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Wholemeal Bread With Fresh Rosemary

Wholemeal Bread With Fresh Rosemary

This bread is made with a starter dough that has been left to rise for a long time and indeed can be prepared in advance and frozen. It takes time to rise and is moist and delicious. I have added rosemary for a tasty savoury version, but you could leave it plain or add herbs of your choice.


  • ½ tsp active dry yeast or 1½ tsp Surebake yeast (see Cook’s Tips)
  • pinch sugar
  • 1 tblsp salt
  • 1 recipe freezer starter dough (see recipe on my website)
  • white flour for dusting
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • 3 cups wholemeal flour
  • about 1 cup water (from the cold tap)
  • 2 tblsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves


  1. Mix the yeast, ¼ cup water and sugar together and set aside for about 3 minutes until the yeast dissolves and becomes slightly frothy. (If you are using Surebake the mixture will become porridge-like).
  2. Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.
  3. Using one hand to mix, pour the yeasty liquid in the well and almost all the second measure of water, mixing until you have a pliable mass.
  4. Turn out on to a lightly floured board and bring together, to form an untidy mass. Cover with a clean slightly dampened tea towel and leave for 10 minutes.
  5. Now press the dough out to a large rectangle, about 2cm thick. Press the defrosted freezer dough out large enough to fit on the inside and sprinkle over the rosemary.
  6. Fold the two together, bringing the top third over the centre third and taking the bottom third over the top third. (Just like a business letter).
  7. Fold the edges in and then begin to knead the two doughs together. Knead for about 10 minutes or until the dough is soft and pliable.
  8. Place into a well greased bowl. Cover with greased plastic wrap and cover with a towel. Set aside to rise until double in bulk. This will take 1½ hours in warm weather and 2½-3 hours in cold.
  9. Turn out on to a lightly floured board and deflate the dough gently.
  10. Press the dough out to a large rectangle again, about 2 cm thick, and fold again into three (see point 6). Press the seal together firmly and place seal-side down on a well greased baking tray. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until double in bulk.
  11. Make 3-4 slashes in the bread and dust with extra sifted white flour.
  12. Bake loaf at 200ºC for 20-25 minutes until it sounds hollow when tapped from underneath. Spray insides of oven for first 3 minutes for a crispier crust. Transfer to a cake rack to cool.

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