Best Cape Style Whole Wheat Bread

Overseas visitors always compliment us on our wholewheat bread. Treat your family to this traditional Cape-style bread.

Makes 1 large loaf

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4 cups (480 g) whole wheat flour
1 cup (120 g) white bread flour
10 g packet instant dry yeast
1 T (15 ml) brown sugar
4 blocks of Weet-Bix, finely crushed
2 t (10 ml) salt
¼ cup (60 ml) sesame seeds or toasted sunflower seeds
2 cups (500 ml) lukewarm water
2 cups (500 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
2 T (30 ml) canola or grapeseed oil
some extra seeds to sprinkle over the top

Oil or butter a 28 cm x 11 cm bread pan. Line the base with a strip of baking or buttered greaseproof paper.
Measure the two kinds of flour into a large, sturdy mixing bowl. Add the yeast and sugar. Crush the Weet-Bix in a plastic bag with a meat mallet or small saucepan and add to the flour. Add the salt and seeds and stir to blend.
Make a hollow in the flour and add the lukewarm water, buttermilk and oil. Stir with a strong wooden spoon until the mixture is very well blended. Add a little more water if the mixture is too heavy to stir. Spoon the bread mixture into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with some extra seeds.
Leave in a warm spot (see Ina’s tip) until the bread has nearly risen to the top of the pan. Halfway through the raising time adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 200°C.
Bake for 1 hour. Remove the bread from the pan 5-10 minutes before the time is up and continue baking without a pan for the final 5-10 minutes to crisp the bottom crust.

Overnight Proofing

The prepared mixture, in the mixing bowl (covered with clingfilm), can also be put in the fridge to rise slowly overnight. The next day or a few hours later, give the risen bread a good stir, spoon into the pan and leave to rise for a second time in a warm spot until it has nearly risen to the top of the pan. Bake as above.

Ina's Tip

This is the method we use to create the warm humid atmosphere that yeast loves. Place a roasting pan half filled with warm water in a black bin liner. Put a rack or trivet over the roasting pan and then put the pan with bread mixture on top of the rack. Tie the bag closed to keep the heat in. The bread will take about 35-55 minutes to rise. Don’t be in too much of a hurry. Slower is better.