My Wheaten Bead recipe has evolved over the years. There was a time when I couldn’t get coarse wholemeal flour and I had to improvise by adding wheat bran. There have been times when I’ve wanted to bake and discover I have no buttermilk in the house, so I’ve used yogurt or milk+lemon juice. And after moving to the US, I started to add maple syrup and molasses to my recipe to get a darker, denser loaf. So what it has become today, is some sort of Ulster-American Wheaten Bread.
The recipe, at heart, is a simple one. Flour, salt, baking soda and buttermilk. And in my recipe, there is the addition of maple syrup and molasses. I find that a hint of sweetness and a hint of treacle improves the taste.
If you don’t have molasses, then use black treacle (I often do if I have some in the house, but it’s harder to find here in the US). I did a taste test when I was making my Treacle Scones and found that they are similar, although the treacle is a little sweeter.
If you don’t have maple syrup, then use golden syrup or honey. I frequently have all three in the house, but have stuck with maple syrup in my recipe now that we’re living in New England.
If you can’t get hold of coarse wholemeal/wholewheat flour (thankfully, I now can!) then regular wholemeal/wholewheat flour will work too.
And that’s it. You can have this ready to bake in the time it takes your oven to preheat. Then enjoy your Wheaten Bread with butter or cheese or smoked salmon+lemon or alongside a bowl of soup. It also makes great toast, if you have any left!
- 8 oz or 225g plain flour (all-purpose flour)
- 8 oz or 225g coarse wholemeal flour (wholewheat flour)
- 1 tsp baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp molassess (or black treacle)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (or honey/golden syrup)
- 10 fl oz or 300ml buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C (conventional oven).
- Sift the flours, salt and baking soda into a bowl. If you're using coarse wholemeal flour you'll need to tip the bran into the bowl after the finer flour has been sifted.
- Make a well in the center of the flour and add the oil, syrup and molasses. Then add about three-quarters of the buttermilk and slowly mix until you have a soft dough, adding more buttermilk as needed.
- Turn onto a floured work surface and shape into a round, about 6"/15cm across. Don't work the mixture too much. There is no need to knead.
- Transfer to a floured baking sheet and slash the dough horizontally and vertically.
- Place in the oven for about 30 minutes. As with all baking, your oven may bake this a little faster or slower than mine. Check your bread by tapping on the bottom, if it sounds hollow, you're done.
- Remove to a wire rack to cool. Slice and enjoy.