On TV Tonight

  • 20:00 - Chinese Food Made Easy - Spicy Sichuan
  • 20:30 - Chinese Food Made Easy - Cooking for Friends and Family
  • 21:00 - MasterChef: The Final Three - MasterChef

This recipe is classed as intermediate

Rating 3.40 / 5 (10 votes)

Prep time:
7 hrs
Cook time:
30 min
Makes 3 loaves

This authentic loaf from Alan Reid of the Red Beard Historic Bakery uses wild yeast leaven to recreate bread as it was made thousands of years ago


1. Soak the seeds in 300ml hot water for 2 hours.

2. Meanwhile make a dough from the remaining ingredients by roughly mixing the flour, water and leaven by hand in a plastic tub. Hold back the salt until the leaven is properly incorporated.

3. Tip the dough onto a wooden bench and knead thoroughly for about 5 minutes or until the dough starts to spring back – this indicates that you have developed the gluten in the dough.

4. Place the dough in a plastic container with a lid and leave in a warm place.

5. After 2 hours fold the seeds through the dough until fully incorporated.

6. Prove (or rise) for another hour.

7. Tip the dough onto a wooden bench and cut into 3 equal lumps. Round up each lump and pace in a tin.

8. Prove for another 2.5 to 3 hours.

9. Whilst the bread is proving, build a neat platform of red bricks in the bottom of your oven to add thermal mass and preheat to 270C/250 fan/gas 9 - bread likes it hot!

10. After it has proved test the dough by poking it gently – if it springs back quickly it needs more time but if it springs back slowly it's ready to go into the oven.

11. Place the tins directly on the bricks. Spray several shots of water into the oven with an atomiser gun immediately before closing the oven door – the extra steam will help the bread to form a thicker crust.

12. Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Test whether the bread is baked by turning it upside down on an oven glove and tapping the base – a hollow sound indicates that it is cooked.

Comments & Ratings

Rate this recipe by clicking on the stars.

You need to be logged in to comment on this recipe

Forgotten your password?
Resend activation

Login Register