Rustic Brown Loaf

rustic brown homemade loaf
When you want some extra crunch and bitey-ness in your bread, it's nice to add seeds or grains.

That said, I am not a fan of so-called granary bread. As a child, I remember hating the unchewable lumps that spoiled an otherwise perfectly soft slice of bread.

My rustic loaf is more robust than soft, with flavour and texture imparted by a variety of seeds and some porridge oats. You could vary the seeds, of course, but this is my version.

Rustic Brown Loaf

440g/15 oz/3 cups wholemeal flour
60g/ 2 oz/⅔ cup porridge oats
1 tsp instant dried yeast
2 tsp salt
20g/4 tsp pumpkin seeds
20g/4 tsp sesame seeds
20g/4 tsp sunflower seeds
340ml/11 fl oz/1⅓ cups water

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl and add the water bit by bit.  Depending on the exact type of flour you use, or the exact combination of seeds you include, the dough might need more or less water.  Use your hand to work the dough until it is a uniform texture with a sticky consistency.

homemade bread dough

Leave the dough to rise until it has doubled in size.  The presence of porridge oats in this mixture mean that it will not rise as much as the dough of my basic bread recipe.

Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for a few minutes.

Press the kneaded dough into a greased loaf pan and leave it to rise again.

homemade loaf rising

The dough is ready to bake when it has almost reached the top of the pan.  Again, it won’t rise as much as ‘normal’ dough, due to its seed and oat content.

homemade bread dough rising

Bake at 230oC/450F for five minutes then 180oC/360F for 30 minutes.  The loaf is fully cooked when it tips easily out of the pan and sounds hollow when you knock on it.

Leave the loaf to cool on a wire rack before cutting it.

homemade wholemeal bread loaf

Want this recipe in a more convenient format? It's available in my ebook, available via the link in the sidebar.


  1. This was my very first attempt at proper bread making as against using a bread machine. It came out well, much better texture and taste than bread made in the machine. I haven't got the technique of kneading right yet - I just sort of bash it around but I have now watched your video so I should be better next time - which will be today as I'm going to have a go at a soft white loaf. I have now bought a special ‘cooking’ hat so that will also improve my cooking skills!!

  2. That's great to know! I've never used a bread machine so I've no experience there to speak of. Brilliant to hear that you got good results by hand. As for the kneading, anything goes, really, as long as you're stretching the dough.
    Good luck with the soft white - it's one of my favourites.
    I'd love to see the hat. It'll probably make all the difference!
    Please let me know how it goes.


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