The slightly spotty look is because I tried to recalculate for 1lb of flour and put too much water in, so I added some more flour quickly and roughly before I formed the loaf. Surprisingly the bread was still okay.
However the main reason for this post is because I had read a few versions of this sort of loaf and seen it said in a couple of places that this method would not work with wholemeal flour.
Now both for reasons of health and flavour I prefer wholemeal bread and I have two versions that I make. Same ingredients but sometimes I just fold it and don’t knead and other times I knead for fifteen minutes which gives a lighter loaf.
I am the sort of person that isn’t always willing to take other people’s word for things and like to make my own mistakes so I decided to take a big risk and use the same method with wholemeal flour.
Now I know that wholemeal bread needs more water than white bread so this time I decided to use the 400g (=14oz) of flour and comparing a recipe for white bread with my wholemeal one worked out that wholemeal bread needs an extra 12% of water. This meant that instead of 330ml I would need 370ml. (Checked the sum more carefully this time.) (My scales only have imperial weights but my measuring jug does both.)
So I mixed up the flour, salt, yeast and water in my big mixing bowl (that you have seen a few times before if you have been following for a while).
I then left it in my airing cupboard, which is where I prove bread, for about 15 hours as that is halfway between 12 and 18 and it looked bubbly.
I formed it into a loaf and put it on a piece of greased greaseproof paper as I had with the white loaf to make it easier to take out of the pot.
I put it back in the airing cupboard – now although the first recipe I saw said to put in a warm place for just 30 minutes while the pot heated, I had seen other places say to put aside for an hour or two.
I think I had left the white bread for an hour and this time I ended up leaving the wholemeal for two hours.
So after an hour and a half I got my pot
and put it in the oven at 220deg C for 30mins.
(I bought the pot so I had something that was big enough for chicken pilaff for four. It was never very satisfactory for doing this, if you wanted to have the oven on automatic, as it has a very thick aluminium base but that must make it good for this.)
The loaf was a little flat after two hours so I think next time I will try just an hour. (It seemed better to try leaving it for this long and adjust back rather than just leaving for 30mins and not knowing if it would have been better.)
I cooked the bread for the 30 mins plus 15 with the top off and left it to cool. I resisted the temptation to eat it hot as I always feel if you cut a loaf when it’s hot it does something funny to the rest of the loaf.
As you can see in this picture it gives a perfectly satisfactory loaf that is lighter than my normal no-knead method. When tapped on the bottom it sounded satisfactorily hollow.
I did eat the bit you can see cut off and another slice with my afternoon tea. It was tasty and lighter than my normal methods. I will be having another go when I need more bread.