Irish Brown Bread
Vegetable oil, for greasing
1.3 kg/3 lbs wholemeal (whole wheat) flour
500 ml/18 fl oz milk, plus extra for brushing
500 ml/18 fl oz water
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
55g/2 oz fresh yeast
2 tsp salt
1) Grease two 900 g/2-lb loaf tins and the inside of two large polythene bags.
2) Put half the flour into a large mixing bowl. Mix the milk and water together in a jug, then add the sugar and yeast. Add to the flour and beat well. Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and leave to stand for 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture is frothy.
3) Add the remaining flour and the salt and mix until a soft dough forms. Knead for 10 minutes.
4) Divide the dough into two pieces and place one piece in each of the prepared tins. Put the tins into the prepared bags and leave to rise until the dough is level with the tops of the tins. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas Mark 8.
5) Brush the tops of the loaves with milk and bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until risen and golden brown and they sound hollow when tapped on the base. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.