Sadly, I cannot actually number Jonny or his Nanny amongst my acquaintance (Jane Austen mode slipping in here…) I am however, very well acquainted with Jonny’s girlfriend, and now Fiancée!
First met her on the day of her birth; have worked, drunk coffee – and other beverages 😉 – with her Mamma on a regular basis; have watched herself and her sisters grow up into beautiful, accomplished young ladies and be launched into Society; that sort of thing.
That tenuous connection enables me to take the shamless liberty of sharing Nanny Bell’s recipe with you (truly, I have no morals – I am to recipes as Mr Wickham is to girls of large fortune).
I’m reliably informed that Nanny Bell makes The Best Wheaten Bread in Norn Irn, so let’s give it a go, shall we?
- A large bowl for mixing
- Two smallish rectangular loaf tins or one large, two-pound loaf tin
- A weighing scales to measure the ingredients – although I’m pretty sure that Nanny Bell just does this by instinct at this stage 😉
INGREDIENTS: Makes one monster loaf (see the notes at the end for timings) or two lady-like ones..
- 425g medium grade wholemeal flour
- 75g plain flour
- 50g melted butter
- 75g soft brown sugar
- 10g of bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teasp of salt
- 600ml buttermilk
- Heat the oven to 180 Fan.
- Butter the tins, or be like me and use those ready-made liners.
- Put all the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl, and combine together
- add the melted butter and half the butter milk and mix in.
- add the remainder of the buttermilk until the dough is easily pliable but not too wet.
- Put the half the mixture into each tin, and cut a line along the top of it, so that there’s a dip in the middle of the loaf – this will rise up and give you an even-topped loaf when it’s cooked.
- Put the tins into the oven at 180 fan for ten minutes, then reduce the heat to 160 for the remaining 45 minutes.
- If you’re making the monster loaf, see the notes at the bottom.
- As usual with Wheaten bread, when it’s cooked, the loaf should sound hollow if you knock on the base of it.
- Remove it from the tin (it will slide out easily) and place on a rack to cool.
- Serve sliced, with proper butter.
- Offer up silent words of thanks to Nanny Bell …
- Today I used the whole recipe in one large tin to make one big loaf – it required 20 minutes extra cooking on top of the times for the two small loaves, so: 10 minutes at 180, then 65 minutes at 160. I covered the top with some crumpled tin foil so that the top didn’t get over-cooked.
- Some people cover the warm loaf with a clean tea towel while it’s cooling so that the top isn’t too crunchy, but I don’t bother with this.
- I used light Muscavado sugar in this recipe because that’s all I had. Although it’s utterly delicious, I think that it’s rather too sweet for me, so I might reduce the amount of sugar the next time. This will always be a personal thing, so see how you like it yourself.
- Young Jonny! My compliments to your Grandmother!