I’ve been super inefficient and left the typing of this post to the very last minute, while surrounded by bags and passports and all kinds of things because I leave for Russia TONIGHT!!! Eeeeeeeeeee!! Super super excited about this very special holiday and I’ll be on Instagram as much as possible showing you Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Yay!
But first, we’re making bread. Some of you know I tried making a rye loaf a few weeks ago, and forgot to grease the baking paper so the bread was basically a mass of crumbs. This time around, I did things right and it’s a crazy flavourful, tender loaf that makes the BEST sandwiches.
The dough is a difficult one to work with because rye flour makes it wet and sticky and contains less gluten compared to all-purpose flour or wholewheat flour. I’m not going to lie, you will go a little mad trying to scrape it off your fingers, but I promise it’s worth it. This particular one is a mix of rye and all-purpose, so it still rises well, and is tender. Breads with mostly rye or only rye, are denser, and that’s something I’ll experiment with a little later. I got my rye flour from Sattvic Foods and can’t wait to do more with it!
A stand mixer helps here, because it does part of the sticky work for you, but since you have to get your hands in there anyway, a large mixing bowl and spatula is just fine too, it’ll be a bit more effort is all. I used a King Arthur Flour recipe, but found it impossible to shape the dough, I don’t know whether that’s because of Indian flours or temperatures, but it was just simpler to dump it in a loaf tin for the second rise. And then top it with seeds! They add a ton of crunch and flavour, no matter what you use. This one has sunflower and sesame seeds, but flaxseeds work great too and whatever else you can think of.
It’s as flavourful as this wholewheat loaf, but less crumbly and holds its shape even many days later which is a huge win. I used active dry yeast, not instant as in the original recipe, and you just need a few extra minutes to let the yeast proof, the rest remains the same. I used yoghurt instead of sour cream for tenderness and a nice pleasant tang. Slather a slice with butter and your mind will be blown!
Finally, while lining the loaf tin with baking paper makes for easy removal, I do think simply greasing the pan and putting the dough right in it will make for neater edges, once you’re able to gentle prise the loaf out. Whatever you’re comfortable with 🙂 Make sure the bread is completely cool before slicing and most important, enjoy the process! Nothing like making your own bread, so happy baking!
- 1 cup warm water (you should be able to dip a finger in comfortably)
- 2 and ¼ tsps active dry yeast
- 1 cup light rye flour
- 4 tsps sugar
- ½ cup plain yoghurt/curd
- 1 and ½ tsps salt
- 2 and ⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- Sunflower and sesame seeds to sprinkle on top
- In a small bowl, combine the yeast and warm water, stirring till the yeast has dissolved. Cover and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes until frothy.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the rye flour, sugar and yeast mixture. Stir till you have a soft, thick batter of sorts. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes, to allow the rye to absorb some of the moisture.
- Now add the yoghurt, salt and all-purpose flour. Mix and then using the dough hook, knead on medium speed until the dough starts to pull together and become smooth. If doing this by hand, use a silicone spatula. The dough will become to ball up and then start to spread again, because rye flour doesn't have a lot of structure. Once it's relatively smooth (about 5 minutes) and you're able to stretch it without it breaking immediately, scrape it out into an oiled bowl. Shape into a round as best as you can, sprinkling a little flour on your hands to help you.
- Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave to rise for about 2 hours until doubled in size.
- Now grease a 9x5 loaf tin and set aside. (Line it with baking paper for easy removal, then grease the paper as well. If you do use paper, some sticking of the bread is inevitable)
- Punch down the risen dough, then using floured fingers, scrape it out into the prepared loaf tin. Don't worry about making it smooth or spreading it out, that will happen during the second rise.
- Cover with clingfilm again, and leave for about 1 hour until doubled. Towards the end of the second rise, preheat the oven to 175 C.
- Sprinkle the seeds on top of the bread (brush the top with a little water if they don't stick) and place on the lower rack in the oven. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until browned on top, covering with foil if it's browning too quickly.
- Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then gently prise it out of the pan and leave to cool completely before slicing. Bread keeps well at room temperature for one night in warm areas, and in the fridge for 3 to 4 days after that. Happy eating!
*The dough will stick to your hands A LOT, but a silicone spatula helps to scrape it off. Hot, soapy water also helps to clean the mixing bowl as well as your fingers!