Making homemade brown bread is much easier than you think! This Super Simple Wholemeal Bread recipe uses just 5 ingredients, does not require any special equipment, and takes only 20 minutes hands on time – but delivers excellent results every time!
A lifetime of breadmaking experience!
I have been making bread since I was very young. My mum made all her own bread when I was growing up, and I have so many happy memories of helping her.
She would let me do some stirring and would give me a small piece dough to knead (while she kneaded the rest!) and sometimes I would be allowed to make some fun shaped bread rolls!
I grew up assuming making your own bread was normal and easy! It was not until I was older that I found out that other people bought their bread… and thought making homemade bread was difficult and time-consuming.
I’ll admit the process of making bread, from start to finish, is not the quickest… but this Super Simple Wholemeal Bread only involves 20 minutes actual hands-on time and is most definitely easy peasy!
How to make homemade wholemeal bread – the easy peasy way!
This really is a very easy recipe and only involves 5 basic ingredients.
All you need to do is mix up wholemeal bread flour, salt, yeast, olive oil and water. Then, knead the bread for 10 minutes, before leaving it to rise for 45 minutes. Next knock the air out of the bread, shape into an oval and leave to prove for another 45 minutes. Finally, slash a few slits in the top and bake for 30 minutes.
Hardly any work… and your reward is the smell of fresh bread wafting through your house and the delicious taste of homemade bread, still warm from the oven.
(Full recipe given in the recipe card below.)
Only basic equipment required!
This super brown bread recipe requires no special equipment. All you need is a large bowl, a wooden spoon, a baking tray and a knife.
Because this wholemeal loaf is shaped as a bloomer, you don’t need any special bread tins either – any kind of baking sheet / baking tray will do!
What to serve with homemade brown bread?
This delicious wholemeal bread is wonderful served straight from the oven, on its own or just with a bit of butter.
Alternatively, it’s delicious with all your favourite spreads… and amazing made into a sandwich with your favourite sandwich fillings!
But my favourite way to serve homemade brown bread is with a delicious homemade soup, such as:
How to store homemade wholemeal bread
To keep it fresh, once cold, store the bread in an airtight container.
How long will homemade wholemeal bread keep for?
Homemade bread typically does not last as long as shop-bought bread (because there are no additives!). Properly stored, homemade wholemeal bread should keep for up to 4 days. Though it’s at its best in the first 2 days.
Can you freeze homemade wholemeal bread?
Absolutely. This homemade brown bread freezes beautifully. Once cold, put the whole loaf into a sealed plastic freezer bag and place in the freezer, where it will keep for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature.
Alternatively, you can slice the loaf of bread first and defrost an individual slice or two at a time – this makes the defrosting much quicker and means you only need to defrost as much as you need each time, meaning less food waste. You can either defrost individual slices at room temperature or use your toaster to speed things up. (And this Super Simple Brown Bread makes AWESOME toast!)
(Funny story… growing up Mum would almost always freeze the fresh bread straight away. It became a running joke in our family that, even though Mum made fresh bread 2-3 times per week, we only ever got to eat bread from the freezer!)
If you like this recipe…
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Super Simple Wholemeal Bread
- 1 large bowl
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 baking tray
- 1 knife
- 500 g strong wholemeal bread flour (see Note 1)
- 7 g fast action dried yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 350 ml lukewarm water
- Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together thoroughly. Add the olive oil and mix again. Slowly add the water, stirring constantly. Mix until you have a dough. It will be a bit wet and sticky but it will get much smoother and less sticky after kneading.
- Knead for 10 minutes: put the dough on a floured surface and stretch it away from you with the heel of your hand, fold it over, rotate 90 degrees and repeat. Kneading looks complicated but basically it is just all about stretching the gluten in the dough, so just make sure you do lots of stretching and it will be good enough to make a nice loaf of bread.
- Shape the dough into a ball and put it back in the bowl you used for mixing. Leave it to rise for 45 minutes at room temperature, covered lightly with a piece of oiled clingfilm.
- After 45 minutes, take the dough out of the bowl, knock the air out of it and shape into an oval loaf shape. Put it on an oiled baking sheet and cover lightly with the oiled clingfilm. Leave for another 45 minutes to prove.
- After 30 minutes, preheat your oven to 220C / 200C fan / gas mark 7 / 425F and continue to prove for the remaining for 15 minutes.
- Slash the top of the loaf a few times and sprinkle it with flour. Cook the bread in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes, remove the loaf from the oven and check it's done by carefully turning it over and tapping the bottom. If it's done, it will sound hollow. If it's not done, pop the loaf back in the oven for 5 more minutes and check again.
- When it's done, place the cooked loaf onto a wire cooling rack (use your grill rack, if you don't have one!)
- Make sure you use wholemeal flour designed for making bread. This is usually sold as ‘strong wholemeal flour’ or ‘wholemeal bread flour’.
- Suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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