Seeded Cob Loaf

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Bread is an everyday essential for most people in the Western world.  It comes in different shapes, sizes and varieties. And most popular, judging by the number of loaves sold each year, are sliced, plastic wrapped loaves. Yet what do they taste of? In my opinion very little! Rather they are a carrier of flavours. Ham and mustard, egg and cress sandwiches and so on, while the bread itself brings very little flavour to the sandwich party. If you make this Seeded Cob Loaf, your world will be opened to the real flavour of good, homemade bread.

FF Seeded Cob Loaf
Seeded Cob Loaf full of flavour.

Seriously, this could be called ‘Change Your Life Seeded Cob Loaf.’ Because, once you have made it, with your own hands, baked and then tried it, you will find it hard to go back to your usual loaf. And not only does it have incredible flavour, it’s cheaper, far healthier and more rewarding than plastic wrapped loaves.

FF Seeded Cob Loaf
Seeded Cob Loaf baked in a standard fan oven.

The Benefits Of Homemade Bread

Another important benefit from making bread at home, is that you, the baker, know exactly what has gone into your bread. Flour, yeast, water, salt and a little unsalted butter. No preservatives, additives, flour improvers or any other number of E numbers found in mass produced bread. Simply a great tasting homemade loaf.

FF Seeded Cob Loaf
Sliced Seeded Cob Loaf.

Personally, this is one of the very best loaves I have made. The recipe was made twice, on two different days, to check its consistency. Since tasting the first slice, lightly buttered, I have been eager to share this with you. Such is the depth of flavour and ease of shaping. Credit goes to Jack at Bake With Jack . Watching his vlogs will improve both your knowledge and technique, when making bread at home.

Recipe: Makes 1 Seeded Cob Loaf

400g Wholemeal Seeded Bread Flour I use 3  Malts Sunflower from Shipton Mill – alternatively use half Wholemeal Bread Flour and half Strong White Bread Flour (250g + 250g = 500g total flour weight)

100g White Bread Flour (do not add if making your own flour mix – see above)

7g Fast Action Dried Yeast – I use Allinson’s

340mls Room Temperature Water

50g Mixed Seeds – plus a small handful for sprinkling on the loaf

30g Softened Unsalted Butter

7g Salt

Method: I use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, alternately this bread can be made by hand.

Note: For complete accuracy the use of digital scales is advised. Even for weighing water, 1ml is equivalent 1g.

Making The Seeded Cob Loaf Dough Using A Stand Mixer

  • Into the bowl of the stand mixer weigh the water and yeast.
  • Next, add both flours and the additional 50g of seeds, even if you are using seeded flour.
  • On top of the flour add the salt and cubed butter.
  • Lower the dough hook and mix on slow for 5 minutes, then increase the speed and mix for a further 5-10 minutes on medium. The dough is ready when it can be stretched without tearing and light can be seen through the stretched dough. This is known as the windowpane test.
  • Use clean hands to scrape any dough stuck to the dough hook back into the bowl.
  • Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and place on a surface that is draught free.
  • Leave the dough to prove until doubled in size. This may take between 1-2 hours, depending on the room temperature.
  • While the bread is proving, grease a large baking tray with a little butter.

Knocking Back And Shaping The Dough

  • Once proved, scatter a very small amount of flour on to the work top.
  • Turn out the dough ensuring the domed top becomes the bottom and the sticky underneath is uppermost.
FF Seeded Cob Loaf
Turning out the dough and shaping the bread.
  • Following the pictures above, shape the dough. Firstly pull the edge of the dough and press it down into the sticky centre. Continue, working around the edge of the dough. While doing this, tension is being built across the top of the loaf, (the underneath of the dough), this helps ensure a tight ball shape that doesn’t collapse whilst proving or baking.
  • Keep working around the edge of the dough until you achieve a tight ball, as seen in the left of the photo below.
FF Seeded Cob Loaf
Tightly shaped Cob dough on the left and right after 2nd prove.
  • Cover the dough ball with the tea towel and leave until doubled in size. See photo above on the right.

