Fennel Seed Bread Recipe

 

The fennel seed is a a beautiful ingredient for bread baking – think subtle aniseed with warm, sweet aromas. This fennel seed bread recipe brings out the best of the seed’s aromatic flavours. A flavoursome breakfast bread for any day of the week!

For my fennel bread recipe, I’ve chosen a combination of flours: strong white wheat and maize flour. Taking a look at other bakers’ recipes, there are plenty of fennel and nut combos, specifically hazelnuts (e.g. Ottolenghi’s fennel seed crackers or Hamelman’s hazelnut and fig bread with fennel seeds and rosemary). Dried fruits such as raisins, cherries or figs are also popular fennel seed companions (e.g. Andrew Whitley’s semolina, raisin and fennel bannock). As such, I’ve opted for a fennel bread which includes nuts and dried fruit and it works beautifully.

Fennel seed bread
Fennel seed bread

Fennel Seed Bread Recipe

My recipe uses a fruit, nut and fennel seed soaker to infuse some of the liquid that goes into the dough to extract some extra flavour from the seeds and to soften the raisins pre-bake.
I provided options for both a yeast-based and a sourdough-based version of this bread below.

Fennel seeds
Fennel seeds

Yeast-Based Fennel Bread Recipe

This recipe is based on a small of amount of dried yeast as the leavening agent.

Ingredients

Soaked raisin, hazelnut and fennel seed mix

  • 50g raisins
  • 50g hazelnuts, roughly chopped (you can also use almonds)
  • 6g fennel seeds
  • 100g water, hot

Main dough

  • 450g strong white wheat flour
  • 75g maize flour
  • 9g salt
  • 5g dried yeast
  • 315g water
Fennel seed bread slice
Fennel seed bread slice

How to make fennel seed bread

  1. Prepare the raisin, hazelnut and fennel seed soaker by lightly toasting the fennel seeds in a frying pan for a few minutes until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and roughly crush with the pestle. Combine the fennel seeds and other soaker ingredients in a bowl, stirring before covering the bowl. Leave to rest for a few hours or overnight.
  2. After this, combine all of the main dough ingredients and add the liquid from the soaker.
  3. Form a dough and knead for 10 minutes.
  4. Place in a bowl and cover for about an hour. The dough will have visibly risen by then.
  5. Take the dough back out of the bowl and fold in the raisin, hazelnut and fennel seed soaker until distributed evenly throughout the dough.
  6. Shape the dough into a round loaf, cover the outside with flour and place into a pre-floured proofing basket.
  7. Cover the proofing basket in a polythene bag to prevent the dough from drying out.
  8. Rest for an hour or two until the dough is fully proofed.
  9. Preheat the oven to 220°C and – if you are using a baking dome – preheat the dome from cold at the same time.
  10. Turn out the fennel seed loaf onto the baking dome plate (or otherwise a baking tray lined with baking paper) and score the bread with a scoring knife. Cover the dome if using.
  11. Bake at 220°C for 10 minutes, then turn down the temperature to 200°C for another 45 minutes. Take off the baking dome lid for the final 10 minutes to brown the loaf nicely.
  12. Cool on a wire rack.

Sourdough-Based Fennel Bread Recipe

This version of the recipe doesn’t use commercial yeast, but uses sourdough starter instead.

Ingredients

Sourdough starter

  • 25g wheat sourdough starter
  • 100g strong white bread flour
  • 100g water

Soaked raisin, hazelnut and fennel seed mix

  • 50g raisins
  • 50g hazelnuts, roughly chopped (you can also use almonds)
  • 6g fennel seeds
  • 100g water, hot

