Janny de Moor Janny de Moor

Dutch farmhouse loaf


Baking material:

  • baking tray
  • lined with baking parchment



  • 350 g strong wholemeal bread flour
  • 150 g strong white bread flour
  • 1 sachet easy-bake / easy-blend dried yeast
  • about 350 ml lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp. muscovado sugar
  • 50 g soft butter
  • 2 tsp. salt (8 g)
  • flour for the work surface
  • butter for dough bowl
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten with 2 tsp. milk
  • sesame seeds or poppy seeds

A very simple bread. A happy solution when bread was sold out due the pandemic. My daughter in England who likes baking was glad to have the recipe: she took the accompanying picture. It is also to be seen on the picture of  Funfair soup.

Why is it called ‘farmhouse loaf’ (Boerenbol)? In most Dutch countryside villages there was no bakery. Therefore farmer’s wives had to bake their own bread. One of them was my grandmother in Guelderland. With this in view a special bakhuisje (little baking house) was built at most farmsteads.  Not very elaborate, just practical without much equipment: for a round loaf one did not need a tin.

I can still recall how granny sliced the bread holding it in the hook of her arm against her bosom. Formerly it was not sprinkled with sesame seeds, that was a luxury unknown in the Netherlands until the sixties of last century when the Dutch culinary art was awakening. Only poppy-seed was popular, due to the Jewish kitchen.

  • Mix the wholemeal flour, white flour and yeast. Stir in water. After short kneading, add the sugar and butter and finally the salt. If the dough is too moist, add some flour. Knead by hand for 15 minutes (with the kneading machine 8 min. half power).
  • Grease the dough bowl, place the elastic dough ball in it and proof it covered with a damp cloth (1 hour at room temperature or twice the size).
  • Carefully and without much pressure form the proofed dough on a floured work surface into a ball of approx. 20 cm diameter. Transfer to the greased baking tray, let stand for 5 minutes. Brush with egg mixture and sprinkle thinly with seeds. Leave to proof for another half an hour under a wide bowl or pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 220˚C/425˚F/gas 7. Bake in the heated oven for 30 minutes on the bottom ledge. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

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