Bread during pregnancy: notes from a baker

 

I wanted to write a quick post on eating bread during pregnancy. With bread playing such a big role in my daily food routine, and at 25 weeks pregnant, a special post devoted to this feels appropriate 🙂

Here are my general tips around bread during pregnancy

  • According to the NHS UK; “starchy foods (carbohydrates) – including bread – should make up just over a third of the food you eat.”
  • However, try to limit or cut out white bread (and other ‘white carbs’ such as white rice or pasta) during pregnancy as much as possible.
  • Instead, opt for brown / wholegrain / multigrain breads, brown rice and wholemeal pasta.
  • If you are prone to snacking on sweets, incorporate some dried fruit into your loaf of bread instead. This date and nut loaf for example makes for a delicious breakfast bread or afternoon snack.
  • Adding nuts to your bread dough will add some much-needed protein into your diet too and, in general, I recommend to add seeds (e.g. sesame seeds are a good source of calcium) and extra wheat bran (for added fibre) to any bread you bake.
Healthy whole grain bread
Healthy whole grain bread

The best bread during pregnancy?

If you are looking to start baking your own bread during pregnancy or if you are looking to bake healthier loaves during pregnancy, take a look at this post on healthy bread from earlier this year.

Wholemeal sourdough pita bread pocket
Wholemeal sourdough pita bread pocket

There is good dietary advice on the NHS (UK) website and a lot of this can easily be put into practice with your daily choice of bread.

Here are my recipe tips:

  • Try this wholemeal pita bread recipe and pair it with homemade hummus, carrot and celery sticks if you fancy a savoury snack.
  • This Greek pastry snack with folate-rich spinach and feta cheese also ticks a few of the recommended dietary boxes.
  • Crispbread can be a life saver in the first three months of feeling nauseous and queasy; I found it really easy to eat during the tricky first trimester.
  • And if you are following a ‘eat little and often’ pregnancy routine, this oatcakes recipe is ideal.

All the best!

Disclaimer:

All content on The Bread She Bakes is provided for general information only, and should not be treated at all as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. The Bread She Bakes will not be responsible or liable for any diagnosis made by a user based on the content on www.thebreadshebakes.com and we are also not liable for the content of any external websites or links from this site to any other websites. Please always consult your own doctor if you’re in any way concerned about any aspect of your health.

Buckwheat crackers recipe

 

I love the taste buckwheat flour adds to baked goods. If you are in need of a quick buckwheat flavour fix, I’ve got a great buckwheat crackers recipe idea for you – a fantastic way of making quick crispbreads for when you need that savoury snack.

Buckwheat flour crackers
Buckwheat flour crackers
Buckwheat crispbread
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Buckwheat crackers recipe

This buckwheat crispbread goes well with smoked fish or cured meats, with cheeses and pickles. Break the crispbread into smaller bits and you can serve up a delicious bowl of buckwheat crisps with your favourite dip.

Ingredients

Buckwheat crackers ingredients

  • 120 g whole-wheat flour
  • 90 g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 90 g buckwheat flour
  • 15 g sesame seeds
  • 4 g salt
  • 40 g extra virgin olive oil or rapeseed oil
  • 120 g water as needed

Instructions

How to make buckwheat crackers

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C with two racks positioned inside and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  • Combine all ingredients in a bowl and form a dough. Ensure the dough is nice and smooth, not too runny and not too firm. Add a little more water if it's not very elastic.
  • Knead for a few minutes.
  • Lightly dust your work surface, and roll out the dough.
  • Cut into desired shapes -- squares or cookie-cutter shapes -- and place on the baking sheet, close together but not touching.
  • Bake for around 20 minutes until lightly browned, switching the sheet trays halfway through from front to back and top to middle.
  • Cool on a wire rack.

These crackers are delicious with cheeses and pickles or smoked fish and cottage cheese.

Buckwheat cracker
Buckwheat cracker

For more buckwheat inspiration, head over here for my buckwheat bread recipe or give this buckwheat pancake recipe a go for your next weekend breakfast. Galettes de sarrasin and buckwheat muffins provide great brunch options too.

Malt bread recipe

 

I love the flavour of malt and the sweet, fruity and slightly squidgy malt loaves which are brilliant for an afternoon snack, whether that’s at home or on a long walk with a hot cup of tea from the thermal flask. However, malt extract can also be a superb addition to a savoury loaf of bread and I wanted to share my malt bread recipe for a deliciously unique loaf.