Main dough

  • 350g strong white wheat flour
  • 75g maize flour
  • 9g salt
  • 215g water

How to make fennel seed bread

  1. Refresh the sourdough starter by combining the sourdough ingredients mentioned above in a medium bowl. Mix well, cover with a lid and set aside at room temperature for at least four hours or overnight.
  2. At the same time, prepare the raisin, hazelnut and fennel seed soaker by lightly toasting the fennel seeds in a frying pan for a few minutes until fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and roughly crush with the pestle. Combine the fennel seeds and other soaker ingredients in a bowl, stirring before covering the bowl. Leave to rest for a few hours or overnight.
  3. After this, combine all of the main dough ingredients with 200g of the refreshed sourdough starter (the rest goes back into the fridge for your next bake) and add the liquid from the soaker.
  4. Follow steps 3 to 12 as in the yeast-bread recipe version above. However, please allow more time for step 4 and step 8 as the process will take quite a bit longer using sourdough instead of yeast.

Enjoy!

I also used fennel seeds in this Moroccan bread recipe.

Homemade baked beans from scratch

 

Making homemade baked beans from scratch is absolutely worth the effort. Try my recipe for a stunningly colourful and flavoursome weekend brunch. I promise, you will never want to go back to the shop-bought variety of baked beans again!

Homemade baked beans
Homemade baked beans (using butter beans)

Vegetarian homemade baked beans from scratch

A beautiful vegetarian recipe for homemade baked beans. Your efforts will be rewarded with the rich taste of the tomato sauce, balanced with the wonderfully textured beans.

Homemade baked beans ingredients

  • 180g dried white beans, such as butter, haricot or cannellini (you can use a mix of beans)
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 100g white onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, grated
  • 200g passata (use passata maker if using fresh tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 75g red wine vinegar
  • 250g water
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few sprigs of thyme (optional)

How to make baked beans from scratch

Day 1

  1. Cover the white beans in cold water and soak overnight.

Day 2

  1. After the beans have soaked overnight, drain them and put them in a large saucepan. Cover them with plenty water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour until the beans are just tender. Top up with more boiling water if required.
  2. Drain the beans and set aside.
  3. Heat the rapeseed oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat.
  4. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and stir for a few minutes until the onion is softened.
  5. Add the passata, tomato purée, smoked paprika, vinegar and water and bring to the boil.
  6. Season with salt and pepper and add the thyme if using.
  7. Add the beans, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for an hour or so until the sauce has thickened.
  8. Serve while hot with freshly baked bread or homemade potato farls.

 

Irish Potato Farls Bread Recipe

 

Weekends are my time for experimenting with food and this morning I was looking to Northern Ireland for inspiration. Visiting Belfast last year and stopping by at St. George’s Market, there was a huge variety of potato farls on offer and I’ve been a fan ever since. Irish potato farls are simple ‘breads’ made from potatoes, flour, butter and salt. Try my potato farls bread recipe for a simple and comforting treat.

Potato farls bread
Potato farls – a Sunday morning treat

“The word farl literally means ‘fourths’: they are shaped from a circle of dough cut into quarters.” The Guardian

Potato Farls Bread Recipe

A simple recipe, success guaranteed. Have the potato breads with your cooked weekend breakfast or simply with butter.

Potato farl bread
Potato farl bread – I left the skins on the potatoes before mashing them, works perfectly

Potato Farls Ingredients

  • 1 kg floury potatoes
  • 50g butter
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 190g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • Fresh thyme leaves (optional)

How To Make Potato Farls

Day 1

  1. The day/evening before you plan to make the potato farls, cook the potatoes and mash them with a potato ricer or regular potato masher.
  2. Add the butter and season to taste.
  3. Leave to cool, cover and place in the fridge overnight.

