3 ½ cups brown bread flour (as fresh as possible. Avoid Nutty Wheat)
1 tsp (5ml) Bicarbonate of Soda (BP Grade)
300ml sterilised milk
1Tbsp Olive Oil (cold pressed)
Optional: ¼ cup of Sunflower seeds OR 1Tbsp Sesame seeds OR 1Tbsp Poppy Seeds (Cover with water, add ¼ tsp. Vit C powder and soak for 10-15 minutes before draining and adding to the mixture. If you are organized, dry the seeds after soaking by baking them on a baking tray in the oven for several hours beforehand. This will make them crunchier and less likely to become mouldy.)
Try adding chopped fresh herbs like sage or chopped olives in place of the seeds for a change.
1tsp aluminum free sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp Vitamin C powder
1 tsp of Cream of Tartar/Cornflour mixture (This is optional. It makes the bread lighter and makes it last longer. Mix 1tsp cream of tartar with 4 tsp cornflour. Use one teaspoon and store the rest.)
Set the oven to preheat to 200 degrees Celsius
Oil a baking tray with Olive Oil
Mix the dry ingredients in a large non-metal bowl, sifting the bicarb and cream of tartar.
Add optional extras like seeds/herbs/olives
Stir the mixture briefly to evenly distribute the ingredients.
Make a well in the middle and pour in the Olive oil and milk. More milk may need to be added if you have used seeds in your recipe.
Mix QUICKLY with a wooden spoon from the centre of the well incorporating the dry ingredients as you go.
With floured (and sterilised!) hands shape a ball out of the dough, kneading it only just enough to remove any large cracks and then place it on the baking tray. Note: the more you handle the dough the heavier the bread will become.
Take the wooden spoon and using the handle make an indent across the loaf and then again to cross it.
Bake at 200 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown. Check with a knife or needle to ensure it is dry inside if you want to be sure.
This bread is best served fresh and hot since it does not keep well for more than a day or two. Do not refrigerate as this will accelerate mould growth. If you need to eat it slowly slice it and freeze it.