Basic part wholewheat bread

Basic Bread for the Breadmaker
Makes one medium loaf

3/4 tsp olive oil (or other oil)
3/4 tsp molasses (or honey or treacle... can be omitted entirely)
260 ml lukewarm water (or part milk, or almond milk, or stock...)

200g wholemeal bread flour
100g regular wholewheat flour (or more bread flour)
75g regular white flour (or strong white flour)
3/4 tsp salt
1 heaped tsp dried instant style yeast

2 tblsp flax and sunflower seeds (optional)

For breadmaking machines:
Place the ingredients in the pan in the order given. If the temperature in your kitchen is particularly cold, it's worth warming the water or other liquid used, but don't get it too hot or the yeast won't work.

I then use the white setting on my breadmaker, as I find that although the majority of the flour is wholewheat, the wholegrain setting tends to make it too dense for our tastes. Add the seeds, if used when the machine bleeps - or if you have a seed dispenser, put them in that.

When done, cool on a wire rack.

For baking by hand:
Place the first three ingredients in a large bowl, ensuring the water is hand hot, then gradually add the flour, mixing in well each time. If you have a food processor with a dough attachment, you can use that. Keep mixing until all the flour is added, then add the salt and yeast.

Knead the dough thoroughly for ten minutes or so, then leave to rise in a warm place, covered with a cloth to keep insects away. After it has doubled in size - this may take up to an hour - punch it down, then shape it and place in a suitable sized bread pan (it should take up approximately half the depth at this stage) or on a baking tray. Leave to rise again for about 20-30 minutes until doubled in size again, then place in an oven (NOT pre-heated) set to 200C. Cook for about 30-40 minutes, or until it looks done and has a slightly crusty top.

Cool slightly in the tin then turn out on a wire rack.

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Note for those in the US: one cup of flour is approximately 100-120g flour. So 75g flour is about 3/4 cup, or a little more. A cup also holds about 260ml water or other liquid. If you are measuring rather than weighing ingredients, the results are a little more inaccurate - so keep an eye on the dough during the first kneading; if it seems to dry, add a touch more water. If too fluid, add a little more flour.

General notes: I developed this recipe for my Morphy Richards Cooltouch breadmaker, which lasted me for six and a half years. I have recommended it to other people with different machines, and recently tried it on a brand new Carrefour breadmaker with two paddles (hence the loaf-shaped bread in the picture) although I generally double the ingredients to make a larger family-sized loaf.

This recipe (or mild variations on the theme) has rarely let me down. You can add some herbs or garlic at the beginning if you wish, or chopped nuts rather than seeds. If you change the kind of flour, do make sure that at least 200g is 'strong' flour intended for breadmaking, rather than the all-purpose or cake varieties.

The reason I tend to use water as the main liquid is that it's the least expensive! I used to use half milk, or half almond milk when some of my family went dairy-free; then I discovered that it tasted almost exactly the same with just water. However if you want extra protein, some kind of milk works fine. Just make sure you warm it a little before using.

When my Morphy Richards machine stopped working part-way through its final loaf, it had completed the kneading stage, so it was a simple matter to leave the dough to rise in the machine, then punch it down by hand and put it in a baking tin for the second rise. I then baked it in the oven, and it turned out just fine.

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