Day 2

  1. On the day of making the potato farls, add the flour (and thyme if using) to the mashed potatoes until well combined and smooth.
  2. Turn the mixture out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide in half.
  3. On a floured work surface (to prevent sticking), flatten the dough into a round shape. You can do this with your hands or with a rolling pin. The round should be approximately 5mm thick.
  4. Cut each circle into quarters.
  5. Heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until hot.
  6. Add the potato farls in batches (use a dough scraper if they stick to the surface), and fry for four to five minutes on each side, or until golden-brown on both sides. I don’t use extra butter to do this.
  7. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Irish potato farls can turn your breakfast into something extra special but if you are looking for other breakfast options, take a look at these:

 

Hemp Seed Bread Recipe

 

I’m a big fan of using seeds in bread baking – why not add extra nutrition and taste in the form of seeds when baking? One minor complaint I have about most seeds I usually use (sunflower, pumpkin, flax chia) is that they lose their crunch when baked into bread dough. However, I have just found a seed that is as crisp as ever when added to bread. Whole hemp seeds (i.e. hemp seeds with their outer shell still on) lose none of their toasted crunchiness which makes them a fun and unexpectedly unique addition to breads. Here is my wheat and rye based hemp seed bread recipe, give it a try!

Hemp seed bread recipe
Hemp seed bread recipe

From a nutritional perspective, whole hemp seeds are a good source of insoluble fibre, protein, essential amino acids, omega 3 fatty acids and minerals including iron, magnesium and potassium.

Hemp seeds
Hemp seeds

Hemp Seed Bread Recipe

This sourdough bread recipe with whole hemp seeds creates an unusual loaf with plenty of crunch.

Hemp seed bread
Hemp seed bread

Hemp Seed Bread Ingredients

Sourdough

  • 125g wholegrain rye flour
  • 125g water
  • 25g mature 100%-hydration sourdough starter

Whole Grain Soaker

  • 50g grains e.g. spelt or rye grains
  • 50g water

Main Dough

  • 400g flour
  • 125g wholegrain rye flour
  • 280g water
  • 11g salt
  • 75g toasted hemp seeds
Hemp seed sourdough bread
Hemp seed sourdough bread – spot the hemp seeds and the whole grains 🙂

How To Make Hemp Seed Bread

  1. Start by preparing the sourdough and the whole grain soaker.
  2. Firstly, combine all sourdough ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well, then cover and set aside at room temperature for 16 to 24 hours.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the whole grain soaker ingredients, cover and set aside for 16 to 24 hours as well.
  4. On day 2, combine 250g of the sourdough starter (the rest goes back into the fridge for future sourdough bakes), the whole grain soaker and all main dough ingredients except the toasted hemp seeds in a large bowl.
  5. Form the dough, then turn out the dough onto your work surface to hand-knead for about 10 minutes.
  6. Add the toasted hemp seeds and knead them all in until evenly distributed.
  7. Put the dough back into the large bowl, cover and rest for about an hour or two. During this time, the dough should visibly expand.
  8. Turn out the dough and give it another quick knead before shaping it into a round loaf.
  9. Cover the loaf with flour before placing it seamside up into the pre-floured proofing basket.
  10. Cover with a polythene bag to ensure the dough doesn’t dry out and leave to rest for several hours at room temperature (how long exactly will depend on the temperature in your room; it took three hours in my kitchen) until fully proofed.
  11. In time, preheat the oven to 220°C and, if you are using a La Cloche baking dome, (as I did), preheat this from cold at the same time.
  12. Turn the loaf out onto the baking dome plate or onto a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  13. Bake at 220°C for 10 minutes before turning the temperature to 190°C for another 50 minutes. If you are using the baking dome, take the lid off for the last 10 minutes to further strengthen the crust.
  14. Cool on a wire rack.

Bakeries in Edinburgh – Best For Bread

 

Looking for bakeries in Edinburgh? As an Edinburgh resident since 2007, I’m happy to report that the bakery scene has come on heaps and bounds over the last few years. There are lots of excellent bakeries here now and you can pick from a great range of baked goods and breads.

The best bakeries in Edinburgh

Here are my top picks of the best bakeries in Edinburgh – with a specific focus on suppliers of #realbread and sourdough – as chosen by The Bread She Bakes.

Breadshare – Community Bakery in Portobello & Leith

With their slogan ‘Real Bread For Everyone’, Breadshare is a social enterprise bakery with the noteworthy mission to bring affordable all-organic slow fermentation bread to the people of Edinburgh. Visit the Portobello bakery to see the place where all the real bread baking action is happening or pick up a loaf in their Leith branch. It’s the spirit behind the operation as well as the tasty breads that make Breadshare my top choice for the best bakeries in Edinburgh.

