Bread and Better

Bread and Better

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Grandad's Rye Bread

I have always been a little disappointed with my rye breads. My past attempts have always tasted  pretty good, but the texture was often very stodgy, making the loaf rather unpleasant to eat. As I have probably mentioned before, my Grandad was a baker, so I thought I would ask if he had any advice on working with this ancient grain. He suggested that I use more yeast, as rye doesn't have all the gluten that other flours do, to make it rise better. He also said that rye doesn't absorb water well, so use much less than you normally would when making bread. I took on board his advice and I am really happy with the results that they produced. I have gone for a rye and white flour mix here, so that I got a slightly lighter crumb structure, but if you fancy a denser loaf please feel free to adjust the ratio.

Makes one medium loaf.

For the loaf:
300g rye flour
300g strong white flour
14g dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
475ml water
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil, plus a little more for greasing

Place the flours into a large bowl and rub in the yeast with your fingertips.
Add the salt, oil and water and combine until the mixture forms a dough (adding more water if it feels a little dry).
Tip the dough onto a lightly oiled surface and knead for around 5 minutes, or until it feels a little smoother.
Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to rise for around an hour, or until it has doubled in size.
When the dough has risen, shape it into a ball and place it onto a lined baking tray.
Cover the loaf with a tea towel and leave to rise for around an hour, or until it has pretty much doubled in size.
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees c.
When the loaf has risen, sprinkle it with a little rye flour and make a few slashes in the top with a sharp knife.
Bake the bread for around 25 minutes, or until the crust is a deep golden brown and the bottom makes a hollow sound when tapped.
Leave the loaf to cool completely on a wire rack before digging in.

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