Wholemeal bread

Wholemeal bread

Leiths How to Cook
2 x 500 g loaves
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
300-350ml milk
20g fresh yeast
1 teaspoon caster sugar
50g butter
250g wholemeal flour
250g strong plain white flour, plus extra to dust
2 teaspoons salt


  1. Pour the milk into a small saucepan and bring to scalding point over a medium heat. Remove from the heat and set aside to allow the milk to cool to blood temperature, about 38ºC.
  2. Put the yeast and sugar into a small bowl, add 2 tablespoons of the warm milk and stir to dissolve.
  3. Cut the butter into small dice, add to the remaining warm milk and leave to melt.
  4. Put the flours and salt in a large bowl. Add the yeast mixture and about three-quarters of the milk and butter mixture, trying to ensure all the butter is added. Using a cutlery knife, distribute the liquid evenly and bring together into a soft dough, adding the remaining milk and butter as needed. When the dough is beginning to form, use your hands to bring it together.
  5. Transfer to a very lightly floured work surface and knead for 5–8 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  6. Put the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover lightly with oiled cling film. Leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour until doubled in size.
  7. Transfer the dough back to the work surface and knock it back, kneading it for 2–3 minutes.
  8. Divide the dough in half, shape into 2 loaves and place in 2 lightly oiled 500 g loaf tins. Cover with lightly oiled cling film and leave to prove in a warm, but not too hot, place. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200°C.
  9. To check the dough has proved enough, lightly press it in one corner with your finger; it should leave only a little indentation. Sprinkle flour over the tops of the loaves and bake in the oven for 25–30 minutes until browned. Turn a loaf onto a wire rack; it should feel light and sound hollow when tapped on the underside. If not, return to the oven to cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the tins and leave to cool on a wire rack.


  • Wholemeal seeded loaf: Knead in 5 tablespoons mixed seeds such as poppy, sesame, sunflower or millet seeds when you knock back the dough in step 7.

A note on using wholemeal flour…

  • You can use all wholemeal flour for this bread, but be aware that the greater the proportion of wholemeal to white flour, the heavier and denser the loaf will be. We don’t use strong wholemeal flour, as ordinary wholemeal gives a softer loaf, but use strong wholemeal if you prefer.
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