“Our social objectives are to promote the health benefits of real bread and make it accessible to everyone in the community; involve the community in everything we do; help other communities to establish community supported bakeries; be ecologically sustainable; actively support local organic food supply chains”

Favourite Breads: Organic Seven Seeds, Organic Borodinsky Rye, Organic Rustic Rye

Website: http://breadshare.co.uk/

Bakery Andante – Artisan Bakery in Morningside

A perfect range of artisan breads, baked lovingly in line with #realbread principles by marketer turned baker Jon Wood.

“Andante is a musical expression meaning ‘at a slower tempo’, which perfectly describes how we think bread should be made. “

Favourite Breads: 50% Rye Sourdough, Covenanter’s Loaf

Website: http://bakeryandante.co.uk/

Falko Konditormeister – German Bakery in Edinburgh

One of the longest standing bakeries in town, Falko’s Bruntsfield store lures bread and cake lovers alike. Offering excellent German heavyweight breads and perfection in cake baking, Falko continues to be one of the very best bakeries in Edinburgh. Step into the shop’s wood-panelled, high-ceilinged coffee house setting and indulge in Falko’s delectable bakes. Check out their bread baking schedule so you are first in line for the tasty loaves of bread, prepared with their sourdough starter Heinrich.
“We do things the old-fashioned way; hand-shaping each loaf, allowing the dough to prove slowly in baskets before turning it out onto a wooden peel and gently placing in our stone-laid oven.”
Favourite Breads: Jägerkruste (Hunters’ Crusty Bread), König Ludwig Dinkel-Roggen-Malz Brot (Spelt-Rye-Malt Bread), Hausbrot (House Bread)

Söderberg – Swedish Bakery in Edinburgh

A brilliant example of how a bakery can expand without losing its local and artisanal charme. Söderberg bakeries (the guys also behind the delicious Peter’s Yard rye sourdough crispbreads) can now be found in six locations across Edinburgh.

“Söderberg is an artisan Swedish bakery based in Edinburgh. Established by a quiet Swede who believes in making honest, well-crafted goods that are as individual as the people who create and enjoy them. Behind every loaf there is a pair of hands, kneading dough before dawn.”

Favourite Breads: Swedish Rye, Sourdough Pizza

Website: http://www.soderberg.uk/

Bakeries in Edinburgh: Söderberg on Broughton Street
Bakeries in Edinburgh: Söderberg on Broughton Street

Wee Boulangerie – French Bakery in Edinburgh

A charming neighbourhood bakery, offering great bread options including the best baguettes in town.

“We are a wee artisan bakery, born out of our love of real, good bread. We make bread slowly, using long fermentations and traditional techniques, to develop naturally the taste and qualities of our breads.”

Favourite Breads: Baguettes, French White, Rye Bread

Website: http://theweeboulangerie.co.uk/

All Night Bakery in Edinburgh?

Fancy a late night bakery snack? I’m afraid there are limited #realbread options for you but there is an all night bakery in Edinburgh! Head to Pieman’s Bakery on Morrison Street for a selection of pies, pastries and hot filled rolls 🙂

Caraway Seed Bread Recipe (Rye Bread)

 

I’m sure my Austrian roots have something to do with my slight addiction to the flavour of caraway seeds. In Austrian cuisine, caraway seeds are used abundantly, from flavouring roast pork to enhancing salad dressings. Most notably, Austrian dark breads frequently use caraway seeds as part of the Brotgewürz which is used to flavour the loaves. Caraway seeds are superb bread flavour enhancers, some of the top seeds to add to breads and perfect for rye breads specifically. Here is my caraway seed bread recipe, based on a combination of wholemeal rye flour and white wheat flour, leavened with sourdough.

Caraway seed bread
Caraway seed bread

Are caraway seeds good for you?

