Tag Archives: Easy

Basic Wholemeal Bread

Basic Wholemeal Bread
Basic Wholemeal Bread
Image: http://www.alittlethoughtforfood.com

“Once you’ve grasped the recipe for wholemeal bread you’ll never stop making it” was something I heard a long time ago and it’s true. This easy recipe make two small 450g loaves or a single 900g one. As it doesn’t contain any of the flour ‘improvers’ and preservatives that you find in commercially bought loaves, it won’t last as long, so I normally make two small ones and wrap one tightly and pop it in the fridge to keep for a day or two.


Tip: I use dried yeast when making wholemeal bread as the re-activation in warm water gives the heavier wholemeal flour a helping hand to rise. Feel free to use easy bake dried yeast or fresh if you want. You don’t need to activate the Easy Bake yeast just add it to the flour and stir in.


  • 450g strong plain wholemeal flour
  • 225g strong plain white flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tsp dried yeast (or 7g easy bake dried yeast\20g fresh yeast)
  • 25g butter, cubed
  • About 450 ml warm water (2 parts cold to one part boiling), the true amount depends on the day and the flour


  1. Activate the dried yeast by whisking the sugar into 160ml of the water until dissolved, then add the yeast and whisk again. Leave in a warm place for 10 – 15 mins or until 2cms of froth covers the surface, whisk again and use (Not required for Easy Bake yeast)
  2. Sift the white flour into a large bowl
  3. Add the wholemeal flour and salt and stir.
  4. Rub the butter into the flour mixture and make a well in the middle.
  5. Mix the activated yeast liquid and enough of the remaining water into the flour to make a soft dough.
  6. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
  7. Shape into a round an place in a clean large and lightly oiled bowl, pop into a large plastic bag or loosely cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.
  8. Oil two 900g loaf tins.
  9. Once the dough as risen (You can tell if it’s fully risen as the dough won’t pop back when you press your finger lightly into it), knock it back on a lightly floured surface, divide into two (if you want two loaves), roughly shape into rectangles and pop in the tins.
  10. Cover and leave to rise again, for about ½ hour or until doubled in size.
  11. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F
  12. Dust the loaves with a sprinkling of wholemeal flour and cook for 15 mins then reduce the temperature to 200°C\420°F and cook for another 15 to 20 mins until the bread is risen, the crust is lightly browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom
  13. Turn out and cool completely on a wire rack

Slice and enjoy with butter, jam or anything you fancy………

Classic Tomato Sauce

Tomato Sauce
Tomato Sauce

This is a classic and versatile recipe, I use it regularly and always make a double batch and freeze it in portions, as it makes a quick base sauce for so many other dinners.

Once you’ve made it you’ll never want to use a jar again.

Serves 8 -12 Gluten Free


  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 large brown onion, finely chopped
  • large bunch fresh basil
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 4 x 400g/14oz cans chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a wide saucepan or large frying pan,
  2. Fry the onion for 5 minutes, or until translucent and soft but not coloured.
  3. Add the garlic and finely chopped basil stalks and sizzle for one minute, again not allowing them to colour.
  4. Stir in the tomato purée.
  5. Tip in the chopped tomatoes, and sugar.
  6. Season with a generous amount of salt and pepper.
  7. Simmer slowly for 30 minutes until the sauce is rich and thick.
  8. Tear and stir in the basil leaves just before the end.

This can be frozen but should be used within a month.

For a creamy mascarpone and tomato sauce, add 1 tbsp of mascarpone cheese per person to the sauce and a little bit of the pasta water to thin it a little, Top with some Basil leaves and a generous grating of parmesan. Or fry off some meatballs and add to spaghetti for a quick and easy meal.

It’s just as good on it’s own on some pasta….