Flaxseed Loaf

It’s a Sunday morning and I see that there isn’t much bread left in the freezer, so I decide to make some nice plain white bread. But of course while rummaging through the cupboard, I find that we have bought far too much flaxseed (something to do with yoga. Don’t ask…), but there it is a kilo of flaxseed languishing in the dark of the cupboard. Out goes the idea of a nice white loaf and in comes a flaxseed loaf. I actually have no idea what that is going to taste like, but hey, it’s bread, how wrong can it go?

I made this rather large loaf in my tin with a lid, but without putting the lid on. it’s a large tin, so if you are using a normal cake tin, I suggest you halve the recipe.

No, it’s not burnt!

One sandwich loaf (my tin: L 26cm, W 10cm, D 8cm, about 2 litres)

For the Poolish:

  • 150g organic plain flour
  • 15g dried yeast
  • 150ml water

Mix yeast and flour, stir in the water with a fork. Stir vigorously to make a smooth dough, then cover and leave to rise for 30 minutes. This is the fun part, because once you have assembled all your ingredients and got this poolish going, you can make a nice cup of coffee and read the newspaper until the thing has risen. Just make sure you cover the bowl, so the dough doesn’t dry out on the top.

For the Loaf:

  • 400g organic plain flour
  • 100g whole flaxseeds
  • 20g wheatgerm (optional, replace with an additional 20g flour)
  • 15g fine sea salt
  • 35g Moscovado or other dark sugar
  • 300ml water

Put the flaxseed and wheatgerm into a blender or food processor and blitz to a fine flour. Don’t worry if it isn’t evenly ground, it will add texture. Mix the flours, salt and sugar well. Knock back the starter, add the flour mix and start the mixer on first speed. Slowly pour in the water and once the dough has come together, increase the speed to level 2 and knead for 20 minutes.

While the dough is being kneaded, butter your tin and sift about a half tablespoon of four into it. Tilt, twist and tap the tin to cover all the surfaces with the flour, which should stick to your buttered tin quite nicely, showing up all the places that you forgot to butter properly.

Scrape the dough out of the bowl directly into the tin. Wet your hands repeatedly and push the dough into the tin as evenly as you can. Sift some flour on top and leave to rise leave for 30-35 minutes until the dough has risen well above the tin.

While the loaf is rising, heat your oven as high as it will go. When the loaf is ready, gingerly transport it to the oven, close the door and reduce the heat to 220ºC. Leave to bake for 35 minutes.

It turned out pretty tasty, so I’m going to add this one to my bread repertoire! One and a half hours to get a nice, fresh, healthy loaf; I think it’s time well invested. Especially since 80 minutes of this time involve doing nothing at all!

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