Bread in Fife

This is the basic loaf recipe I learned to make at a breadmaking course at Ochil Villa B&B (Bread in Fife).

Update: Bread in Fife is now in Edinburgh with discounts for group bookings.

I have made this wholewheat cob three times since then.

I have made homemade 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's 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.
  • 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
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.
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.
  • 1 sponge starter
  • 10g salt
  • 50g olive oil
  • wholewheat flour approx 400g
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 centre 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.
Total time:
Yield: three small loaves each approx 430 g
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