26 August 2011

Wholewheat Cobs from a Sponge Starter


This is the basic loaf recipe I learned to make at my breadmaking course at Ochil Villa B&B (Bread in Fife). I have made it three times since then. I have made cobs and also baked the bread in a loaf tin, with either wholewheat or wholemeal flour (generally these are the same flours, but there can be a slight difference). It is a good general loaf and a joy to make. As you can see I rather enjoy it with butter and homemade jam.


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Sponge Starter for Wholewheat Cobs
This starter sponge will help the yeast to get going before making your bread.
Ingredients
  • 500g lukewarm water around 35°C
  • 5g dried yeast or 10g fresh yeast
  • 40g dark brown sugar, molasses or dark muscovado
  • 300g wholewheat flour
  • 125g strong white flour
Instructions
Making the sponge mixture takes 15 minutes.1. Measure the lukewarm water into a large baking bowl. 2. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar over the water and stir lightly to dissolve.3. Add flour a cup or so at a time, stirring briskly after each addition. As the mixture thickens, begin beating. 4. Beat until the batter is smooth, about 100 times, incorporating as much air as possible,.5. Place the bowl in warm place covered with a tea towel for 60 minutes. Alternatively, leave covered in a warm place overnight. The sponge will rise then fall back, but will start working again when you move on to the next step on the following morning. This is convenient, gives a better taste to the bread, and also makes the bread easier to digest.
Details
Total time:
Yield: Sponge Starter for three small loaves each approx 430 g





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Wholewheat Cobs
Wholewheat Cobs made with a Sponge Starter.
Ingredients
  • 1 sponge starter
  • 10g salt
  • 50g olive oil
  • wholewheat flour approx 400g
Instructions
1. Pour the oil and sprinkle in the salt over the sponge starter. Stir around side of bowl and fold into the centre, turning the bowl as you do so until the oil and salt are incorporated. 2. Add the rest of the flour folding the wet mixture in on top of dry ingredients and turning the bowl as you do so until all the flour is incorporated in the dough.3. Knead the dough for 15 minutes. Use whatever style of kneading suits you. A wet dough is messier but will rise better so do not be tempted to add extra flour.
4. Place the dough in the oiled bread bowl smooth side down, and then turn it over so the creases are on the bottom. The oiled surface will prevent a crust from forming on the dough. Cover the dough with a cloth and set it in a warm place. 5. Let the dough rise for about 50 minutes until nearly doubled in size. Punch the dough down by pushing fist into the dough steadily and firmly. Cover the dough again and leave it in a warm place then let it rise for 45 minutes, again till it has nearly doubled in size.6. Heat the oven to 180c.7. Turn the dough onto a board. Cut into three equal pieces, shape into balls by folding dough to center all the way around. Turn the smooth side up, and tuck in the dough all the way around.8. Cover and leave in a warm place to prove for 15-25 minutes from the finish of the last cob. 9. Dust with flour then cut diagonal slits ½ inch deep to allow the dough to continue to expand in the oven.10. Bake at 1800 C for 45-55 minutes, depending on the size of the bread. Spray water inside the oven but not directly on the loaves immediately after you pop the loaves in. Spray again after 5 minutes to keep the top soft so that the loaves can continue to rise. The bread is done when the top is golden brown, the sides and bottoms are golden brown.11. Remove the loaves from the bread tins immediately and cool on wire trays. This bread keeps well and freezes well with little loss of flavour or freshness.
Details
Total time:
Yield: three small loaves each approx 430 g



15 comments:

  1. There is nothing that beats home made bread. Your loaves look delicious.

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  2. it is great to find a loaf you love - I like the sound of leaving it overnight - haven't seen recipes saying it is fine to rise and fall back but I agree that the longer the loaf gets the better.

    I have seen wholewheat flour on American blogs and assumed it is the same as wholemeal here - when you say you can use wholemeal or wholewheat flour do you mean they are different and if so in what way

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  3. Generally they are the same with wholegrain the term that is used in the UK, but there can be slight differences. Here is what I read about the flours. "Whole-wheat Flour - the bran, endosperm, and germ are separated and milled. These parts are combined back to form the type of needed flour such as whole-wheat, whole-grain, All-purpose etcetera. To make the whole-grain flour all the parts are added back together, To make the whole-wheat flour, part of bran and most of the germ may not be added back to reduce rancidity for increased shelf life. Other flours such as Rye may be added for strength."

    We used wholewheat on our course and I have used wholegrain at home.I don't think you need worry about the difference.

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  5. Two beautiful loaves of bread, I love baking bread and also love the overnight method ~ it fits in with my busy lifestyle and also means that the B and B guests have fresh bread....
    A lovely and very interesting post.
    Karen

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  6. looks great Jac, nothing nicer than freshly baked bread.

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  7. Nothing like the smell of homebaked bread to fulfil a day.

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  8. Check you getting all fancy with your bread making these days ;0)
    That course has been a HUGE turning point for you which is so exciting to see. Love the loaf.

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  9. Thanks Karen :)

    It is a lovely thing indeed Janice :)

    You are right Val :)

    I don't know about that Chele, but it has given me some confidence :)

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  10. They look great, and I totally agree about making bread with a sponge - it definitely gives the fininshed bread a better flavour. I'm not often organised enough to do it though!

    Oooh, I could just do with some bread and jam right now!

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  11. Thanks Miss Cake Baker :)

    I know C, I am not often organised enough either, but I do enjoy it when I do make it :)

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  12. Printed out this amazing starter recipe!
    I want to try this, so bad...I can hardly wait!
    Looks sooo good...thanks for sharing, Jacqui:DDD

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  13. Let me know how you get on Elizabeth.

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I love reading comments, so thank you for taking the time to leave one. Unfortunately, I'm bombarded with spam, so I've turned on comment moderation. I'll publish your comments as soon as I can and respond to them. Don't panic, they will disappear when you hit publish. Jac x