I have been baking bread for a few years now and something that has escaped me is a 100% Wholemeal loaf that didn't look like frisbie, tasted like sawdust or took 3 days to make.
The problem is the lack of gluten in wholemeal flour making it hard to develop a strong structure when proving. Adding a portion of white flour can improve things but that defeats the object.
Well I discovered a recipe in Darina Allen's book called Forgotten Skills of Cooking entitled Ballymaloe brown bread. It is so simple to make, no kneading required and it yields a crusty yet soft delicious tasting loaf of bread. The recipe was developed in the 1940's by Doris Grant for the Ministry of food (no not the Jamie Oliver one).
The only bit of special kit you need is a 5x8 inch loaf tin then gather the following ingredients.
450g Stone ground whole meal flour
425ml lukewarm water
15g Dried yeast
Oil for greasing
Seeds such as sesame
Preheat oven to 450F
Grease loaf tin (I recommend lining the tin with parchment)
Mix the yeast with 140ml of water and molasses and mix. Leave for a few mins to froth.
Put the flour and salt in a bowl and mix to distribute the salt. Pour in the water and the frothy yeat mixture and mix to a sloppy dough. Note this will be too wet to knead if not add a bit more water. Mix in the bowl then put into tin, sprinkle seeds on top.
Cover tin with towel and wait for 20mins just for the dough to rise to the top of the tin. The gently place it in the oven. Leave for 20mins then turn down the oven to 400F.
Cook for 40mins then remove from tin and place loaf back in the oven for 10mins to crisp the crust. Remove and cool then slice and enjoy. A simple, everyday 100% wholemeal loaf do youself a favor and try this recipe