Soya and Linseed Loaf

I would highly recommend this loaf to those who are new to making their own bread but also those of you who just fancy trying a new technique.  I came across this recipe in a great cook book called ‘Short & Sweet’ by Dan Lepard.  It is, as Dan Lepard describes, a really sticky dough.  Don’t let this put you off.  There is very little kneading involved and so the stickiness of the dough does not cause any difficulties.  In fact, once you see and taste the end result it helps to banish any fears you may have of handling a sticky or wet dough.  With thanks to the soya milk this loaf will stay soft and moist for days and it has the added boost of omega-3 oil together with lots of extra protein and oat fibre.  But apart from anything else, it really does taste great.  I can honestly say, it is one of my favourite breads to date.  Give it a go and tell us what YOU think…

  • 50g rolled oats
  • 50g golden linseed
  • 100ml boiling water
  • 275ml lukewarm soya milk
  • 1 sachet of fast action yeast
  • 325g strong white flour, plus extra for shaping
  • 50g wholemeal or rye flour
  • 1.5 teaspoons fine salt
  • oil for kneading

Please put the rolled oats and linseed in a large mixing bowl, stir in the water and leave for 10 minutes to soften.  Add the warm soya milk and yeast and mix well.  Add the two flours and salt, then stir everything together into a big soft and sticky dough.  Cover and leave for 10 minutes.  Now rub a little oil over a 30cm area of work surface, and a little more over your hands, just to stop the dough from sticking.  Any light and fairly neutral oil such as sunflower oil will do.  Gently lift the dough out of the bowl and place on the work surface.  At this point you can scrape down the inside of the bowl and lightly oil it to avoid the dough sticking to it later.

Everything combined to form sticky dough

Now for the kneading.  Take the edge of the dough furthest away from you with one hand and fold it towards you, to meet the edge of the dough nearest to you.  Then with the heel of the other hand, push down lightly onto and into the dough and very slightly push and stretch the dough away from you by about 5-10cm.  Make your movements gentle, don’t pound or tear the dough.  Give the dough a clockwise quarter-turn, and once again fold the dough towards you, then push it away gently; and repeat this ‘turn, fold and stretch’ no more than eight or ten times.  (For those of you who come to our bread making meetings, you will recognise this as the technic i use).  Then return the dough to the bowl and repeat this simple kneading after 10 and 20 minutes.  Then leave covered for 45 minutes.

Dough patted into a rectangle

Line a tray with non stick baking paper.  Using a little flour pat the dough into a rectangle.  Roll it up tightly, then roll a little more, pressing just on the ends so the dough forms a fat ‘lemon shape’.  Place this seam-side down on the tray, cover with a cloth and leave until risen in size by half.  This seems a little vague, however I think it is good practice to not be so reliant on times when following instructions like this.  The time it takes to rise by half depends on the temperature of the room.  I left my dough for an hour.  Heat the oven to 220/200 fan/gas 7, slash the top and bake for about 45 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

Dough rolled tightly

Dough rolled tightly

Finished loaf - note the lovely soft, springy texture

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