Seeded Rye Bread

Here’s a lovely tasty bread that’s full of healthy seeds. It uses a type of scalding technique that gives a great texture. Unlike some rye breads there’s no need to leave this to prove overnight. Start it after breakfast and you’ll be able to have some with your lunch.

Makes: Two medium loaves

Level: Fairly easy

Time: 40 minutes hands on, 2 – 3 hours proving, 45 minutes baking

Equipment: Bannetons can give the loaves a nice patterned finish, but they’re not essential.

Ingredients

  • 450g/1 lb rye flour
  • 225g/8oz strong white flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 400ml/14fl oz boiled water
  • 25ml/1fl oz sunflower oil
  • 50g/1.75oz treacle
  • 100ml/3.5fl oz lukewarm water (you might need a little more)
  • 12g/0.25oz instant yeast
  • 50g/1.75oz – 100g/3.5oz seeds
  • 1 egg, beaten + 10ml/0.25fl oz sunflower oil to glaze (Only use if you want a dark shiny finish)

Method

1. Sift the flours and salt together into a large bowl (or a stand mixer bowl). Mix them thoroughly then make a well in the centre.

2. Pour the boiled water into the flours. Add the oil and mix it all together to create a thick paste. (NB The water should have just boiled and cooled slightly.)

3. Stir the yeast into the lukewarm water and add the treacle. Stir well then combine with the main mixture. Stir in the seeds.

4. Knead the dough for 15 – 18 minutes by hand or 10 – 12 in the stand mixer with a dough hook. Cover and leave in a warm place for 2 – 3 hours, until doubled in volume.

5. Knock back the dough and briefly knead again, lightly. Divide into two pieces. Shape each piece and place inside a well floured banneton, with the “top” surface downwards. If you’re not using bannetons then spend extra time using your hands to draw the surface area of each ball taught before placing them on a baking tray.

6. Cover and leave to rise again. Turn the oven on to 220C / fan 200C / 425F / Gas 7. Put a baking tray with raised sides on the bottom shelf of the oven. You could also put in another baking tray or a baking stone to heat up ready for the unbaked loaves to go on.

7. Turn out the loaves from the bannetons onto the lined and floured baking trays or baking stone. For a rich dark glossy finish, brush them with an egg & oil mixture. Cut slashes in each loaf.

8. Throw some ice cubes into the heated baking tray at the bottom of the oven then put the loaves in. Bake for 10 minutes then turn the oven down by 10 degrees and bake for a further 35 – 40 minutes. Check towards the end in case the bread is getting too dark and needs to be covered with foil. A hollow sound when tapped with your knuckles indicates that it’s baked OK.