The organic Shipton Mill Three Malts and Sunflower Brown Flour makes a fantastic simple farmhouse loaf, packed with rich flavours of seeds. Spread butter on a warm slice for a wonderfully simple treat. To produce the richness of this flour, whole grains of wheat, rye and barley are steeped in water before being carefully spread on the malting floor. With time, the malts naturally mature, and when ready the grains are oven-roasted to create their individual flavour and lovely golden colours. Gently blended with sunflower, linseed and pumpkin seeds by our millers, this creates a delicious, well-balanced brown bread flour, the colour of speckled hens.
Makes one 800g loaf
Have ready a lightly oiled 900g non-stick loaf tin.
Mix the flour and butter in a large bowl and combine using an electric stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or by hand until the butter is thoroughly incorporated. If doing this by hand, use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until breadcrumb-like in consistency. Add the water and yeast and stir until combined into a dough. Lastly, add the salt. Lightly flour your work surface and knead the dough until elastic and reasonably smooth (due to the inclusion of the seeds it won’t be as smooth as a plain white dough).
Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a cloth, and leave to rest for 30-40 minutes at room temperature (allow more time if your room is cold, or a little less time if warm).
After this preliminary rest, shape the dough. Roll the dough into a round shape on your work surface, cover, and leave it to rest for 10 minutes. Then form it into a bloomer shape, to fit your tin. Flatten the dough with your palms and fold the top into the centre and the bottom up to meet in the middle. Swivel the dough around so that the short end of the rectangle is facing you, and roll and tuck the dough into a tight bloomer shape.
Place the dough in the loaf tin. Cover and leave it to prove for an hour or so at room temperature, until it has doubled in size. Halfway through the proving (after 30 minutes), sprinkle your loaf generously with flour and lightly apply a long, deep score directly along the length of the loaf. Leave it to prove for the remaining 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
Preheat your oven to 230°C. Place around 12 ice cubes in an ovenproof dish in the bottom of your oven to create steam. Place your loaf in the oven. After 10 minutes, quickly remove the ice cubes. Bake for a further 25 minutes. The loaf should be golden brown on top and the base should sound hollow when you knock it. Tip it out of the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.