light seeded rye bread
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Rye bread is a totally different story than wheat. Where wheat bread is fluffy, rye is stodgy. While white loaf is crusty, rye is practically all crumb. Wheat best fresh, rye has to stand overnight in order to even slice it. Thick and thickly buttered slice vs. paper thin wafer with a smudge of butter (Marge. Beef drippings. Cream cheese and lox). Won’t tolerate fancy sandwich fillings and will even object to being sandwiched – open top is the only way to go.
It is grim, stodgy, dense and not a little miserable.
But it's refreshing to bake and eat every now and then bread that is dissidently different. Especially that this recipe is perfectly doable, unlike the seventh wonder of rye breads, the Borodinsky. It’s got yeast in it and the dark rye flour is diluted a bit by wheat. Must try it some time with lighter rye flour.
As Dan Lepard says (the recipe was in the Guardian a good few years ago) it’s a like a blonde pumpernickel but doesn’t have the pumpernickly sourness. Will keep for ever wrapped in waxy paper. Best raw but some brave people toast it - I don’t think it enjoys it much though.
light seeded rye breadServings: 1 small loafTime: 3-4 hours
- 70g each of linseed, pumpkin and sunflower seeds
- 300ml warm water
- 50g dark brown sugar
- 18g fresh or 2 tsp fast action yeast
- 25ml rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 250g stoneground (dark) rye flour
- 75g wholemeal flour
- 75g strong white bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
1. Toast the seeds for 15 minutes at 180C/350F/gas 4, leave to cool. Reserve a handful for the topping and mix the rest with the water, sugar and yeast. Let it stand for a few minutes, then add the oil, salt and flours and mix to a firm dough. Let it stand again for 10 minutes, then knead or mix lightly – there will be no strands of gluten here, in fact the dough will look thoroughly unappetising and wrong, like a mud cake. Cover and let it prove for an hour.
2. With wet hands shape the dough into a fat sausage and press it firmly into a buttered loaf tin. Brush the top with more water and sprinkle with the reserved seeds. Cover or put in a plastic bag and let it rise for about an hour – almost to the top.
3. Preheat the oven to 200C/390F/gas 6 and bake the bread for 45 minutes, turning the heat down a little after half an hour. Remove from the tin, place on a rack and cover with a cloth. It’s best sliced the next day – when fresh, it will be awfully crumbly.