Wholemeal Loaf

Dan Lepard’s “Short and Sweet” Wholemeal Loaf

I am not in love with wholemeal bread. You could even say that I’m not endeared to it, attracted to it, nor begging for it. I can think of endlessly different ways of adding natural fibre to my diet without the added goo and saturated fats, and when cooking for a diabetic, all that sort of stuff is quite high on the Should-I-Cook-This scale. Obviously wholemeal is good for diabetics but under normal circumstances I would have opted out the butter because heart and vascular problems are a major worry for diabetics. I’m not sure if olive oil would work equally well as butter in this recipe.

But I was champing (yes, it’s champing not chomping) at the bit to bake something. Anything! I would have baked pottery if I had some clay to hand. The curse of my freezer is that it’s stuffed full, and I swore that I’d not bake anything more until the freezer bags could easily glide below the accumulating ice on the top and sides of the frost-free freezer. Well, what can I say. I swore, I swear, not to – moral: one should take that sort of swearing thing with a speck of salt.

So with my apron strings tied and all the ingredients set on the work surface, I was ready. I followed the instructions implicitly. No deviation from Dan Lepard’s tried-and-tested recipe in “Short and Sweet”. I have the iPad version, by the way, and before I forget … the pages are numbered differently than the book, and to make matters more interesting, if irritation interests you, when you turn your iPad from portrait to landscape, all the page numbers change. Dan does mention this at the beginning of the iPad version of his book, but nevertheless I find it annoying and it sends me into an enormous grump. It just proves a point – I still think that proper books are superior to apps.

I am waffling on a bit because I haven’t much to say about this loaf. It’s a drier, denser dough than I’m accustomed to, so I fought off the temptation to add more liquid. Stick with the recipe I told myself. I used Waitrose’s Organic wholemeal flour and Doves Instant Yeast. This loaf is so easy that it hardly needs a helping hand from me. It had a moderate oven-spring, brilliantly browned up during the first stage of higher-heat in the oven, and it had a wonderfully nutty and earthy flavour about it.

The test came when my husband tried it. He loved it. I had to finally put the loaf away because he kept eating it. His comment was “I love it.” It held its own against mature cheddar and aged Danish Gamle Ole cheese, the latter of which squeaks and waddles across the worktop when you turn your back on it. It is seriously strong cheese.

Will I make this loaf again? Yes, probably, for my husband.

Notes and reference:

To join the Short and Sweet challenge next week: The Short and Sweet December Challenge Schedule

Dan Lepard’s “Short and Sweet” Cookery Book at Amazon: “Short and Sweet”

A quick note: This loaf makes the lightest, most tender breadcrumbs that I’ve ever made using a food processor. Simply wonderful.


12 Comments Add yours

  1. Lou says:

    Oh it looks beautiful.
    I have diabetes too but have no qualms whatsoever about this bread. It is a very small amount of butter added and the wholemeal flour more than makes up for that.
    Going to do my post later today.

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      His Danish cheese is rather high in saturated fats, so if I could make this loaf with (maybe) olive oil then I’d feel better about his cheese. As the butter is melted and then added, I think olive oil might work.

  2. Joanna says:

    I am baking…. more anon (is that the right word?) If one of you likes eating the loaf it is a success, if neither of you like it then not, if both of you like it you are blessed indeed. I don’t like wheat bran much so I am making various versions of this today, and I have already lost track of my timings. I always like the way your breads look, they have beautiful curves 🙂

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      I’m really looking forward to seeing your loaves. I should have pinched the bottom seam together better on mine. I’ll do that next time. P really liked it so I reckon there’ll be a next time. He actually requested Dan’s Peppered Rye for Christmas.

  3. Misk, I’m not a fan of wholemeal flour either. I don’t mind wholemeal spelt or kamut, but wholemeal wheat flour just doesn’t appeal. Your loaf looks very pretty though, and I’m glad your hubby liked it! 🙂

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Celia, a Twitter friend described wholemeal with a word I shall always associate with it now — manly. That’s what it is, manly — tough, rough, and nutty.

  4. ceciliag says:

    Isn’t that weird, John loves whole meal loaves too.. oh and before I forget i made bread the other day with WINE yeast because i had run out of the regular stuff and talk about amazing.. they are really light loaves..i was impressed and grateful.. I still make a sour dough at least once a week though! c

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Wine yeast, huh? I love accidental discoveries. Is that the yeast that you used the other day with the progressive photos of tinned bread rising?

  5. Another fan of the shape of your loaves 🙂 Very tempting appearance.

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Aaaaah. That makes me quite happy to read. As a beginner, I can use all the encouragement that’s out there. 🙂

  6. Misk your description of a Danish cheese that squeaks and waddles its way across a bench top is too hard to resist. Just the thing for a wholemeal I say 🙂

    1. Misk Cooks says:

      Gamle Ole is so strong that it actually sweats as if it’s just finished a marathon. It is strong. Really. Truly.

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