Caraway (carum carvi) belongs, like coriander, fennel and celery for example, to the family of Apiaceae or Umbelliferae. Not technically seeds, caraway ‘seeds’ are the split halves of the dried fruits of the plant.

Caraway seeds
Caraway seeds

The effect of caraway is mainly related to the essential oil containing Carvon, which has a stimulating effect on the stomach and a soothing impact on the bowel. Two digestive bonus points at once.

At the same time, the delicate, aromatic but slightly bitter taste of caraway adds a completely new dimension to breads.

Caraway seed bread recipe
Caraway seed bread recipe

Caraway seed bread recipe

A great bread for tasty sandwiches or creamy vegetable soups. Delicious also with pastrami, mustard and gherkins (my personal favourite). Add slightly more or less caraway seeds than recommended below to intensify or lessen the flavour kick. The sharpness of the mustard and gherkins works incredibly well with the distinctively bitter, yet warm and sweet taste of the caraway seeded bread.

Caraway bread ingredients

For the sourdough starter

For the main dough

  • 180g strong white bread flour
  • 80g dark rye flour
  • 150g water
  • 8g salt
  • 10g caraway seeds

How to make caraway bread

  1. Prepare the sourdough by combining the various ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well and cover the bowl. Leave to rest overnight (16 – 24 hours).
  2. On day 2, prepare the main dough by combining 300g of the sourdough from day 1 (the remaining 30g go back into the fridge for future bakes) with the main dough ingredients.
  3. Mix well and knead the dough for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Rest for about an hour, then shape into a loaf before placing it in your pre-floured proofing basket.
  5. Leave to proof for a few hours (this will depend on your room temperature), then preheat the oven. If you have a La Cloche baking dome, preheat this in the oven from cold.
  6. Turn out the loaf from your proofing basket to the baking tray (lined with baking paper) or the La Cloche dome.
  7. Make a few slashes with your scoring knife.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes at 220°C and for another 45 minutes at 200°C. Take the lid off the dome for the last 10 minutes if using the La Cloche dome.
  9. Cool on a wire rack.

Homemade seeded sourdough bread recipe

 

Why make a plain loaf if you can make it so much more interesting with seeds! This seeded sourdough bread recipe uses a mix of sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and linseed – a loaf packed with nutrients, protein and minerals.

Homemade seeded sourdough
Homemade seeded sourdough

Seeded sourdough bread recipe

This recipe uses both rye and wheat flours as well as a tablespoon of malt extract. A tremendous flavour combination, enhanced further by the delicious seed mix.

Seeded sourdough bread
Seeded sourdough bread

Ingredients

Sourdough

Seed mix

  • 60g sunflower seeds
  • 40g sesame seeds
  • 40g linseed
  • 150g hot water

Main dough

  • 40g rye flour
  • 260g white bread flour
  • 200g wholemeal bread flour
  • 195g water
  • 12g salt
  • 1 tbsp malt extract
Seeded sourdough
Seeded sourdough

How to make homemade seeded sourdough bread

Day 1

  1. Combine the sourdough ingredients in a medium bowl, cover and keep at room temperature for approx. 16 hours.
  2. Dry roast the seeds in a frying pan (no oil!) and toast the mixed seeds for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Place in a bowl, pour over the hot water, cover and keep at room temperature for approx. 16 hours.

Day 2

  1. Combine 300g of the sourdough (the rest goes back into the fridge for your next bake), the seed mix soaker and the main dough ingredients in a large bowl to form a rough dough.
  2. Knead for 10 minutes.
  3. Cover and leave to rest in a warm place for 1 hour.
  4. Butter a lidded pullman loaf tin, then move the dough from the bowl into the tin. Squash the dough in quite firmly and evenly.
  5. Cover the tin with the lid and place in the fridge overnight or approx. 12 – 16 hours. It should have risen significantly during this time.