Baking The Cob Loaf

  • While the dough is undergoing its second prove Preheat the oven to its hottest setting. Add a tray of water to the bottom of the oven. The water provides steam which helps the dough to rise (oven spring) before forming a crust.
  • When the dough has doubled in size, it is ready to bake. Remove the tea towel and brush the top of the dough with water. Then sprinkle over the remaining seeds.
FF Seeded Cob Loaf
Seeded Cob Loaf ready for the oven.
  • Place the seed covered loaf into the middle of the oven.
  • Immediately reduce the temperature of the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7, 425F . Note – the reduction in heat stops the seeds from burning.
  • Bake for 45 minutes, remove from the oven. Take the loaf off of the baking tray and place back in the oven, directly on to the oven shelf. Continue baking for 10-20 minutes, depending on how crusty you want your bread.
  • Once baked, remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Enjoy the aroma of freshly baked bread!
FF Seeded Cob Loaf
Seeded Cob Loaf cooling on a rack.
  • Ensure the loaf is completely cooled before slicing.
FF Seeded Cob Loaf
Seeded Cob Loaf, toast, sandwiches or simply sliced and buttered.

Perfect for slicing, packing up with an assortment of fillings and taking on a picnic. Or simply torn into chunks and dunked in warming bowls of soup.

FF Seeded Cob Loaf

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Seeded Cob Loaf then you may also like these:

Farmhouse White Loaf

FF Seeded Cob Loaf
Farmhouse White Loaf

Lighter Wholemeal Loaf

FF Seeded Cob Loaf
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf

Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread

FF Seeded Cob Loaf
Cinnamon Plaited Brioche Bread

I find baking at home an immensely fulfilling experience. Enticing aromas escape the oven with a beautiful, delicious loaf, or other bake tempting your eyes and tastebuds, whilst cooling. Even if your first loaf isn’t perfect, its taste will more than make up for its appearance. Finally, your own bake is guaranteed to taste better than anything bought from a shop.

Have fun, making, creating and baking in your kitchens.

Sammie xx

Please see my Disclosure Policy regarding copyright and intellectual property laws, before reproducing any copy from this blog.

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Lighter Wholemeal Loaf

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Bread is an everyday staple for a lot of people. Yet finding a loaf that is light, tasty, with added fibre can be hard. So, look no further my friends, as I present my Lighter Wholemeal Loaf.

FF Lighter Wholemeal Loaf

And I must admit I am a bit of a ‘bread head’ – does that make me sound cool? By that, I mean that I adore most breads, providing they are well made, do not contain additives and have a flavour of their own that contributes to the final dish.

Because I do not live near an Artisan Bakery, where freshly baked bread, in all its array of shapes and flavours can be purchased, I make our bread at home instead.

Lighter Wholemeal Bread full of flavour.
Lighter Wholemeal Bread full of flavour.

Extra Flavour And Extra Goodness From Your Loaf

This Lighter Wholemeal Loaf is one of our family’s favourite breads. And this bread slices beautifully, so is perfect for packed lunches, or toasted for breakfast and then slathered in homemade jam.

I have 100% wholemeal bread recipes such as my Wholemeal Cob Loaf and Wholemeal Loaf, yet if I’m honest, as delicious as they are, having the same bread every single day can get a bit boring. So I like to switch things up a bit, keeping our taste buds interested and in reality, ensuring our teenagers eat a decent portion of their lunch.

They say variety is the spice of life 😉

Lighter Wholemeal Loaf just add butter for a delicious feast.
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf just add butter for a delicious feast.

When I eat bread I want it to contribute to the flavour of the whole dish. What I mean is, it shouldn’t, mustn’t, just be a limp carrier for other flavours. The mature cheddar cheese and butter, as seen in the photo above, became my lunch yesterday – the perks of being a food blogger!

Yet this sandwich, with the addition of some Red Onion Marmalade, truly is one of my favourite lunches. While each component adds flavour and different textures, so that as a whole, the resulting sandwich was incredibly appetising and filling.

Lighter Wholemeal Loaf a heart, flavour packed lunch.
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf a hearty, flavour packed lunch.

Start The Bread Making Journey Using Good Quality Flour

I used a mixture of stone ground, organic strong flour from Shipton Mill to make this Lighter Wholemeal Loaf. The wheat, traditionally milled, using the flow of river water for energy needed to drive the grinding stones, is consistently excellent, while it’s production is sympathetic to and works in harmony with the environment.

So that I can guarentee you consistent, excellent results when making this Lighter Wholemeal Loaf, this recipe has been thoroughly tested, with the resulting loaf being approximately one third wholemeal flour. A 2:1 combination of Strong White to Strong Wholemeal flour gives a great, nutty, wholesome flavour, whilst keeping the bread light enough for everday use. And it is a great way of adding extra fibre into your own and your familiy’s diet, especially if their preference is for white bread.

