Mix together the flours, brown sugar and salt in a bowl. Whisk the yeast into the water. Form a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the water. Bring the ingredients together to form a rough dough. Turn out on to a clean kitchen surface and knead for approximately10 minutes or until the windowpane effect is achieved.
Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp tea towel or wrap in cling film and let it prove for one to one and a half hours or until doubled in size.
Turn out the dough a clean kitchen surface and knock back*. Portion the dough into seven even portions, Each portion of dough should be approximately 115g each. Shape each portion of dough into a ball.
To form a wreath, place one portion of dough at the centre of a baking tray and arranging the six remaining portions of dough loosely around the centre piece. Brush the dough with water using a pastry brush. Each portion of dough can then be topped as desired, nuts and seeds work well.
Brushing the dough with water helps the nuts or seeds to stick. Alternatively, a light dusting of flour will work well. Allow the dough to prove for approximately 45 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven to 230°C/425°F/Gas mark 7 and place a baking tray in the bottom to preheat. Place the dough on the baking tray into the oven. Pour a boiling kettle into the tray that has been preheated in the oven to create a blast of steam. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until a good crust has formed and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the base.
Recipe by Patrick Ryan Of Firehouse Bakery