This is a wonderful rustic loaf for you to try. Rye bread contains a large amount of fibre and a small amount of fat, plus it is low on the glycemic index which means it causes a slower increase in your blood sugar than white bread does. That makes this dense loaf a very healthy, and tasty, alternative to white bread.
For the bread
fresh yeast, crumbled
organic rye flour (such as Shipton Mill Type 1350 Rye), plus extra for sprinkling
warm water (at about 50ºC)
This bread needs to be made a day in advance as it is very sticky when just baked and therefore difficult to cut.
A rye loaf will keep for up to 5 days.
At home I pre-slice my bread, wrap and freeze it, then take out slices as I need them.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cold water and yeast.
Put the rye flour, salt and warm water into the bowl of the mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix for 2 minutes on low speed.
Add the yeast liquid and mix for a further 2–3 minutes on medium speed.
Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces.
Generously sprinkle the base of two medium bowls with rye flour and scoop a portion of dough into each one.
You need to sprinkle the bowls with flour quite heavily, to prevent the moist rye dough sticking.
The rye dough is wetter than a wheat dough and will spread a little when turned out.
Cover each loosely with a clean cloth to prevent crusting and leave to prove at room temperature for about 1¼ hours.
While the loaves are proving, preheat the oven (without the fan) to its highest setting, 250°C/Gas 10.
Slide a baking stone or sturdy baking tray onto the middle shelf to heat up.
Upturn the bowls to de-mould the dough carefully over two peels or trays lined with squares of non-stick baking paper.
Slide the dough directly onto the preheated tray or baking stone in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, then turn the setting down to 230ºC/Gas 8 and bake for further 40 minutes.
Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.
For a slightly less pronounced rye taste, you can replace 100g of the rye flour with 120g strong white organic wheat flour.
To develop more of the fermentation flavours, and slightly lighten the texture, make a bread starter:
Mix 80ml of the cold water with the yeast and 100g of the flour and let it ferment at room temperature for 2–3 hours.
Add this as if it were the yeast liquid in the recipe.
This recipe is adapted from the book Kitchen Secrets
Raymond’s love of delicious food is lifelong. Years of experience have given him a rich store of knowledge and the skill to create fantastic dishes that work time after time. With a range of achievable and inspirational recipes for cooks of all abilities - and useful tips throughout - this book brings Gallic passion and precision into the home kitchen.