Recipe: Makes one Lighter Wholemeal Loaf

150g/5oz Strong Wholemeal Flour – preferably organic plus a little extra for dusting the work top.

350g/12oz Strong Unbleached White Flour – preferably organic

360ml Tepid Tap Water

7g/1 Sachet Dried Yeast

1tsp Honey

7g/1tsp Sea Salt – I use Maldon Sea Salt Flakes

25g/1oz Unsalted Butter

Method:

The ‘bowl’ is either a large bowl, with which to mix the bread by hand, or the stand mixer/bread maker bowl.

Making And Proving the Dough Using Three Different Methods

For all methods:

  • First of all, pour the water into the bowl. Add the honey and yeast. Swish about with clean fingers to activate the yeast.
  • Now add the flour on top of the liquid.
  • Add the salt and the butter.

When using a bread maker, set to dough cycle and start the program. As soon as the cycle is completed re-start for 1 minute. This ‘knocks back’ the dough.

If using a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and mix on medium speed until the ingredients are combined. Continue to mix for a further 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Stop mixing. Scrape the dough from the dough hook and combine with the dough in the bowl. Form into a ball, place back into the bowl. Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size (approx. 1hour). Gently punch the dough to knock it back.

Alternatively when hand mixing, bring all the ingredients together with your hand until they form a doughy mess! Place this dough onto a very lightly floured worktop. Knead for a good 10 minutes. If the dough gets sticky, keep kneading and working it – if you add extra flour the finished bread will be dry. After a good 10 minutes kneading, the dough should have a smooth elasticity. Place the kneaded dough into a oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size, 1-2 hours. Knock back as for stand mixer.

Shaping The Dough

To shape the dough: Tip the knocked back the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Gently flatten the dough into an oval/rectangle shape.

Flatten out the dough into a rough oval.
Flatten out the dough into a rough oval.
  • Fold the top third of the flattened dough over.

Fold the top third of the dough over.

  • Next fold the bottom third of the dough up and slightly over the previous fold.
Bring the bottom third of the dough up.
Bring the bottom third of the dough up.
  • Rotate the dough by a quarter, gently flatten out and repeat the folding process.
  • Repeat the turning and folding twice more, ensuring the last turn and fold is quite tight. This folding technique does not take long and unlike pastry, this bread dough can withstand being moved and worked. Most importantly the purpose of turning and folding is to build a good structure within the dough.
  • Once the folding and turning is complete turn the dough over so that it is seam side down.
  • Place into a greased 3lb loaf tin. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm, draught free place until doubled in size.
  • I also sprinkled some wholemeal flour over the top of the dough, this gives a nice, rustic finish to the baked bread.
Neat, tightly folded dough ready for its second prove.
Neat, tightly folded dough ready for its second prove.

The dough can take between 45 minutes and a couple of hours to double in size, depending on the ambient temperature and humidity.

Baking The Lighter Wholemeal Bread

  • While the dough has it’s final prove, preheat your oven to it’s hottest setting.
  • 5 minutes before your loaf is due to be baked, fill a tray with ice cubes and place on the lowest shelf in the oven. The hot, steamy environment will help the dough to rise even further before the crust sets and helps bake a crusty loaf.
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf beautifully risen and ready for the oven.
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf beautifully risen and ready for the oven.
  • Place the loaf into the centre of a preheated oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7. Bake the Lighter Wholemeal Loaf for 30 minutes.
  • The bread is baked when it is a golden brown colour and sounds hollow when rapped on the base of the loaf with your knuckle.
  • As soon as the bread is baked remove from the oven and immediately tip out onto a cooling rack. Note: If the loaf is baked but prefer a darker crust, place the loaf, without the tin, directly on to the oven shelf and bake for a further 5-10 minutes until the crust is the colour you desire.
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf such a delicious and versatile bread.
Lighter Wholemeal Loaf such a delicious and versatile bread.

Advantages Of Homemade Bread

The smell of freshly baked bread is so unbelievably good. Our postman really likes delivering to us in the morning, as that tends to be when the bread is either baking or cooling!

Do not be surprised if your neighbours pop in, just for a chat, as they catch a whiff of freshly baked bread escaping from your house 😉

This Lighter Wholemeal Loaf will keep in a bread bin for up to 3 days. To freeze, ensure the bread is completely cold and wrap tightly in cling film. Fresh bread can be frozen for up to 3 months. To defrost, remove all the cling film and allow the loaf to stand on a large trivet or a cooling rack at room temperature, until fully defrosted.

