So this bread incorporates a number of them, with a dash of oat bran for extra fibre-y goodness! The recipe that inspired this loaf was that of Norwegian ‘grovbrød’; a rustic brown loaf, great with thin slices of smoked fish and a squeeze of lemon. I chose to use rapeseed oil rather than olive oil as it has a more neutral flavour and I wanted to let the flours and grains do the talking. You needn’t add the honey, but I always think it adds to the flavour of wholemeal loaves.
- 100g Strong White Bread Flour
- 300g Strong Wholemeal Flour
- 50g Rye Flour
- 40g Oat bran
- 15g Rye Flakes
- 350-390 ml Tepid Water
- 10g Fast Action Dried Yeast
- 10g Salt
- Tbsn Honey
- Tbsn Rapeseed Oil and extra for kneading.
To make the bread:
- Measure out the flours, oat bran and rye flakes into a large bowl.
- Add the yeast to one side and the salt to the other, avoid mixing the two as direct contact can retard the yeast.
- Add the honey and rapeseed oil to the bowl.
- Add roughly 350 ml of the water and begin to mix with one hand. Continue adding water until the flour is lifted from the sides of the bowl and the dough begins to come together.
- Tip the dough onto a lightly oiled surface.
- Knead until the dough is no longer sticky and has a silky, elastic texture. This may take substantially longer than a white dough to achieve this texture, so don’t give up! Also, this dough will seem tighter than other wholemeal doughs, I think this is on account of the oat bran, which soaks up a lot of water and makes the texture more dense. However, with some working it will become smoother and more like conventional wholemeal dough. I used a slightly different kneading technique, rather than holding with one hand and stretching with the other, I used both hands to roll and then fold the dough. As I say, this will take longer, but will achieve the right result in the end.
- Leave the dough to rise in a lightly oiled bowl covered with a tea towel. Find a warm place for this one – rye flour doughs take marginally longer to rise, and I find that a warmer place than usual helps this process along.
- Once the dough has doubled in size (after 2-4 hours), tip onto a lightly floured surface and pressed firmly into an oblong. Fold in the edges and press again to form an oblong the length of your 2 lb loaf tin. Roll the oblong and place into the tin, with the seem facing downwards.
- Leave to prove until doubled in size (around an hour and a half). Meanwhile preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Place a baking tray in the bottom to heat up.
- When your loaf has doubled in size, dust with wholemeal flour and cut a slash lengthways across the top with a sharp knife.
- Boil a kettle full of water and pour into the heated tray, leaving it in the bottom of the oven.
- Bake your loaf on the middle shelf for 35-40 minutes. When the loaf is done it will sound hollow when tapped underneath.
- Leave to cool on a wire rack.
This bread is delicious eaten, as the Scandinavians would, for breakfast or lunch with slices of mild cheese (I like Emmental), some ham and maybe a pickle or two. It is equally as delicious with smoked salmon or Gravad Lax and a squeeze of lemon. I even love it toasted and slathered in butter with some sharp and sweet marmalade and a cup of tea – delish!
Enjoy Budding Bakers! Don’t forget to let me know how you get on 🙂