We used to be surrounded by good bread shops. By surrounded I mean there was a couple of little bakeries that sold great bread, so you could choose what you felt like eating on any given day. But it’s changed at lot and now bread is a commodity that is hard to find if you don’t want to pay $9 a loaf for it, and you’re not particularly fond of the light spongy variety that comes in a plastic bag.
The common sense approach would be to make your own, but I don’t often make bread and that’s mainly because it takes so much effort. I used to (actually, I still do) make a fine focaccia, as the perfect accompaniment to pumpkin soup. It never seemed to take that long, and there was always someone who wanted to help. But bread bread seems so much more intense. It’s the process: blend, knead, rise, knead, then rise again. A good three hours if you’re lucky.
But then I went to the library…and found The Australian Women’s Weekly Made from Scratch. I’m a huge fan of hanging out in the library because you can find so many books that you get to take home for free. Books that you may never read, books that have amazing photographs, and just books about stuff you can’t believe a publisher was on board with. I’m the first to admit I poo-pooed anything under the mantle of The Australian Women’s Weekly. I think it was the association with the magazine, or the slender cardboard covered cookbooks that you found in the magazine section of the supermarket, that were just a bit boring. But I have to take back every disparaging comment I’ve ever made.
They put out books on all kinds of food these days – they are a publishing machine catering to any food trend of the day. Often recipes are repeated across titles but I don’t care because once I’ve flicked through the books I send them back to the library, and not a cent has been spent on the duplicated content.
It was in this book I found the recipe for spelt linseed and cumin bread. The draw card was it didn’t need kneading, effectively cutting bread making effort in half. The other great thing about it – this bread is fantastic. I made it to go with soup (trying something beside focaccia), but I also toasted it and topped it with butter and Vegemite, which was also delicious.
Realistically though, if you just want a loaf of bread to toast and eat with Vegemite, it would probably be better without the cumin seeds. If you feel like baking your own bread, then this is certainly worth giving a go. And as a side note: buying bread in the local community is so uninspiring I think it’s time to move. Enjoy!
- 7 grams (2 teaspoons) dried yeast
- 1⅓ cups (330ml) lukewarm water
- 200 grams organic wholemeal spelt flour
- ⅓ cup linseeds
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons golden syrup
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 300 grams bread flour
- 1 teaspoon bread flour, extra
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, extra
- Place the yeast and water in a large bowl and whisk until combined.
- Add the spelt flour, seeds, oil and golden syrup and stir until combined.
- Add the salt and bread flour and mix into a sticky dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and stand in a warm place for 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press out to form a 25cm (10 inch) round.
- Fold the dough under its self to for a 16cm (6.5 inch) round loaf. Place seam side down on an oven tray lined with baking paper.
- Dust with extra flour and cover with a clean tea towel. Stand in a warm place for 45 minutes or until almost doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees celsius.
- Using a sharp knife, score five straight lines across the top of the loaf. Sprinkle with extra cumin seeds.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until bread is browned and sounds hollow when tapped.