10 November 2008

Finnish rye bread

It seems I spend a awful lot of time baking bread these days, who can blame me, it is so therapeutic, but I mainly keep it up as I prefer to know what is in my food rather than buying ready sliced shop bread full of preservatives to ensure a long shelf life. I usually have three or four different loafs sliced and well wrapped in the freezer ready to use at any time.
I eventually stumbled across rye flour which it seems is scarily hard to find around here....well it was, funnily enough as soon as I tracked it down in a health food store I noticed that Asda had stocked it all along.
I prefer to make healthier loafs using wholemeal flours and adding seeds or grains, every little helps after all. As soon as I spotted the rye flour I knew what I was going to bake, Finnish rye bread from Nigella's How to be a domestic goddess. Nigella describes this bread as dense, dark and aromatic in a extraordinarily comforting way, she isn't wrong. I couldn't stop myself from eating this rustic bread, it is wonderful, I served it along side ham and pea soup, it is perfect for mopping up soup.
Finnish rye bread from How to be a domestic goddess.
225g rye flour
300g strong white flour
7g easy-blend yeast or 15g fresh yeast
1 tbsp dark muscovado sugar
2 tsp salt
300ml warm water
45g unsalted butter, melted
1 baking sheet.
Put the flours, yeast, sugar and salt into a large bowl and slowly add the water, mixing with your hands or a wooden spoon, until you've got a messy but vaguely cohesive lump of dough. Add a tablespoon of the melted butter and mix just to incorporate it. Start kneading, either by hand or with a dough hook, until the dough comes together smoothly to form a dense ball, adding more water or flour as necessary.
Use some more of the melted butter to grease a bowl and turn the dough ball in it so that the top is oily (and won't therefore dry out), then cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for a hour or so.
When the dough's doubled in size, punch it down. Give a good few kneads, and then form into a round loaf. Sit the loaf on the baking sheet, cover it with a tea towel and leave to get puffy for about 30 minutes, during which time preheat the oven to 190c/ gas mark 5. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the loaf is cooked through.
Brush with the remaining tablespoon of melted butter and leave on a wire rack to cool.
I forgot to brush the remaining butter over the top of the cooked loaf, I found the melted butter on top of the microwave a hour after I had cut into the bread. I don't think it suffered for it. This bread kept very well, it made great toast the next day.
I used leftover bread we had to make croutons. I cut the bread into cubes, drizzled with olive oil
and salt and pepper and baked for 10 minutes,they were the best croutons ever.


The Blonde Duck said...

That looks really nice! How do you get the loaf so nice and fluffy?

arista said...

wow that bread looks fantastic! I feel like a slice of it now, with butter on :o)

Anna said...

It looks sooo healthy too! Well done! I bet it was gorgeous.

Kelly-Jane said...

It looks really good, I have very recently come to enjoy making bread, must look at htbadg :)

Maria said...

Erica your bread looks so delish!


Rosie said...

What a beautiful loaf of bread Erica. Well done :)

Rosie x

Linda F said...

That is one scrummy looking loaf Erica, and so good looking too!!!