Day 3

  1. Take the pullman loaf tin out of the fridge and  preheat the oven to 190°C for 20 minutes.
  2. Bake at 190°C for 1 hour. Remove the bread from the tin approx. 15 minutes before the hour is up and put back into the oven – the bread will get a much better crust that way.
  3. Remove from the loaf pan and leave to cool on a wire rack.

White bloomer bread recipe

 

If you are new to baking bread, here is a simple recipe for an easy white sandwich bread bloomer, a great recipe for beginners in bread making. This basic white bloomer bread recipe is guaranteed to spark your love for bread baking. Perfect for families with the need for a constant supply of fresh sandwich bread. No need to buy the industrial pre-sliced loaf that comes with added processing aids, emulsifiers or preservatives and is made far too fast with too much yeast. Take note that only four ingredients (flour, water, salt and yeast or natural leaven) are required to make bread.

White bloomer bread
White bloomer bread

Why bake at home?

Here are some reasons why you might want to venture into baking your own bread at home.

  • You’d like to eat bread based on the four basic bread baking ingredients, knowing exactly what’s in it and allowing it sufficient time to rise with a small amount of yeast
  • You want to fill the house with the smell of freshly baked bread – rather than the bin with plastic wrapping
  • You’d like to bake homemade bread that’s perfect for sandwiches and toast in the morning
  • You want – like my brother in law – to bake the very best vehicle for your PB&J sandwiches
  • Or you simply can’t be bothered to go to the store/supermarket for bread

Equipment

Here is all the equipment you’ll need to make a basic white bread bloomer:

White bloomer
White bloomer
White bloomer bread
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5 from 3 votes

White Bloomer Bread Recipe

The quantities below are for a 1.3kg loaf tin (baking a 1.3kg white bloomer bread), but they are easy to adjust for other bread tin sizes.  Ensure that the total weight of the loaf adds up to the volume of your loaf tin. The dough hydration of the loaf is at 64% (calculated by dividing the water content of 480g into the 750g of flour).

Ingredients

  • 750 g strong white wheat flour - get the best strong white wheat flour you can buy preferably organic
  • 480 g water tepid
  • 7 g dried yeast
  • 13 g salt

No need to add sugar or butter or milk or oil as suggested in many recipes - keep it simple

    Instructions

    How to make white bloomer bread

    • Combine all ingredients in the large mixing bowl and - with your hands - form a rough dough
    • With your dough scraper, turn out the rough dough onto a clean working surface and knead by hand for at least 10 minutes until the dough has become elastic and smooth. Have a jug of water next to you when kneading and wet your hands every now and then to keep the dough well hydrated.
    • Shape the dough into a ball and place back into the bowl, cover with the lid and leave to rest for about 45 minutes at room temperature. During this time, the dough should grow in volume significantly.
    • Punch down the dough and shape into a loaf which fits into the loaf tin well.
    • Place into the loaf tin and cover with a plastic bag, leaving room for the dough to rise at the top, so you avoid the dough sticking to the plastic.
    • Leave to proof for 1 hour or so until the dough has roughly doubled in size.
    • Preheat the oven to 200°C for at least 15 minutes.
    • Place the loaf tin (without the plastic bag) in the oven (on a shelf that leaves ample room at the top for the bread's "oven spring").
    • Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 180°C and bake for another 35 minutes.
    • Cool the white bloomer bread loaf on a wire rack.

    Einkorn Sourdough Bread Recipe

     

    Einkorn (triticum monococcum) is the ancient precursor of wheat, the original wheat that grew in the area known as the Fertile Crescent in present-day Iraq and Syria. The grains are not very different from those harvested and eaten about 18,000 years ago and cultivated from about 10,00o BC. Einkorn moved from the Fertile Crescent area all the way to the Italian Alps where it was found in 1991 with the frozen remains of Ötzi the Iceman. They examined his last meal and it contained meat, roots, berries and Einkorn wheat. Even in the UK, grains of Einkorn have been discovered at an underwater archaeological site on the Isle of Wight where it was cultivated around 6,000 BC, when Britain was still connected by land to Europe.