Malt bread loaf
Malt bread loaf

“A typical non-diastatic product is the malt syrup that can be easily bought in jars at a health food shop. It is a sweet syrup, rich in maltose that can be used directly as yeast food.  It also delivers that malty  flavour, and by raising sugar levels it ensures bright crust colour because the yeast will not have had time to eat all the sugars present, and plenty will be left to caramelise in the crust.”
See more about using malt in baking here.

Malt Bread Recipe

Malt syrup helps the rise of the dough and adds a slight tan color to the loaf. The fresh potatoes in this recipe will keep the baked loaf fresh for longer.

Malt bread recipe
Malt bread recipe

Malt Bread Ingredients

For the sourdough (‘Monheimer Salzsauerteig’)

Please note, this dough is using salt in the sourdough refreshment, so make sure you have more leftover starter in the fridge than you are using here as you will be using the full sourdough refreshment in the main dough.

If you’d like to find out more about this salted sourdough refreshment, take a look here. Benefits include a more intensive aroma and better crumb.

  • 18g rye sourdough starter
  • 90g wholemeal rye flour
  • 90g water (ideal temperature for this process is 45°C)
  • 2g salt

For the main dough

  • 300g potatoes
  • 30g wholemeal rye flour
  • 480g strong white bread flour
  • 3g dried yeast
  • 13g salt
  • 135g water
  • 1 tablespoon malt extract
Malt bread
Malt bread

How to Make Malt Bread

  1. On day 1, prepare the Monheimer Salzsauerteig (salted sourdough) by combining the ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and leave to rest at room temperature for 15 to 20 hours.
  2. On day 2, peel the potatoes and finely grate into a large bowl.
  3. Add the refreshed, salted sourdough (all of it), as well as all the other main dough ingredients into the large bowl.
  4. Combine to form a smooth dough.
  5. On a clean work surface, knead for 20 minutes.
  6. Place the dough back into the bowl, cover and leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  7. Prepare a proofing basket.
  8. Punch down the dough, shape into a loaf, cover with flour, then place seam-side up in the proofing basket.
  9. Cover with a polythene bag and leave to prove at room temperature for about an hour.
  10. Preheat the oven to 220°C (and if using a baking dome preheat this from cold at the same time).
  11. Bake for 60 minutes. If using the baking dome, take off the lid for the last 10 minutes.
  12. Cool on a wire rack.

Proofing sourdough overnight

 

I’m a big fan of the sourdough overnight rise i.e. proofing sourdough overnight. It allows me to fit sourdough baking into my daily routine more easily and offers an opportunity to improve the flavour and aroma characteristics of my loaves.

In this post, I wanted to share some basics and tips around using this technique.

How does the sourdough overnight rise method work?

Fermentation will continue during refrigeration which will ensure the rise takes place albeit more slowly. By slowing down the process, sourdough breads that ferment overnight in the fridge develop more acidity during this time.

In general, there are a few things to look out for when baking an overnight sourdough bread recipe.

Overnight first rise

This method relates to the initial rise of the dough once you have mixed your dough ingredients including the refreshed sourdough starter. If you want to give your bread a good, long rise for reasons of flavour and nutritional quality but you cannot start the process until late in the evening, this would be a good option. Try to mix the dough at around 27°C (you can influence this by using water at this temperature) to give it a head-start, then place in the fridge at 5°C overnight before shaping the loaf and its final proof.

Overnight proofing

This is a great method if you want to bake your loaf first thing in the morning. Overnight proofing however isn’t risk free as proof times will as always vary based on the dough temperature and general vigour of the sourdough used. When I use this method,  I tend to use water 27°C – 32°C for mixing the main dough ingredients and leave it to rest at room temperature for a good few hours before shaping the loaf. This means the fermentation process has well and truly started by the time the loaf goes into the fridge.

However, if your dough is too lively at this stage, or your fridge not powerful enough, the loaf may over-proof before the morning and you won’t be there too notice until it’s too late.

On the other hand, the dough may not be lively enough and the fridge will slow things right down. So by the time the morning comes, your dough may not have risen enough and due to the cold dough temperature it will take a while to get it to its final fully proofed stage. Experience will be your best guide here.

