Seed & grain cottage loaf

Seed & grain cottage loaf
A fail-safe bread recipe that produces the perfect loaf- once you've mastered it, try swapping flours and altering the shape

  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:20 mins
    • Cook:50 mins
    • plus 2 hrs proving
  • Easy
  • Makes 1 loaf (cuts into about 12 slices)

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per slice


  • 25g butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 400g seed & grain bread flour
  • 100g strong white bread flour
  • 7g sachet or 1½ tsp fast-action dried yeast
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • mixed seeds (we used sunflower, sesame, pumpkin and linseeds)


  • STEP 1

    Heat the butter, honey and 300ml water in a saucepan. Set aside to cool to hand temperature.

  • STEP 2

    Mix the flours, yeast and 1½ tsp salt in a bowl. Pour in the warm liquid and mix with a wooden spoon, then with your hands. Tip onto your work surface and knead for 10 mins or until springy. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with oiled cling film and leave somewhere warm to rise for 2 hrs or until doubled in size.

  • STEP 3

    Flour a large baking tray. Tip the dough onto your work surface and knead to knock out the air bubbles. Remove ¼ of the dough so that you have 2 pieces. Shape both pieces of dough into smooth balls, put the large one on the baking tray then sit the smaller ball on top. Using a well-floured handle of a wooden spoon, push through the centre of the 2 balls of dough to stick them together. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise for about 45 mins or until doubled in size. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and put a cake tin on the bottom shelf, with an empty shelf directly above for the bread.

  • STEP 4

    Remove the cling film from the bread. Brush all over with the egg, then sprinkle generously with seeds. Slash the edges of the loaf a few times with a sharp knife to create a pattern. Open the oven and pour a cup full of water into the cake tin – this will create steam and give the loaf a crisp crust. Put the bread on the empty shelf and bake for 20 mins, then turn the oven down to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and bake for another 30 mins until crisp and hollow-sounding when tapped on the base. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for at least 30 mins before eating.

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