All of my recipes are subject to change, even my favourite recipes get altered or updated. (I keep meticulous notes, so I can always revisit what I’ve changed.) Changes can happen by necessity or whim, through refinement, sometimes by ingredient availability, location, or even food fashions. For example this Wholegrain Freekeh and Seed Bread recipe had to change when I moved between New Zealand and Scotland, but this particular version evolved with a desire to make a healthier loaf.
This recipe is packed full of whole-food ingredients; freekeh, a roasted green wheat, is harvested while it’s young and retains more nutrients than mature wheat. It also contains higher amounts of protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. It also contains a mixture of whole sunflower, pumpkin, linseeds and coarse polenta enhancing the nutrient mix.
I have progressively experimented with the ratios of white to wholemeal flours. With a dough that is full of whole foods, white flour helps to create a lighter loaf. At various times, I have made this recipe with wholegrain spelt, wholemeal and rye and different proportions of high grade bread flour. For the record, 100% wholegrain flour is delicious, but dense. I encourage you to experiment and find a ratio that suits you.
You need a total of 600g of flour, but the ratio of flours is up to you, for example you could start with 200g wholegrain and 400g white. For this recipe I have suggested half and half.
The recipe will make approximately 1.8kg of dough. If you have standard size loaf tins it will make 2 loaves. I like to make 3 small loaves. For a large single loaf you’ll need to adjust the cooking time.
Wholegrain Freekeh and Seed Bread
- 170g freekeh
- 500ml water – for cooking freekeh
- 180ml oat milk, soy or milk of choice
- 20ml apple cider vinegar
- 300g whole grain spelt or whole wheat flour
- 300g High grade/bread flour
- 1/2 cup each of pumpkin seeds, coarse polenta, linseeds, and sunflower seeds
- 25g instant yeast (dry active)
- 12g salt
- 400ml (approx) cool water, add 50ml more if needed
For this recipe I would recommend using a stand mixer, this is a wet mixture and it is more suited to experienced bread makers – if you’re new to bread making I would highly recommend starting with my easy overnight loaf mentioned below.
In a small pot, add freekeh and 500ml of cold water. Bring to a boil, once boiling reduce to a simmer and put on the lid. Cook until the water is absorbed and turn off the heat leave to cool with the lid on. (absorption method – like cooking rice)
Combine the oat milk and apple cider vinegar, set aside.
Put the freekeh in the mixing bowl, add all the seeds and polenta, mix. Add the flours and yeast, mix to evenly combine.
Pour in the oat milk, apple cider vinegar and water. Mix with a spoon, make sure that there aren’t any dry ingredients in the bottom of the bowl. Let it sit for 10 mins then sprinkle with the salt. (If you think you might forget to add the salt, add with the flour, but not on top of the yeast as you may kill it.)
Using a dough hook start on a slow speed, mix for 5 minutes, then increase speed for another 8-10 minutes.
When you lift up the dough hook you will be able to see the structure has changed. The dough in the bowl and the dough on the hook should remain joined when you lift the hook, it should be elastic and not break easily. Mix until the dough balls together around the hook and comes away from the sides.
Cover the bowl with a clean towel or clingfilm and set aside to prove. It needs to double in size, roughly an hour, this depends on the temperature of your kitchen.
Lightly flour your clean bench and hands and scrape dough from bowl.
Shape into loaves and put in tins to prove, it should roughly double again. Cover set and aside. Pre-heat your oven to 220ºC. When the bread looks nicely risen, your finger should leave an indent when you poke it (and not bounce back), it is now ready to bake in your preheated oven.
Bake at 220ºC for 10 minutes then reduce heat to 200ºC and bake for approximately 25 minutes, turn down the oven further if you need to bake it longer.
Remove from the tin as soon as the loaves are baked otherwise the bottom will become soggy. Cool on a baking rack. For a soft crust and to keep the bread moist, seal in an airtight bag or container and store in the fridge once cool. If you prefer a crusty loaf, wrap in a clean tea towel and keep in your bread bin.
This bread freezes extremely well and will also keep in the fridge for at least 5 days.
For more a more detailed pictures follow this method. For a simple bread recipe that you can prepare the night before, Easy Overnight Bread is one of my favourites as is this Gluten-free, Vegan Focaccia for my celiac family members and friends.