I like to refresh frozen bread – this simply involves preheating the oven to 220C/200C fan, gas mark 7. Once the bread has fully defrosted, spritz with tap water and place directly onto the middle oven shelf for 10-15 minutes. After removing from the oven allow the loaf to cool and it will taste like it has been freshly baked that day! I won’t tell 😉

If you have enjoyed this recipe for Lighter Wholemeal Loaf, then I have some others you may like too:

Farmhouse White Loaf

FF Lighter Wholemeal Loaf
Farmhouse White Loaf

Oat Bran White Bread

Oat Bran White Bread
Oat Bran White Bread

Knotted Poppyseed Rolls

FF Lighter Wholemeal Loaf
Knotted Poppyseed Rolls perfect for picnics.

Using a bread maker or stand mixer to carry out the kneading part of making bread dough isn’t cheating. I hand kneaded some incredibly sticky Brioche dough for 20 minutes at the weekend and honestly, it has really taken it’s toll on my body this week. So if using kitchen appliances enables us to eat better quality, homemade bread, that is also much cheaper than it’s shop bought counterpart, why not?

I hope that the detailed, yet easy steps in this recipe have encouraged you to bake your own bread – you may find that once you start it is impossible to go back to mass produced, plastic wrapped loaves!!

I am always willing to answer any questions you may have with this, or any of my other recipes. Simply leave a comment, or for a quicker reply Tweet me a message.

Have fun making and baking in your kitchens, maybe invite a friend or neighbour round and bake together. It may take longer but I can guarentee there will be lots of laughing.

Sammie xx

This is not a sponsored post. I have been buying Shipton Mill flour for almost as long as I have been baking my own bread.

 

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Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

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Is there anyone who doesn’t enjoy a hot, toasted and buttered Hot Cross Bun, in the run up to Easter? While my previous post shows you how to make the regular version I wanted to make a wholemeal version. Because some people, for various reasons, can only eat 100% wholemeal bread. Since they shouldn’t have to miss out on all the Easter food fun I developed this recipe for 100% Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns.

Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns perfect just as they are!

Almost everyone can enjoy these Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns, eaten as they are or split and toasted with a light spread of butter. While, the added beauty of these buns is the spicy, cinnamon aroma, filling the house as they bake and then again when they are toasted. Also these buns are packed full of fibre. So, they are tasty and good for you!

FF Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

While I toasted a hot cross bun, there was a knock on the front door. Our postman had a parcel to deliver and as I stood there signing for the parcel, he revealed the smell of a toasted bun was making him hungry!

Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns a healthy breakfast or snack.

Most importantly, making Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns is as straightforward and easy as for the regular ones. While switching the flour from strong white bread flour, to 100% wholemeal flour, not bread flour, I also upped the yeast content and with a few more tweaks, these gorgeous buns were made.

Wholemeal Hot Cross Bun
The cross on this Wholemeal Hot Cross Bun is there as a reminder.

Why The Cross On Top Of The Bun?

The cross on top of the bun, is there to symbolise and remind us of The Cross on which Jesus died. Two days later His tomb was empty, He had risen from the dead, surprising many people, including some of His own disciples. So, the small symbol of a cross on a bun, reminds us that Jesus came for a reason. To love the unloved, to heal the sick, to befriend those that society cast out. And remember, within His followers, one was a tax collector and the other a prostitute!

So, amidst all the chocolate and bunnies, lovely though they are, take a moment to remember you are loved.

In the bible the book of John chapter 3 verse 16 says:

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that who so ever believes in Him shall not be lost (perish), but have everlasting life.”

One small verse packs quite a powerful punch. You and I are the who so ever. Whether you believe or not, know that you are loved. Regardless of your circumstances and the life you have lived, you are loved more than you could ever imagine.

If you would like to know more, please read Important Stuff.

Now, time to show your body some love by making these Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns.

Recipe: Makes 12 Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

For the bun dough

500g/1lb 2oz Wholemeal Flour (not bread flour) – I use Duchy Organic from Waitrose

160ml/scant 6fl oz Whole Milk – slightly warmed (body temp)

120ml/4.5fl oz Water – slightly warmed (body temp)

2 Large Eggs – I use free range

1tbsp Honey – I use runny honey

14g/ 2 Sachets Fast Acting Dried Yeast – I use Allinsons

10g/ approx 1.5tsp Salt – I use Maldon 

50g/2oz Unsalted Butter at room temp. – plus extra for greasing the baking tray.

