Malted wheat loaf

Malted wheat loaf

By
From
Gather
Makes
1 loaf
Photographer
Andrew Montgomery

I love the flavour of malted wheat flour so much. The malting process sweetens the grain and gives it a beautiful, almost caramelized flavour. You can smell its aroma when you knead, as it proves and, of course, as it bakes. It’s everywhere. You can buy malted wheat flour in most supermarkets, but the quantities and the method are the same if you use only strong white.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
300g malted wheat flour
200g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon instant dried yeast
10g fine sea salt
sunflower oil, for oiling

Method

  1. Combine the flours, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add 350ml water and, with one hand, mix to a rough dough. Adjust the consistency if you need to, adding a little more flour or water, until you have a soft, easily kneadable, sticky dough.
  2. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth, stretchy and no longer sticky. Shape into a rough round. Wipe the mixing bowl clean, then oil the surface of the dough, put it back in the cleaned bowl, cover with cling film and leave to prove for 1–2 hours, or until doubled in size (the timing will depend upon the temperature in your kitchen).
  3. Heat the oven to 220°C. Deflate the dough by tipping it out of the bowl and onto the work surface. Press it into a rudimentary rectangle shape, with a short end nearest your body. Fold the nearest third into the middle, then the third furthest from you over the top of this. Seal the loaf at its seams. Give it a quarter turn, stretch it out and repeat, third over third. Using the palms of your hands roll the dough into a cylindrical baton about 25cm in length, tapering a little at the ends. Set the baton on a well-floured surface. Sprinkle with flour and leave to rise for a further 20–25 minutes.
  4. Heat a baking sheet in the oven until hot. Remove the tray from the oven, then without knocking the air out of the risen dough, lift it very carefully off the work surface and onto the hot tray. Use a serrated knife to slash a cut 2cm (¾in) deep down the length of the baton. This will help the dough spring up in the oven. Bake for 25–30 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 20 minutes until a dark, golden crust has formed and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Remove to a rack to cool.
Tags:
River Cottage
seasonal
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