Tips for proofing sourdough overnight

  1. The dough will be cold as it comes out of the fridge. If you are proofing your sourdough overnight for its first rise, it will take a while to get going again. Ensure it arrives into a warm space after its time in the fridge.
  2. Get to know the vigour of your sourdough and get the dough temperature right before starting the overnight rise. This will ensure you limit some of the risks described above.
  3. Experiment with different recipes and different flours to test and learn.
  4. Here are some recipes to get you started on this method: French pain de campagne and Russian 100% rye bread

Eating Out In Edinburgh

 

Eating your way around Edinburgh is a fabulous way to explore the city’s diverse neighbourhoods. Plan your day out with some tasty treats in mind – and don’t forget the bread!

Best for brunch

Urban Angel

Urban Angel’s versatile all day brunch menu is the perfect fix for healthy brunch-time cravings. The menu offers up scrumptious favourites such as Eggs Benedict and brioche French toast but also delights with moreish alternatives including harissa-spiced haricot beans on toast and Acai smoothie bowls. Whatever tickles your fancy, you’ll find a delicious selection of brunch treats on the menu. What’s more, their extensive list of add on items allows you to top up your plate with anything from black pudding and slow roasted tomatoes to veggie haggis should you feel the urge!

Urban Angel Edinburgh
Urban Angel, Edinburgh

Best for Vegetarian/Vegan lunch

Hendersons

I love dropping into Hendersons’ deli for lunch. Fresh and organic ingredients make for a vast range of veggie dishes including flavoursome salads, hearty soups as well as hot favourites such as their haggis parcels and Thai nut burgers. Hendersons’ Vegan restaurant around the corner from the deli serves up delicious dishes including Scottish pearl barley & parsnip risotto as well as my personal favourite, freekeh salad with kale, butternut squash, pear, grapes, almond flakes and cumin-maple dressing.

Hendersons Edinburgh
Hendersons, Edinburgh

Best for seafood

The Ship on the Shore

My all-time favourite for romantic dinners and savouring the best seafood in town, the Ship on the Shore celebrates the rich seafood larder Scotland has to offer. Part of the Sustainable Restaurant Association, this is the place to get your fill of oysters, Shetland mussels, Scottish lobster and many more outstanding seafood dishes from the seasonal menu. Enjoy all this in a setting of understated elegance, right beside the Water of Leith.

Best for seasonal eating

Lovage Restaurant

A recent discovery, Lovage Restaurant is my top local insider’s tip. Located centrally on St Mary’s Street, Lovage serves up extraordinary contemporary cuisine with a Polish influence, lovingly prepared with seasonal Scottish ingredients. Personal favourites include the cucumber soup (from the summer menu) and the spätzle with curd cheese and chestnuts (from their winter menu). Check for the latest seasonal dishes to get your taste buds excited

Best for inventive local dining

The Gardener’s Cottage

In the quaint setting of a gardener’s stone cottage built in 1836, the restaurant’s home-grown vegetable and herb garden greets diners as they arrive. The finest ingredients are sourced from local producers and sustainable waters. Make an occasion of it and book yourself in for the delectable seven course evening dinner. Stand out dishes include Arbroath smokies, hare pie, sea buckthorn sorbet with crowdie. Settle into one of the two cosy dining rooms on long communal dining tables and get ready to be enchanted.

The Gardener's Cottage Edinburgh
The Gardener’s Cottage Edinburgh

Best for coffee

Brew Lab

We have a vibrant coffee scene in Edinburgh but the shining star amongst the many independent coffee shops is Brew Lab. A pioneer in taking the city’s coffee culture to a new level, Brew Lab launched in 2012 and continues to push the boundaries of what a coffee bar can be. Passionate baristas prepare your brew with meticulous care and are happy to impart their specialist knowledge to coffee lovers. What is on offer? Single-origin filter, espresso and cold brew coffees alongside a locally sourced selection of sweet and savoury treats to match. Pop in for your high-quality caffeine fix and take note of Brew Lab’s extended opening hours, open until 9pm Wednesday to Sundays.