    Einkorn has an ability to survive on poor soil and in adverse conditions; however, as time went on, other varieties of wheat became more popular due to bigger yield and easier processing. Here is my Einkorn sourdough bread recipe, made with 100% wholemeal Einkorn flour. A beautifully golden loaf, with a deliciously creamy texture.

    Einkorn sourdough bread
    Einkorn sourdough bread

    After all of this time, Einkorn has remained a pure wheat that has not been hybridized. It aptly translates into “one grain” in German as it has a single grain attached to its stem, while other modern varieties have groups of four grains. All varieties of wheat we know today are descendants of wild Einkorn.

    Baking with Einkorn

    Einkorn is ground into a soft and golden flour. As the gluten is weaker than standard wheat flour gluten, it requires a shorter mixing and kneading cycle than with regular bread flour. The dough can become sticky with excessive kneading and the slightly sticky gluten produces loaves of smaller volume than modern flours.

    Einkorn flour absorbs less liquid than other wholemeal flours. As a general rule, the hydration amount should be reduced by 15% for standard wholewheat Einkorn flour. Resist the temptation to add more flour to lessen the dough’s sticky texture as it will end up drying up and baking dense later. Try to keep your dough wet and sticky.

    Finally, don’t let it proof to the same degree as you would with normal wheat doughs. If Einkorn dough rises too much, it will deflate in the oven. Make sure the dough springs back when you press on it with your finger. It is better to under-proof than over-proof with Einkorn.

    Where to buy Einkorn flour

    Production today is limited and isolated, yet in the UK, Einkorn flour is available from Doves Farm and Shipton Mill.

    Einkorn Sourdough Recipe

    Bake a rustic sourdough bread with golden Einkorn flour. Light and creamy in colour with a rich flavour.

    Einkorn bread
    Einkorn bread

    Ingredients

    Sourdough

    • 50g wheat sourdough starter
    • 75g Einkorn flour
    • 75g water

    Main dough

    • 500g Einkorn flour
    • 8g salt
    • 400g water

    Dusting

    • Some extra flour (I use rice flour)

    How to make Einkorn sourdough bread

    1. Combine the sourdough ingredients in a medium bowl, cover and set aside at room temperature for 12 hours.
    2. On the second day, combine all main dough ingredients with 150g of the refreshed sourdough starter (the rest should be set aside for your next bake) in a large bowl.
    3. Mix until all ingredients are well combined but avoid kneading the dough. The dough will be sticky, so work with your dough scraper to make things easier.
    4. Shape into a ball and place back into the bowl.
    5. Cover and leave to rest for about an hour at room temperature.
    6. Deflate the dough and shape into a boule, cover with (rice) flour and place into lightly floured proofing basket.
    7. Cover with a polythene bag to protect the moisture and proof at room temperature. For me, in my Edinburgh kitchen, this process takes a good 6 or 7 hours. However, if your kitchen is warmer, the process may be much shorter, perhaps only 2 hours or so.
    8. Preheat the oven to 220°C and preheat your baking dome or Dutch oven at the same time.
    9. Turn out the loaf onto the baking dome or Dutch oven (or otherwise a baking stone or baking tray lined with baking paper).
    10. Score the top with a pattern of your choice. Use a scoring knife for best results.
    11. Bake at 220°C for 10 minutes and at 200°C for a further 40 minutes.
    12. Take off the lid of your baking dome or Dutch oven for the last 10 minutes if using to firm up the crust.
    13. Cool on a wire rack.
    14. Enjoy an beautiful Neolithic loaf of sourdough bread 🙂

    Best banneton baskets (bread proofing baskets)

     

    Bannetons are baskets for bread proofing, used to hold shaped loaves as they proof and undergo their final rise. These dough rising containers are also referred to as Brotform in German and Gärkörbchen in Austria and come in various shapes and materials. There is plenty of variety out there, so here is my quick guide to banneton baskets to get you started.

