Easy Rye Bread, it’s a little bit Finnish!

Rye Bread

This easy Rye Bread is a freeform loaf that’s rustic and nourishing – perfect with an autumnal soup or toasted and served with blackberry jam and plenty of butter.

It’s a tweaked Nigella recipe from How to be a Domestic Goddess. I’ve baked many a recipe from this book and this recipe is fast becoming a favourite. 

After an abundant blackberry haul from an early autumn rural wander I was really hoping to share a blackberry recipe with you. Unfortunately, I just could not get the recipe to work in the Aga, after a few failed attempts – tasty nonetheless – the rest of the foraged fruit was stewed with some plums I’d been given and has been pimping up our porridge all week.

So, instead I give you bread.

Rye Bread

I’ve been a little obsessed with baking a rye loaf since getting back from travelling, my awesome new Finnish friend raved and craved about rye bread!

Mr Vagabond Baker had left my flour-encrusted copy of How to be a Domestic Goddess in the kitchen and I leafed through it while cooking dinner one evening. This recipe, a rare clean page, stood out.

I haven’t changed the Nigella’s recipe too much, the main change is that she uses muscovado sugar whereas I use black treacle. They do very much the same job, adding depth of flavour, colour and sweetness.

For me, using the treacle feels more authentic – molasses may be even more so – and there is something rather alchemic about baking with black treacle.

It’s drawing to that time of year, of gingerbread and Parkin; bonfire night and Hallowe’en: it seems right to be levering open that distinctive red tin of black nostalgia.

I’ve also made the bread with oil instead of butter, making it vegan, and that works perfectly too – to be honest I couldn’t tell the difference.

These loaves were baked in an Aga; Agas are famous for baking the best bread: apparently the roasting oven is just like a baker’s oven. I popped a little foil dish of water into the oven at the same time as the steam helps to give the bread a great crust.

I’ve yet to try the recipe in a regular oven, I’ll report back when I do; it will be interesting to see what difference it makes: I’d guess the crust may not be quite as impressive.

Rye Bread

Easy Rye Bread

oven 190C / 375F /gas 5   a baking sheet and a small foil dish

  • 300 ml warm water
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 225 g stoneground rye flour
  • 300 g strong white flour
  • 7g fast acting yeast (1 sachet)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted or oil if making vegan

Begin by dissolving the black treacle and the salt in the warm water.

Combine the rye flour, the white flour and the yeast in a large mixing bowl then slowly add the sweetened warm water, bringing it altogether into a rough dough with your hands.

Now add a tablespoon of melted butter, or oil, mixing it in. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes or so until the dough relaxes into a dense, fairly smooth ball. Add a little more white flour or water if necessary. You could certainly do this in a mixer with a dough hook.

Place a drop of the melted butter or oil into a clean bowl and roll the dough ball to coat it, now cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place for an hour or so until doubled in size. Alternatively, leave in a cold place overnight.

Once doubled in size, knock the dough back down and give it a quick knead, forming it into a round rustic loaf shape.

Transfer to a baking sheet and dust lightly with white flour. You could slash the top a couple of times for decoration if you wish. Cover loosely with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for a second time; around half an hour should do it.

The loaf should now have doubled in size. Bake in the preheated oven for around 45 – 55 minutes, placing a small foil dish with water into the oven with it: this should help give a great crust.

When done, it should sound hollow when tapped underneath.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

As with most bread, this easy rye bread is at its best on the day it’s baked; however, it makes fabulous toast the next day: perfect with poached eggs and roasted tomatoes…

Easy Rye Bread
a freeform loaf that’s rustic and nourishing.
Print
Ingredients
  1. 300 ml warm water
  2. 1 tbsp black treacle
  3. 2 tsp salt
  4. 225 g stoneground rye flour
  5. 300 g strong white flour
  6. 7g fast acting yeast (1 sachet)
  7. 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted or oil if making vegan
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 190C / 375F /gas 5 a baking sheet and a small foil dish
  2. Begin by dissolving the black treacle and the salt in the warm water.
  3. Combine the rye flour, the white flour and the yeast in a large mixing bowl then slowly add the sweetened warm water, bringing it altogether into a rough dough with your hands.
  4. Now add a tablespoon of melted butter, or oil, mixing it in. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes or so until the dough relaxes into a dense, fairly smooth ball. Add a little more white flour or water if necessary. You could certainly do this in a mixer with a dough hook.
  5. Place a drop of the melted butter or oil into a clean bowl and roll the dough ball to coat it, now cover the bowl with cling film and leave in a warm place for an hour or so until doubled in size. Alternatively, leave in a cold place overnight.
  6. Once doubled in size, knock the dough back down and give it a quick knead, forming it into a round rustic loaf shape.
  7. Transfer to a baking sheet and dust lightly with white flour. You could slash the top a couple of times for decoration if you wish. Cover loosely with a clean tea towel and leave to prove for a second time; around half an hour should do it.
  8. The loaf should now have doubled in size. Bake in the preheated oven for around 45 – 55 minutes, placing a small foil dish with water into the oven with it: this should help give a great crust.
  9. When done, it should sound hollow when tapped underneath.
  10. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Notes
  1. Best eaten on the day it is baked. Excellent toasted the next day.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson, How To Be A Domestic Goddess
Adapted from Nigella Lawson, How To Be A Domestic Goddess
Vagabond Baker http://vagabondbaker.com/
Easy Rye Bread

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Rye Bread // an easy rustic loaf that isn't to heavy

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By Rachel A Davis

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