Best for cake

Falko

Indulge in the eclectic array of cakes Falko Konditormeister has to offer. Falko is a long-standing German bakery specialising in premium quality, traditionally prepared cakes and gâteaux. Cake varieties change frequently – just walk in and pick from the mouth-watering cakes beautifully presented in the display counter. Enjoy the continental Kaffeehaus vibes and treat yourself to a rich chocolatey Sachertorte or Swabian apple tart in the cosy wood panelled interiors of this Edinburgh institution. Have a pretzel while you’re there!

Best for wine

Smith & Gertrude

For me, Smith & Gertrude is the best wine bar in Edinburgh and my favourite place for spending a lazy Sunday afternoon. I love stopping by for carefully curated flights of wines (cheese and charcuterie pairing optional) while the old record player in the corner takes care of some quality tunes. The S&G crew even welcome record requests! Also check out the website’s events page to keep tabs on upcoming tasting events. 

Best for bread

You might also wonder where the best bread in town can be found. Luckily, there are now several great bakeries to choose from. My top picks around town are Falko in Bruntsfield, Breadshare Community Bakery in Leith and Portobello and The Wee Boulangerie on Clerk Street.

Brød & Taylor Folding Proofer Review

 

I finally got my hands on a Brød & Taylor folding proofer and wanted to share my review notes with you. Typically, I proof bread overnight in the fridge when baking during the week. My weekend bakes usually proof during the day and this can take many hours as my Edinburgh flat rarely reaches temperatures above 20°C and is usually lower.

Brød & Taylor Home Bread Proofer
Brød & Taylor Home Bread Proofer

The folding proofer is essentially a large cabinet that holds air temperature at a set level and provides a warm and moist environment for optimal dough proofing. I don’t have a proofing cabinet in my rather dated kitchen set-up and had therefore never tried to work with an ‘artificial’ proofing environment. Although, admittedly, my proofing baskets can been seen on radiators and near our fire place frequently.

Brød & Taylor Dough Proofer
Brød & Taylor Dough Proofer
Brød & Taylor Folding Proofer
Brød & Taylor folding proofer – I’ve taken the lid off the proofer for this shot. You can see the wire rack (the tray of water sits just underneath it) and the foldable sides.

What I like about the folding proofer

  • Ease of assembly – The Brød & Taylor folding proofer is a high-quality product, super easy to set up and subsequently fold away to store.
  • Limits guesswork – A few degrees difference in dough temperature can change the duration of the bulk fermentation or the final proofing a lot and being able to set the temperature has allowed me to plan my time around the proofing processes a lot better. The home proofer delivers both in terms of predictability as well as reliability.
  • No need for extra cover – It takes away the need to cover your proofing basket or tins with a polythene bag as the included water tray keeps humidity at an optimum level. Fewer plastic bags used is always a good thing!
  • Works for all types of dough – I’ve used the folding proofer for yeast-based and sourdough bakes, light wheat and  heavy rye loaves as well as for enriched doughs and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the folding proofer has worked well in all instances.
  • In summary – I’ve found the folding proofer to be a useful and unobtrusive piece of baking kit which has very quickly found its way into my regular baking routine. It heats up to the desired temperature very quickly and the see-through window at the top of the proofer lets you check progress easily (I don’t even have to get up from the couch!)

What would make it even better

I haven’t yet got the add-on shelving which would make proofing a batch of buns much easier. However, that’s easily resolved 🙂

Sourdough Loaf Brød & Taylor Bread Proofer
Sourdough Loaf Brød & Taylor Bread Proofer

Buttermilk sourdough bread recipe

 

Just a quick post to share my newly developed buttermilk bread recipe with you. I had a purposeless tub of buttermilk sitting in the fridge and didn’t really fancy baking any of the usual options like scones or soda bread. So, I decided to make a buttermilk-based sourdough loaf, using predominantly white bread flour, but providing depth of flavour and taste by adding dark wholemeal rye flour. The resulting loaf tasted delicious (and has been baked five times since), so do give this a try if you like the sound of a buttermilk sourdough bread.

Buttermilk sourdough bread
Buttermilk sourdough bread

Buttermilk is traditionally a by-product of butter-making – the liquid that is left over after butter is churned from cream. However, what we find in supermarkets nowadays is often made by adding an active bacterial culture to skimmed milk. These cultures convert some of the sugar in the milk (the lactose) into lactic acid which causes the milk to thicken. When used in bread making, buttermilk adds a pleasing tang and tartness and makes the crumb more tender. You’ll also find that the dough has a soft and creamy quality while kneading.

