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treacle rye bread

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Rye bread with seeds and sultanas

Rye breads are lovely, keep well and slice better. The only fault - you can’t slice them warm. You get this lovely loaf out of the oven, looking brilliant as they tend to crack less than their wheat brothers, tempting like anything - but no. Quite like a girlfriend who pledged virginity. True love waits. But it’s only a day (unlike, probably, the girlfriend).

Fully worth the wait, too. Did I mention rye bread is an angel to slice thinly? And it’s by no means just lox or pastrami you want to have with it - try butter and honey. Try anything, in fact.

This isn’t gluten free but can easily be if you swap the bread flour for a white spelt, in which case possibly replace dark rye with light, so the texture isn’t too ‘short’.

Treacle rye bread

This bread is the first thing Nigel Slater Instagrammed in the New Year, so how could I not have a go? I did add the shaping process though as Nigel’s nonchalant ‘transfer it to the (…) baking stone (…), reshaping it into a round loaf as you go’ sounded a bit above my pay grade. Mine looks neater as a result. Bully for me!

  • INGREDIENTS
  • 200g dark rye flour
  • 200g strong white bread flour
  • 50g barley flakes
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. black treacle
  • 350ml/g warm water
  • 15g fresh or 1 tsp instant yeast
  • 40g rolled oats
  • 35g pumpkin seeds
  • 25g sunflower seeds
  • 30g golden linseed
  • 60g sultanas
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds

Barley, linseed and pumpkin

METHOD

Mix the flours and the barley flakes with the salt in a large bowl or the bowl of a standing mixer. In a jug, dissolve the treacle in the warm water and stir in the yeast. Pour that mixture into the flours and add the remaining oats, seeds and sultanas.

Mix it to a sticky dough using a wooden spoon or the standing mixer with a dough hook attachment - it won't be elastic or smooth, more like making mud cakes. Mix or knead for at least 10 minutes until it comes together and feels less sticky. Leave it in the bowl in a warm place to prove for about an hour.

Rye bread dough

During that time it should about double in volume. Scrape it out onto a floured surface, flour your hands and a proving basket, banneton or a bowl lined with a linen cloth. Shape it gently to a ball and drop it, seam up, into the proving basket. Dust the surface with more flour, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for 30 minutes.

Place a baking stone or a heavy baking sheet in the oven preheated to 220C/425F/gas 8. Let it heat up for at least 10 minutes. Turn the dough out onto the stone in one swift move, slash across the top with a sharp knife and bake for 35-40 minutes.

Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. The bread, like most ryes, gets tastier on the following day.

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