3tsp Cinnamon

150g/5oz Sultanas or Raisins

For the crosses:

50g/2oz Wholemeal flour

60ml/2.5fl oz Water

Apricot jam or honey to glaze approx 2tbsp

Method: This method is for use with a bread maker or stand mixer. Alternatively you can make these Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns by hand.

The ‘bowl’ refers to the bowl of a stand mixer or the mixing compartment of a bread maker.

Making The Wholemeal Bun Dough

  • First of all, add both the milk and water to the bowl.
  • Next add both eggs, the honey and yeast.
  • Swish about with clean fingers to mix.
  • Now add the flour on top of the liquid mixture.
  • Place the salt and butter on top of the flour.

For a bread maker, set the cycle to dough and press start. When prompted by the machine, or 5 minutes before mixing stops, add the cinnamon and Sultanas. Allow the bread maker to complete the dough cycle.

As soon as the bread maker has completed the dough cycle, ensure the dough has doubled in size, if not wait until it has. Then re start the dough cycle for 2 minutes, this will ‘knock back’ the dough for you.

For a stand mixer attach the dough hook. Start mixing on a low speed. Once the contents of the bowl resemble dough continue to mix on medium/slow speed for 5 minutes. Stop the mixer. Scrape all the dough, from the hook, into the bowl. Add the cinnamon and Sultanas. Lower the dough hook and mix on medium speed for a further 5 minutes.

After the 5 minutes mixing is complete, stop the mixer. Scrape all the dough back into the bowl, it will be very sticky, don’t worry. Cover with a damp cloth and leave in a draught free place until doubled in size – 1 – 1 1/2 hours. As soon as the dough has doubled in size it can be tipped out and shaped.

Shaping The Buns

  • Grease a large baking tray  (40cm x 28cm x 2.5 cm) with butter.
  • Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Shape the dough into a ball and weigh. Divide the weight by 12 and this will give you the weight of dough needed for each individual bun.
  • Alternatively, cut the dough in half and then cut each half into 6 even portions.
Form the dough into a ball.
  • Cut the dough in half using a large knife or metal dough scraper.

 

Dividing the dough into 12 portions.
  • Roll each portion into a ball. Tucking the seam at the bottom.
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Place each dough ball on the baking tray, spacing evenly apart.
  • Cover with a damp cloth and place in a draught free place until doubled in size – approx. 1 hour.
  • While the buns are proving make the paste for the crosses. Mix the flour and water together in a small bowl and then spoon into a small piping bag or plastic sandwich bag.

Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

  • As soon as the buns have doubled in size, snip the end off of the piping bag (corner of a sandwich bag) to leave a small hole.
  • 10 minutes before the buns are ready to bake preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan gas mark 7, 425F.
  • Pipe crosses on to the buns.
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
 

Baking The Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns

  • Place the buns into the middle of the oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  • The Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns are baked when they are a deep golden brown and sound hollow when rapped on the base with your knuckle.
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Once baked remove the Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
  • As soon as the buns are baked remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.
  • Place the apricot jam into a heatproof bowl and microwave for 20-30 seconds to melt.
  • Brush the warm buns with apricot jam using a pastry brush.
  • Leave to cool completely.

Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns ready to be shared with loved ones!

Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns
Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns packaged into a tin, ready to be given away.

Split in half, toast and spread with butter or eat as they are.

Store in an airtight tin for up to 3 days. Freeze in an airtight container for up to one month.

If you have the capacity, why not bake a double batch of these delicious Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns and give some away?

If you enjoyed this recipefor Wholemeal Hot Cross Buns you may also like these: then you may want to take a look at these:

Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns

Extra Fruity Hot Cross Buns

Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

Ginger Date Hot Cross Buns

Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns

Cherry Bakewell Hot Cross Buns

Easter is a time when our family comes together and celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Saviour. And sitting together, around the table, giving thanks before a meal is important. Giving thanks for the food we share and the provisions we have however is not only for Easter. Rather, it is an important daily practise in our lives. So is sharing the love that Jesus shows us. Whether it be through words, or more practically. And that is why I am so passionate about sharing food outside of our normal circle on this blog.

So whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, have fun preparing and sharing your feast.

Sammie xx

No part of this post may be reproduced or duplicated without the written permission of the owner. Please see my Disclosure Policy.

 

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