I always use organic ingredients for cooking and baking and although it is not readily available in supermarkets, organic buttermilk can be found in the UK. Daylesford Farm offers the real deal. Creamy and tangy organic buttermilk, made in the traditional way as a byproduct of the butter they produce.

Buttermilk sourdough bread recipe

I used only a small proportion of dark rye flour in my recipe as buttermilk tends to work best with mild flours in order for the tangy flavours to come through and the crumb to remain soft. Add herbs or spices to this buttermilk sourdough bread to play with different flavour combinations.

Buttermilk bread
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Buttermilk sourdough bread recipe

An easy recipe for a wholesome loaf of sourdough bread. I love using buttermilk in sweet baking and it's a beautiful ingredient for sourdough loaves too.
Servings 8 people

Ingredients

Sourdough ingredients

Main dough ingredients

  • 450 g strong white wheat flour
  • 100 g wholemeal rye flour
  • 300 g buttermilk at room temperature
  • 120 g water
  • 12 g salt

Instructions

How to make buttermilk sourdough bread

  • On day 1, prepare the sourdough by combining the sourdough starter, wholemeal rye flour and water in a medium bowl. Mix well, then cover and leave to rest for 16 -24 hours at room temperature.
  • On day 2, once the sourdough starter is ready, combine 260g of the refreshed sourdough (the rest goes back into the fridge for your next bake), the strong white wheat flour and wholemeal rye flour, the buttermilk (ideally at room temperature), the water and salt in a large bowl.
  • Combine to form a dough, then turn it out onto your work surface.
  • Knead for 10 minutes.
  • Place the dough back into the bowl, cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Turn out the dough and knead for 1 minute.
  • Place back into the bowl again, cover and leave to rest for a further 30 minutes.
  • Turn out the dough and shape into a boule.
  • Bathe the boule in a flour bath so it's no longer sticky on the outside, then place seam-side up into a pre-floured proofing basket.
  • Proof for several hours until risen - it takes about 3 hours in my kitchen but as always the proofing time depends very much on the temperature in your room so it might take a little shorter or longer - then preheat the oven to 200°C, and - if using - your baking dome at the same time.
  • Turn out the fully proofed loaf onto the preheated baking dome plate (if using) or a baking tray lined with baking paper. 
  • Make several decorative slashes with a scoring knife. Put the cover on the baking dome plate (if using).
  • Bake for 15 mins at 200°C, then turn the temperature down to 180°C and bake for a further 40 mins. Take off the baking dome cover for the last 10 minutes to finish the crust.
  • Cool on a wire rack.

Dampfnudeln recipe (with steamed apples) #BreadBakers

 

Dampfnudeln are a regular Friday lunchtime dish in my grandmother’s kitchen. Bread buns are placed on a bed of apples and steamed on the hub for about 30 minutes. They are incredibly light and delicious and I wanted to share the Dampfnudeln recipe here on the occasion of this month’s #BreadBakers theme ‘Steamed Buns’.

Dampfnudeln
Dampfnudeln

The Austrian/German delicacy also featured in the Great British Bake Off 2016 as a technical challenge.

Dampfnudeln in pan
Dampfnudeln in the steamy pan

Dampfnudeln Recipe

My granny’s recipe, based on Dampfnudel variation from the Innviertel in Austria and I think this version of the recipe is also popular in neighbouring Bavaria. The Dampfnudeln are steamed on a bed of lightly spiced apples. This recipe provides 6 portions.

Dampfnudeln steamed buns
Dampfnudeln resting and waiting to be ‘revealed’ 🙂
Dampf Noodles
Check out that airy crumb!
Dampfnudeln with apples
Dampfnudeln with buttery apples

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 500g strong white wheat flour
  • 7g dried yeast
  • 250g milk, tepid
  • 50g unsalted butter, melted
  • 50g sugar (I use brown sugar)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Zest of half a lemon

For the apple base

  • 850g apples, peeled and chopped into 1/2 cm slices
  • 50g butter
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 6 tbsp milk

