19 November 2010

Recipe: A simple rye bread recipe

Sieve together equal quantities of strong white flour and rye flour and a good teaspoonful of sea salt.
Add 2 tablespoons of molasses or malt to 1/2 pint of warm water (mix boiled water and filtered cold water together to get water which is tepid).

Add two teaspoonfuls of dried yeast and leave the mixture to bubble up for about 15 minutes.

Put a dip in the centre of the flour and add the molasses or malt mix and add 2 tablespoonfuls of vegetable oil. Work the fluid into the flour gradually. You should get a dough mix which is slightly sticky but not sticky enough to actually stick to your fingers once everything is well mixed. Now knead the mixture thoroughly for a good five minutes, so that the dough becomes more elastic feeling.

Set the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 - 2 hours - long enough that it doubles in size.

Knock the dough down with your fists and give it another really good knead (5 minutes or more). Divide your dough into two loaves and shape them as you like. I find they cook a little more evenly in a bread tin. Let the covered dough rise again until the it is again twice the size.

Pop the loaves into a medium oven (gas mark 6) and bake them for around 40 minutes. You may want to take them out and turn them over after about half an hour, so that the bottom cooks properly. Turn the oven down a notch at this point.

This gives loaves which are slightly sweet with a good texture - not too dense. If you want an even sweeter result add a little more molasses or malt. You can also add caraway seeds to the mix before kneading. Another good variation is to add a little cocoa powder - about 1 tablespoonful.

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