Something Simple: Half and Half Loaf


Half and Half bread recipeFor my first baking blog, I thought I’d start with the basics – bread! Simple, cheap and easy; bread is a perfect starting point for any wannabe baker.

The half and half loaf is delicious and super easy to make. Half white flour and half wholemeal flour means it’s tasty with only half of the stodgy white flour compared to white bread.

Please give this great recipe a try and leave a comment below if you do, I’d love to hear how yours turned out! Any questions or suggestions will be happily answered.

For more baking recipes like this one, make sure to follow the blog using the sidebar to the right!

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Proving time: 1 hour 20 minutes (40 minutes x2)
Cooking time: 40-45 minutes
Servings: 2 loaves

Equipment that you’ll need:
Bowl
Your hands or an electric mixer (with dough hook)
Oven
Two medium size loaf tins
Wire cooling rack

Here’s the list of ingredients that I used in this recipe:
500g Strong White Flour
500g Wholemeal Flour
30g Fresh Yeast (or around 10g of instant action dry yeast)
Luke Warm Water (Make around a pint, although you won’t use all of it)
Pinch of Sugar
Pinch of Salt
Olive Oil

Method

Wholemeal and White bread recipe I started out by weighing and sieving my strong white flour in to a large steel bowl, this will make up half of my wholemeal and white loaf.

Next up, add in 500g of good quality wholemeal flour — don’t bother sieving this one as not everything will pass through. Add a pinch of salt and give it a light mix with a wooden spoon (or your hands if they’re clean!)

Fresh yeast breadAfter your two flours are gently mixed add in your 30g of fresh yeast, you can ask at the bakery section in your local supermarket and they may even give you some for free. Drop your pinch of sugar on to the yeast.

Next I used my Kitchen Aid to incorporate the liquids, but I suggest you use your hands if you’re new to baking. You’re more likely to understand how the bread should be when it’s done if you’re using your hands.

Half and Half bread recipeAdd in a little olive oil to the mixture and give it a really good mix. This helps keep your dough smooth and also gives it a lovely taste.

Next you’ll want to slowly pour in your warm water. If you can pour and mix at the same time then perfect, if not just add a little water at a time and thoroughly stir it in.

Half and Half bread dough recipeThe more water you add, you’ll notice the dough starting to take shape and will feel tougher when you’re mixing it. if you’re using an electric mixer, refrain from increasing the speed — a slowly formed bread is a better bread.

Being a good baker means using your judgement an awful lot; hence why I don’t measure the water.  Keep adding your water until you’ve formed a strong dough that isn’t too dry. If it seems a little sticky (or it’s squelching in the bowl!) feel free to add a little more flour.

You’ll want to knead your dough for around 15 minutes (10 in a mixer) to create a soft dough ready for proving. In the event that your dough becomes all clogged up in your mixer, and sticks to your hook, as mine did, you may need to add a little extra flour as your dough may be a little too wet.

Bread dough recipeOnce your dough has been kneaded, it should be a nice soft ball that springs back when you press a finger on the surface.

At this point, take a step back and bask in the glory — you’ve just successfully made a half and half bread dough from scratch; be proud!

Next comes proving your bread, allowing it to rise and create necessary carbon dioxide bubbles within your bread.

Half and Half loaf recipePlace your dough back in the bowl and cover it with a cloth or towel — you’ll need to find a warm spot in your house; an airing cupboard or near a warm radiator. Do not directly heat your dough at this time. As my oven has two parts, I heated the main oven to around 160°C (gas mark 3) and opened the top oven door to rest my bowl on (see image)

You’ll need to leave your dough unattended for around 40 minutes, although you may want to check it after 30. You can expect to see your dough doubled in size after it’s finished proving.

Wholemeal and White bread recipeMost doughs are usually proven twice, once in a regular bowl or on a surface and again in whatever shape or mould you’ll be baking it in. After your first proving session, remove the towel and give it a good ol’ punch to knock all the air out of it. It might look a little like a doughnut but that’s fine — scoop it out the bowl and give it a gentle knead, it’ll feel much more soft this time.

Wholemeal and White bread recipeSeparate your loaf in to two equal sizes ready to go in to the loaf tins.

Rub a little butter to coat the inside of the tins before dusting with a light layer of flour — this will help your loaves come out easily when they’re baked.

Easy bread recipeSet aside to prove for another 40 minutes or so. You’ll want to preheat your oven to 180°C (Gas mark 4). Once they’ve risen up and out of the tin, you’re good to go!

Place the loaves in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes. They’ll rise even more and will turn a wonderful deep brown colour — if they need browning a little more simply bump up the heat a little for another 5 minutes or so.

Half and Half bread recipePull your fresh bread out of the oven and remove them from the tins on to a wire cooling rack. Tap the bottom of them, they should be firm and sound hollow — if not, place them back in the tins and leave them in the oven a little longer.

And there you have it; fresh healthy bread ready to eat!

Please give this recipe a try and let me know how it turned out in the comments below; I’m excited to hear how yours turns out. Please remember that every dough you make will be different, yours may look completely different to mine — but that’s fine! As long as it tastes great, that’s all that matters.

For more updates on what I’m baking, feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

Allergen InformationThis recipe has the following allergens; Wheat, Gluten and may contain traces of nuts. Refer to the ingredients list of individual products for more information.

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