How to make Dampfnudeln

  1. Combine all dough ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Knead dough until smooth and elastic.
  3. Place back into the bowl, cover and leave to rest for 45 minutest at room temperature.
  4. Punch down the dough and divide into 12 equal pieces.
  5. Shape the pieces into buns and place onto a pre-floured surface.
  6. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave to proof for about an hour. The buns should grow significantly in size during that time.
  7. Prepare the apples while you are waiting.
  8. Once the dough buns are ready, melt the butter in a large (circa 30 cm in diameter) non-stick frying pan (you need a tight fitting lid for it too) on a low heat.
  9. Evenly distribute the apple pieces in the pan and sprinkle the sugar on top, then add the milk.
  10. Carefully place the dough buns on the apple base and cover the pan with the lid. Don’t take the lid off again (or even slightly lift it) until the buns are fully done as they otherwise deflate.
  11. Turn up the heat to medium to bring the liquid in the pan to boil.
  12. After 15 minutes, turn down the heat to the lowest level and steam for another 15 – 20 minutes.
  13. Leave to rest for a few minutes once the heat is off before you take the lid off.
  14. Serve immediately.

If you like this Austrian steamed bread recipe, check out this plum preserve filled steamed bread recipe for Germknödel and here are also my fellow #BreadBakers’ recipes.

BreadBakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

Grape seed flour bread recipe

 

I stumbled upon grape seed flour in a small farm shop in Austria and was intrigued by this little known ingredient. Of course, I had to have it to use it in bread baking 🙂 Here are my notes on baking bread with grape seed flour.
Grape seed flour can be made from any variety of grape, each with its own characteristic taste. When added to bread dough, the resulting loaf benefits from the grape flour’s richness of colour and flavour. I’ve noted down my grape seed flour bread recipe for those of you interested in giving this a go!

Grape seed bread
Grape seed bread

Grape seed flour (which is actually more like a fine powder) is produced from pomace i.e. the skins, seeds and pulp generated during wine-making. Typically, only 80% of the total harvested grape crop is used to make wine, so it’s a nice way of using the ‘waste’ of the wine-making process. The seeds are pressed to extract the oils, and then, along with the grape skins, dried and milled into flour. Grape seeds have long been used to produce grape seed oil, and grape seed flour is just another alternative.

Grape seed flour bread
Grape seed flour bread

How to use grape seed flour

  • Grape seed flour can be added to baked goods. The recommended ‘dosage’ is 5-7% based on the bread’s flour content.
  • Grape seed flour pancakes are another great option. Just use your standard pancake recipe and add a tablespoon of grape seed flour into the batter mixture.
  • It can also be added to yoghurt or smoothies and used to thicken and flavour soups or salad dressings.
  • It adds rich colour and flavour with a slightly astringent yet fruity taste. White wine grapes will lend a tan colour to baked goods, while red wine grapes will add a darker, purple-brown colour to them.
  • Grape seed flour provides a boost of antioxidants and is high in fibre.
  • Finally, it’s a gluten free ingredient.

Grape Seed Flour Bread Recipe

Have fun baking with grape seed bread and pairing it with wine. I used grape seed flour from the Urkornhof in Austria, but you can buy grape seed flour online too. The cold-pressed grape seed flour I used combines seeds from both white and red grape varieties into one flour.

Ingredients

Sourdough

Main dough

  • 265g strong white bread flour
  • 35g wholemeal wheat flour
  • 15g grape seed flour
  • 8g salt
  • 180g water

How to make grape seed flour bread

  1. On the day before baking, refresh your sourdough by combining the sourdough ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well, cover and keep at room temperature for 12 – 16 hours.
  2. On the day of baking, combine 200g of the refreshed sourdough starter (the rest goes back into the fridge until your next bake) with the main dough ingredients.
  3. Knead for 10 minutes and you should have a smooth dough at this point.
  4. Place the dough back into the bowl, cover and rest for 1 hour or so until visibly risen.
  5. Punch down the dough and, on your work surface, shape it into a boule.
  6. Lightly dust the loaf with flour on all sides, then place it into a suitable proving basket.
  7. Cover the proving basket with a polythene bag (to prevent the dough from drying out), then leave to prove at room temperature for several hours until fully proved.
  8. Preheat the oven and your baking dome (if using) 20 minutes before the bake.
  9. Turn out the dough onto the baking dome plate or a baking tray lined with baking paper. Score a pattern with a scoring knife if you like.
  10. Bake at 180°C for 35 minutes and a further 10 minutes without the baking dome lid (if using) to brown the crust.
  11. Cool on a wire rack.

