I thought the bread I make and eat almost daily would be the most appropriate choice for my inaugural post. This is a very simple and incredibly tasty loaf, brimming with fibre, crunch and a rich, nutty aroma, and, by far, my absolute favourite everyday bread.

last year's loaf

It makes a fantastic roast beef and mustard sandwich. But really, this tastes so good, a whole loaf disappears within minutes, once it's cool enough to slice; just thickly butter slices of it and enjoy with a cup of coffee for a simple  but scrumptious breakfast.

this week's loaf

Slightly stale slices of this (in the unlikely event that this loaf lasts long enough for you to have any) make wonderful croutons which I like to serve with hearty soups like this one.  Sweet French toast becomes interesting when it's interspersed with crunchy, flavoursome seeds, but, whisk some eggs, finely grate in some parmesan, season with pepper and a pinch of garlic salt, then dip slices of flax bread into the mix before shallow frying in a heavy pan. Cheesy, eggy heaven, and, the nicest possible way to sober up after a night of alcoholic excess.

Prep 2 hr 45 mins        Bake 30 mins        Makes 2 small loaves (14 slices each)

300 g (3 level teacups) white bread (high protein) flour
100 g (1 level teacup) coarsely ground flax seeds
100 g (1 level teacup) coarse wholewheat flour
1 level tsp fine salt
2 level tsp brown sugar (white if you prefer it)
3 level tsp instant yeast granules
350 ml (1 3/4 cups) tepid water
2 generous tbsp soft butter or 3 Tbsp flavourless vegetable oil 

Combine the flour, flax seeds, wholewheat flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a standmixer and stir thoroughly with a whisk. Whisk in the yeast until thoroughly mixed.
Pour in the water, attach dough hook to machine and turn on to speed 2. Mix for 3 minutes then turn machine off. Scrape dough off hook and down sides of bowl. Form into a rough ball, cover bowl with plastic wrap or plate and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

Knead dough again for 8 - 10 minutes on speed 2. Dough should be soft, very elastic and slightly sticky. Turn dough out of bowl and form into a neat ball. Grease inside of bowl and put ball of dough inside. Cover bowl with plate or cling wrap and allow to rise for about 1 1/2 hours.

Turn dough out of bowl and divide equally into two. Shape each portion into a tight oval with blunted ends, pinching seam securely and tucking under loaf. Place loaves on a parchment lined baking tray and cover each loaf loosely with a tented, clean plastic grocery bag. Allow to rise for about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven at 240 C (460 F) about 20 minutes before you put loaves in. When loaves are ready for oven, slash tops as desired using a very, very sharp, thin bladed knife or a sharp razor blade. Spritz loaves (about 6 pumps each) with water and put into oven.

After 10 minutes, reduce temperature to 190 C (370 C) and continue to bake for another 15 minutes. Turn loaves over so bottoms are up and close oven door. Turn oven off immediately and leave loaves in for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and cool immediately on a rack to prevent soggy bottoms.

Cool loaves completely before slicing with a very sharp serrated knife.

when the butter won't soften fast enough