Ingredients: makes one loaf
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup or sugar)
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 cup oil (your preference)
2 1/2 - 3 cups whole wheat flour
In a glass measuring jug, combine warm water, honey and yeast. Whisk to dissolve. Let this sit for about 10 minutes until yeast becomes frothy on top. (see below)
While you are waiting, measure the flour ( 2 1/2 cups) and salt and place in a large bowl. If you have one, use a bowl that is plenty big enough, so you can later knead it in the bowl instead of on the bench. This makes cleaning up easier. Mix together.
Form a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the oil and the yeast mixture when it is ready.(proofed)
The mixture will be a little bit sticky.
With clean hands, knead the dough in the bowl until it comes together, adding more flour as needed. Use just enough flour so that it comes together. You don't need to knead the dough for very long. I knead ours for about 1 minute. Form into a ball in the bowl.
Take a little bit of oil in the palm of your hand and lightly coat the bread dough. Cover with a damp tea towel and place in a warm, draft free spot to rise. In winter I put ours in front of the fire. Leave to double in size (approx. 1 hour).
When the dough has doubled in size ( above) press the dough down to remove the air. I just press it down, rather than 'punching it down' as it's usually called.
Using a little bit more flour, and working in the bowl, knead it a little longer and form into a loaf shape.
Place the loaf into an oiled, glass loaf pan or a lined metal tin. ( approx.11cm x 22cm - it doesn't need to be exact ). Cover it with the damp tea towel. Place this in a warm spot to rise until it has approximately doubled in size.(approx 35-40 mins.).
Loaf before rising and doubling in size....
Loaf has doubled in size......
Bake in the oven at 180 ' C ( approx. 350 ' F) or 160 ' C in a fan forced oven for about 25 - 30 mins. When the loaf is ready it should be a nice brown colour ( as below) and when tapped it should sound hollow. Leave it in the pan for about 5 mins. before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Loaf after baking.....