Wheatgerm bread

 

When in Ireland last weekend, I picked up a big bag of wheatgerm – an ingredient found in most well stocked supermarkets over there. I use wheatgerm in this recipe for brown Irish soda bread and in this homemade granola recipe. However, Dan Lepard also features a good-looking wheatgerm bread in his book ‘The Handmade Loaf‘ and here is my version of his wheatgerm bread recipe.

Wheat Germ Bread
Wheat Germ Bread

What is wheat germ?

  • Wheat germ (short for germination) is the small, nutritious centre of a wheat kernel.
  • It’s the part of wheat that sprouts and grows into a new plant and comprises only about 2.5% of the weight of the kernel.
  • Wheat germ is removed during white flour refinement but it is used in whole wheat flour.
Wheat Germ
Wheat Germ

For reference, whole wheat and all other whole grains are made up of three primary components:

  • the bran (outside shell)
  • the germ (the reproductive element)
  • the starchy endosperm (used to mill flour)

Wheat germ bread recipe

This is my slightly adjusted version of Dan Lepard’s wheatgerm bread recipe. I use double the amount of whole grains, half the amount of honey and replace orange juice with milk in my recipe version. I also opt for not toasting the wheatgerm due to some nutrients being lost during the toasting process.

Wheat Germ Bread Dan Lepard
My Wheat Germ Bread Based On Dan Lepard’s Recipe

Dan Lepard’s tip: “In an act of breadmaking heresy, this bread doesn’t really have an initial fermentation. After kneading, the dough is left for 10 minutes before being shaped and placed in the tin, so most of the fermentation occurs once the dough is in its final shape. Breadmaking flour has a lot of strong gluten, but it is contained within the endosperm. In white flour, all that remains is the milled endosperm; in wholewheat flour this is a smaller percentage of the dry matter. Wholewheat flours should therefore be treated as if they contain less gluten, which means you need to handle the dough les and give it a shorter initial rise. This bread has an extra 25% wheatgerm, which lowers the gluten content further. Be gentle with the kneading, as the bran will tear the gluten if the dough is subjected to a rigorous and extended mixing. ”

Wheatgerm Bread
Wheatgerm Bread

Ingredients

  • 80g whole grains – you can e.g. use whole wheat, rye, spelt or Grünkern as I have used
  • 100g wheatgerm
  • 400g strong wholewheat flour
  • 5g dried yeast
  • 5g salt
  • 340g water
  • 20g honey
  • 60g milk, lukewarm

How to make wheatgerm bread

  1. Place the whole grains in a small saucepan, cover with water and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Ensure the grains remain covered with water at all times.
  2. Remove from the heat, add cold water to the pan so the grains become lukewarm, then drain.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the water and honey and warm up slightly (not too much) to thoroughly mix the two liquids.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the wholewheat flour, wheatgerm, cooked whole grains, dried yeast, salt, the water and honey mixture and the milk.
  5. Form a dough and knead briefly. When evenly combined, cover the bowl and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Use this time to grease a 9 x 24 cm loaf tin (I used rapeseed oil and a silicone pastry brush to do this).
  7. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead for 10 seconds.
  8. Shape the dough back into a ball, return it to the bowl and cover.
  9. Leave for 5 minutes and repeat steps 9 and 10 twice more.
  10. Leave for 10 minutes.
  11. On a lightly floured work surface, pat the dough into a flat rectangle measuring roughly 25 cm left-to-right by 20 cm top-to-bottom.
  12. Roll the dough inward, starting at the end furthest from you, rolling it tightly.
  13. Roll the dough gently on the work surface, then pat the ends inward so that it will drop neatly into the prepared tin. Lightly flour the dough’s top surface.
  14. Cover the tin with a polythene bag and leave to rise at room temperature for approx. 1 – 1.5 hours, until it has risen about 1 cm over the top of the tin. Ensure to preheat the oven to 220°C about 20 minutes before this time.
  15. Place the tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 40 minutes.
  16. Remove from the oven and, after 5 minutes, remove the loaf from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Wheat Germ Bread Recipe
Wheat Germ Bread Recipe