Steph’s Rosemary & Wholemeal Lily Loaf


Series 10

This easy, tasty loaf is carved with a gorgeous design that needs a razor-sharp knife to create. Professional bakers use a Landaise Lame or Grignette – which is rather like a razor blade inserted into a plastic safety handle – but a very sharp artist’s scalpel can do the job.

Serves: 1 large loaf
Difficulty: Needs skill
Hands-On Time: 30 mins, plus rising and proving
Baking Time: 40 mins
  • Ingredients
  • Method
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Step 1
Place both flours in a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add the yeast, salt and rosemary and stir on low speed for a few seconds. Add 325ml of hand-hot water and mix again on low until you have a soft dough (you may need up to an extra 25ml of water). Keep mixing for a further 5 minutes (or turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and knead for 10 minutes), until the dough is smooth and elastic.

Step 2
Place the dough in a lightly oil a large, clean bowl, cover the bowl with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place or proving drawer to rise for about 1¼ hours, or until the dough is at least doubled in size.

Step 3
Turn out the dough onto a work surface and knock it back. Knead it lightly into a large boule shape and place it on the lined baking tray. Place the tray inside a large plastic bag, ensuring the dough doesn’t touch the bag, and leave the dough to prove in a warm place or proving drawer for about 40 minutes, or until well risen.

Step 4
Heat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/Gas 7. Pop the roasting tin in the bottom of the oven.

Step 5
Liberally dust the dough with white bread flour to give a good coating. Using the scalpel or bread-scoring knife, score a lily (or other flower design, if you prefer) into the surface.

Step 6
Place the loaf in the oven, pour 100ml of water into the roasting tin and immediately close the door (this generates steam to give you a good crust). Bake for about 25 minutes, then slide the dough off the baking tray onto the oven rack and return it to the oven to bake for a further 15 minutes, until the bottom is crisp and the base sounds hollow when tapped. Place on a wire rack to cool.