52 Weeks of Baking – Week 3: Rye Bread
This Rye Bread is so soft and velvety, amazing for a sandwich or next to a soup. This bread is high up there with my favourite breads I have baked. It is of medium difficulty, so if you are looking for an easier bread, I suggest my Soda Bread recipe. But I promise you, the flavour and texture of this bread will be worth it!
Well, the third week of the 52 Weeks of the Baking Challenge was full of ups and downs! It started with a massive baking fail by making bricks instead of rye bread. However, the next day Adriene reminded me to “be curious about the fall”, so I decided to try again. But let’s get to the beginning of the story…
This week’s theme was Pantry Challenge. The idea was to use things that you already have in your cupboard and not to buy anything extra. I always love coming up with recipes with the things I already have because that makes my creativity flow. This week I decided to bake something savory to break the pattern of baking sweet things (hello, Week 1 Pastries and Week 2 Chocoflan). Also, we were out of bread, so the pantry challenge was even more on point!
I had a package of Rye Sourdough Extract and a bag of rye flour from a year ago when making sourdough was THE thing. So, I thought I’d finally use those packages. Going for the simple option, I decided to make the rye bread according to the instructions on the package. I thought “This will be easy-peasy!”. However, what that package failed to make clear enough for me though was that… You should add yeast.
Oh my god, that horrendous loaf of bread. The gummiest brick I have ever seen. You could literally build houses out of that. So now you know the recipe for making bricks. Just mix water, salt, and flour, bake it, and you are good to go. But we were still missing bread at home…
For try numéro deux, I decided to use this recipe from a Simply Recipes page. The name of the page made me already more confident. After I finished making this bread I also had to whisper “oh my god” to myself, it was just SO GOOD! For me, it was the best sandwich bread I had ever baked! It is so soft and smooth, but sturdy enough to hold all the toppings. It also does not have big holes where the toppings would fall through, so a clear winner in my eyes (sorry, sourdough bread!).
Look at this beauty! I always love to eat my freshly baked bread with some herb butter. This time I blended together a good chunk (around 50 grams) of very soft butter, some fresh herbs I had (basil, coriander, and dill), a small clove of garlic and a pinch of salt. DELICIOUS! You can find the recipe below. Let me know how you liked it! Which sandwich toppings are your favourite?
- 7 g active dry yeast 1 small package
- 310 g warm water optimal temperature is around 38°C
- 70 g molasses or treacle I used "keukenstroop"
- 140 g rye flour
- 220 g all-purpose flour divided
- 150 g whole meal flour
- 15 g cocoa powder (unsweetened) = 2 tbsp
- 7 g salt
- 20 g neutral tasting vegetable oil rapeseed or sunflower; plus extra for greasing the bowl
Dissolving the Yeast
- Dissolve the yeast in a jug or bowl with warm water and molasses. Let it stand around 5 - 10 minutes until the yeast gets active and bubbly.
Making the Dough
- In a separate big bowl, mix the rye flour, 150g of the all-purpose flour, whole meal flour, cocoa, and salt. Add in the oil and yeast mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon until a uniform shaggy dough forms.
Kneading and Shaping
- Spread the leftover 70g of all-purpose flour on a clean surface and knead the additional flour into the dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and barely sticks to the hands, about 5 - 7 minutes. You might want to add some more flour if it is too sticky but it is normal that rye doughs stay slightly tacky and more clay-like compared to wheat doughs. Form the dough into a ball by turning it on the work surface and at the same time tucking the bottom edge underneath*. Spread some oil in a big bowl, turn the dough ball around in it so that it is covered in oil.
- Cover the bowl with a damp towel or plastic**. Let it proof in a warm place for around 1 - 1.5 hours until it has puffed up and almost doubled in size***.
Second Proof and Shaping
- Gently knock out some air from the dough, knead a few turns and shape into a loaf, depending on how you wish to bake it. I baked it using the Dutch oven method. For this, shape the dough into a ball/boule*. Lightly flour a towel for the bowl or a proofing basket, put the dough in the bowl and cover again with a damp towel. Let it proof for the second time for about 30 to 45 minutes. This is the perfect time to turn on your oven at 220°C (fan) and put the Dutch oven there to heat up.
- Turn the dough out on a floured parchment paper, so that the floured side of the dough is on top. Score the loaf a few times. Carefully take the hot Dutch oven from the oven, and slowly lower the dough into the Dutch oven (basically using the parchment paper as a hammock). Put the lid on and place it into the oven. Bake for 15 minutes with the lid on. Then lower the temperature to 200° (fan), remove the lid and let it bake without the lid for another 30 minutes, or until done.
- You know the bread is done when it's dark brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. You can also check the internal temperature which should be between 88° - 99°C. Let it completely cool on a wire rack before slicing into it (the bread is still cooking inside and you do not want to let the steam out). Enjoy it with some herb butter or next to a soup.