If you happen to be in the mood for a bit of effortless breadmaking, you don't have to look very far to discover that there is a multitude of "no-knead" bread recipes out there, both slow and fast versions - in fact a Google search will yield 2,320,000 results. This is one of my favourites, and one I make on a fairly regular basis; however, with an 18 hour rise time, it does require a bit of forward planning.
When, I'm looking for something with a faster turn around time, I often turn to Ruth Pretty's Quick Wholemeal Bread. I've been making and dabbling with this recipe a lot lately, and I love this variation which is loaded with sunflower, sesame and pumpkin seeds, as well as linseed. This is so quick to make that on Sunday morning (when I discovered there was no toast in the house for my breakfast), I was able to actually whip us this loaf and scarf down a couple of slices all before racing out the door to work. Preparation time is no more than 15 minutes; into a low temp oven to rise while I have a quick shower; then crank up the heat and, by the time I'm dressed and make-up routine is done, it's ready to come steaming out of the oven. The hardest part of the whole production is finding enough patience to let this cool a bit before cutting into the loaf!
I know there are many women out there (maybe men too, for all I know), who are so efficient they can vacuum the house, do the washing and hang it out, make school lunches, and cook breakfast, all before heading out the door in the morning ... I am not one of them. So, I promise you that if I can make a loaf of this bread before work, anyone can. Go on - put it to the test.
Very Seedy, Very Easy, Wholemeal Bread Recipe
Adapted from recipe by Ruth Pretty from
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
1-3/4 cups lukewarm water
2 teaspoons honey
3-1/2 teaspoons active dried yeast
225g (8 oz) wholemeal flour ** (see note below)
225g (8 oz) plain flour ** (see note below)
2 teaspoons flaky sea salt
3x tablespoons sunflower seeds
2x tablespoons sesame seeds
1x tablespoon linseed
2x tablespoons pumpkin seeds, plus extra
Preheat oven to 80 degrees C (175 degrees F), and lightly oil a 21cm (8 inch) x 11cm (4-1/4 inch) loaf tin.
In a small bowl or jug, dissolve the honey in the lukewarm water, and sprinkle in the yeast. Stir to combine. Cover bowl with a tea towel and set aside for about 10 minutes or so until the mixture is "spongy" and slightly risen.
In a separate, large bowl, combine the flours, sea salt and seeds. Make a well in the centre, and pour the yeast mixture into the well. Using a wooden spoon, mix everything to combine well.
Empty the mixture into the prepared loaf tin, smooth the top, sprinkle with extra pumpkin seeds, and put into the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Now increase the oven temperature to 210 degrees C (410 degrees F) for a further 30 minutes. By this stage your loaf should be brown and crusty on top, and sound hollow when tapped.
Remove from oven, turn out of tin, and leave to cool on a cooling rack.
** Note: Feel free to adjust the proportion of flours here to suit yourself, or experiment with other flours - maybe try including a bit of rye flour or kibbled wheat - just keep the total combined weight of flour to 550g (16 oz).
This bread keeps fresh enough for sandwiches for at least 3 days, and is excellent toasted with the topping of your choice. I think you could make endless variations on this loaf - I'm planning to try a rosemary, black olive and parmesan variation, and I think some fruit and nut combinations could be pretty good too.
The Ruth Pretty Cookbook is available in New Zealand from Fishpond