Following from a couple of recent bread photos that ended up on Facebook, it seemed like a good idea to share my bread recipe with you :o)

I make my own bread because
1. you can’t beat the smell of freshly-baked bread;
2.  it tastes heaps better;
3.  I can work my frustrations out on my kneading; and
4. Vogel’s and other commercially-made loaves have milk powder in them (and I am trying to cut down on the amount of dairy I am eating).
So here it is…
1 tsp active dried yeast
500ml tepid water (blood temperature)
500g high grade flour/wholemeal flour
extra flour for dusting
handful sunflower seeds
small handful sesame seeds
extra virgin olive oil
bread tin that can take 1.5 litres water
  1. Put the yeast into a large bowl. Add the tepid water, and leave for 5 minutes or so. (The amount of water you add at this stage dictates the size of the loaf. I started by using 300ml but my loaf never filled the tin, so I gradually increased it to end up with the right amount of dough).
  2. Add enough high grade flour (I use a mixture of white and wholemeal about 2 thirds to 1 third) until the mixture comes together when stirred in the bowl. I start with a whisk and then work up to a wooden spoon.  Add the salt and as soon as you can, tip the whole lot on to the bench and start kneading… another sprinkle of flour, another bit of kneading… When the dough feels pliable and elastic, but not sticky, put it back in the mixing bowl you used earlier, with a layer of oiled cling film tucked in around the dough, and a clean tea towel over the whole bowl. I put it on a sunny window ledge until the dough has doubled in size. This can take several hours, so I usual start this process when I am going to be home at lunchtime or am around for most of the day, say at the weekend.
  3. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down, add a large handful of sunflower seeds and a small handful of sesame seeds to the dough and knead it again. This gives you the flavor and texture of the seeds without having the trouble of getting them to stick to the top of your loaf.
  4. Once it is all mixed in, grease a bread tin with extra virgin olive oil, and put the dough in it. Cover with the tea towel and leave to rise. Once it fills the tin, bake in a hot oven for 35 minutes or until the bread is nicely brown on top, and has a hollow sound when you tap it. You can always stick a skewer through the centre just to make sure.
  5. Wait 10 minutes if you can bear to, and then slice, spread thickly with butter, jam or whatever is your favourite, and try not to scoff the lot in one sitting!

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag #coromandelflavour – I love to see what you’ve been making and any feedback is really welcome.