Bar a few good Aussie bakeries dotted around, the bread in Singapore (where I live) is not massively interesting or healthy, so it’s great to have a recipe for a cheat’s loaf up your sleeve. This one is my Swedish friend Anna’s creation, but adapted slightly to suit my family’s likes. It’s quite a dense bread, but certainly less dense and softer than darker pumpernickel-style breads, and uses wholegrain spelt and wholemeal flour rather than rye flour, which is commonly used in Scandinavian and German breads. It’s the perfect bread to quickly rustle up too, as it takes half the time a normal loaf takes to make, and it’s a great accompaniment to a bowl of soup, a smear of thick-set honey or some smoked salmon, chopped dill and lemon.
Makes 2 x 900g loaves
3 tablespoons light olive or vegetable oil, plus a little for greasing
700g stoneground wholewheat flour
200g wholegrain spelt flour
4 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons flaxseeds/linseeds, preferably ground
3 teaspoons caster sugar
3 teaspoons sea salt flakes
7g sachet fast-action yeast
1. First, grease two large 900g loaf tins with oil. Mix the flour, spelt flour, seeds, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl.
2. Make a well in the centre and pour in 850ml warm water and the oil.
3. Mix well with a spoon or your hand (it will be quite a wet mixture compared to normal bread dough).
4. Divide between the two greased loaf tins.
5. Cover with a damp tea towel or an upturned mixing bowl and the leave in a warm place (the airing cupboard is perfect) for 1–11⁄2 hours until it has swelled in size.
6. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4.
7. Uncover the loaves and bake for 40 minutes until golden and risen.
8. Tip the bread out of the tins and return to the oven rack for another 10–15 minutes – then test by tapping the base to hear if it sounds hollow. If it doesn’t, return to the oven for a further 5–10 minutes or until done.
9. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Alternative to spelt flour: instant oatmeal or use all stoneground whole-wheat flour
This recipe can be found in Amazing Grains.