    Round banneton
    Round banneton

    Why use banneton baskets?

    Bannetons are great for doughs that are too sloppy to proof as free standing loaf without flowing into a flat bread. Bread proofed in a basket can therefore be wetter as the dough is held in shape during the proofing process. Once proofed, the loaf is flipped or rolled out of the banneton basket and goes straight into the hot oven, giving it little chance to relax into a puddle before the bake.

    You’ll find that, as the proportion of rye in bread recipes increases, bannetons become more useful, providing lateral support for fragile loaves. For a higher and prettier result, loose doughs are therefore best supported by proofing baskets in order to rise upwards, not outwards.

    Great lightness and a very open structure are possible with such (wetter) dough, but only if it can be held in a reasonably coherent shape before being fixed by the heat of baking.” Andrew Whitley, Bread Matters

    How to use a proofing basket

    Using a proofing basket is simple:

    1. Put your loaf into the basket upside down (seam-side up).
    2. Cover the basket with a polythene bag to keep the moisture in i.e. to prevent the dehydration of the surface and to prevent a surface skin from forming
    3. Let the bread rise.
    4. Turn out the loaf onto your baking tray lined with baking paper or La Cloche baking dome or your baking peel, depositing the bread gently on to the surface, before transferring it into the hot oven.

    A problem I faced when using my round wicker banneton for the first time was that my dough got stuck in the basket. This is because new cane bannetons need to be conditioned prior to their first use.

    Before its first use, lightly mist your cane banneton with water and dust it with a layer flour. For any future uses, lightly flour your basket before you put in the dough and dip your dough in flour before you put it in the basket.

    However, be careful, as too much flour results in a thick, floury crust and will diminish the cane’s spiral pattern, so you may have to experiment before you get it exactly right.

    I like using white or brown rice flour to dust my banneton and to bathe the loaf in before it enters the basket. It will give your loaf a beautifully clean finish.

    After use, leave it to dry out for a day, don’t place it back into the cupboard straight away.

    How to clean a banneton

    Brush with a dedicated stiff brush and store your banneton in a well ventilated spot.

    I’ve never washed my bannetons as the brush does the job well. It’s not recommend to wash it and absolutely avoid soaking it.

    However, every few months, you can place your proofing baskets into the oven at 150°C for 15 minutes to kill potential bacteria which may be lingering.

    Oval banneton
    Oval banneton

    Types of banneton baskets

    There are several types of bannetons. I personally prefer cane baskets but here are your options.

    Cane wicker bannetons – Wicker makes an ideal container as it allows the air to circulate around the dough and let it breathe. Cane baskets will give your loaves a beautiful pattern and last a lifetime.

    Wood pulp bannetons – Mostly made in Germany from 100% local spruce trees and less prone to sticking!

    Plastic bannetons – These won’t get a recommendation from me…

    Lined bannetons – Linen-lined proofing baskets are also a great choice when picking a banneton.

    What size banneton should I use?

    • Proofing baskets come in different sizes, so make sure your dough quantity is aligned with the banneton basket size. An 8 inch round banneton is suitable for approx. 1 pound or 500g of dough while a 10 inch round banneton will be fine for 2 pounds or 1kg of dough. These sizes will give the dough enough space to rise and expand also without spilling over the sides.
    • If in any doubt, it’s usually better to use a slightly bigger banneton as it is not necessary to fill a banneton completely. The important thing is that the dough doesn’t spill. You may not get the full spiral effect of the banneton rings by using a slightly bigger size but the banneton will still be able to do its primary job i.e. hold the dough’s shape during the proof.
    • Finally, make sure that the loaf coming out of the banneton fits into your oven and fits into any Dutch oven or baking dome you may be using.

    Proofing basket alternatives/substitutes

    If you are looking for alternatives for proofing baskets, you could simply use a loaf pan to keep your dough in shape or improvise using a bowl lined with a flour-dusted lint-free tea towel. Alternatively, you could also try the all-rounder that is Lékué‘s silicone bread baker.