Caraway Seed Bread Recipe (Rye Bread)

 

I’m sure my Austrian roots have something to do with my slight addiction to the flavour of caraway seeds. In Austrian cuisine, caraway seeds are used abundantly, from flavouring roast pork to enhancing salad dressings. Most notably, Austrian dark breads frequently use caraway seeds as part of the Brotgewürz which is used to flavour the loaves. Caraway seeds are superb bread flavour enhancers, some of the top seeds to add to breads and perfect for rye breads specifically. Here is my caraway seed bread recipe, based on a combination of wholemeal rye flour and white wheat flour, leavened with sourdough.

Caraway seed bread
Caraway seed bread

Are caraway seeds good for you?

Caraway (carum carvi) belongs, like coriander, fennel and celery for example, to the family of Apiaceae or Umbelliferae. Not technically seeds, caraway ‘seeds’ are the split halves of the dried fruits of the plant.

Caraway seeds
Caraway seeds

The effect of caraway is mainly related to the essential oil containing Carvon, which has a stimulating effect on the stomach and a soothing impact on the bowel. Two digestive bonus points at once.

At the same time, the delicate, aromatic but slightly bitter taste of caraway adds a completely new dimension to breads.

Caraway seed bread recipe
Caraway seed bread recipe

Caraway seed bread recipe

A great bread for tasty sandwiches or creamy vegetable soups. Delicious also with pastrami, mustard and gherkins (my personal favourite). Add slightly more or less caraway seeds than recommended below to intensify or lessen the flavour kick. The sharpness of the mustard and gherkins works incredibly well with the distinctively bitter, yet warm and sweet taste of the caraway seeded bread.

Caraway bread ingredients

For the sourdough starter

For the main dough

  • 180g strong white bread flour
  • 80g dark rye flour
  • 150g water
  • 8g salt
  • 10g caraway seeds

How to make caraway bread

  1. Prepare the sourdough by combining the various ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well and cover the bowl. Leave to rest overnight (16 – 24 hours).
  2. On day 2, prepare the main dough by combining 300g of the sourdough from day 1 (the remaining 30g go back into the fridge for future bakes) with the main dough ingredients.
  3. Mix well and knead the dough for at least 10 minutes.
  4. Rest for about an hour, then shape into a loaf before placing it in your pre-floured proofing basket.
  5. Leave to proof for a few hours (this will depend on your room temperature), then preheat the oven. If you have a La Cloche baking dome, preheat this in the oven from cold.
  6. Turn out the loaf from your proofing basket to the baking tray (lined with baking paper) or the La Cloche dome.
  7. Make a few slashes with your scoring knife.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes at 220°C and for another 45 minutes at 200°C. Take the lid off the dome for the last 10 minutes if using the La Cloche dome.
  9. Cool on a wire rack.

Homemade seeded sourdough bread recipe

 

Why make a plain loaf if you can make it so much more interesting with seeds! This seeded sourdough bread recipe uses a mix of sunflower seeds, sesame seeds and linseed – a loaf packed with nutrients, protein and minerals.

Homemade seeded sourdough
Homemade seeded sourdough

Seeded sourdough bread recipe

This recipe uses both rye and wheat flours as well as a tablespoon of malt extract. A tremendous flavour combination, enhanced further by the delicious seed mix.

Seeded sourdough bread
Seeded sourdough bread

Ingredients

Sourdough

Seed mix

  • 60g sunflower seeds
  • 40g sesame seeds
  • 40g linseed
  • 150g hot water

Main dough

  • 40g rye flour
  • 260g white bread flour
  • 200g wholemeal bread flour
  • 195g water
  • 12g salt
  • 1 tbsp malt extract
Seeded sourdough
Seeded sourdough

How to make homemade seeded sourdough bread

Day 1

  1. Combine the sourdough ingredients in a medium bowl, cover and keep at room temperature for approx. 16 hours.
  2. Dry roast the seeds in a frying pan (no oil!) and toast the mixed seeds for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Place in a bowl, pour over the hot water, cover and keep at room temperature for approx. 16 hours.

Day 2

  1. Combine 300g of the sourdough (the rest goes back into the fridge for your next bake), the seed mix soaker and the main dough ingredients in a large bowl to form a rough dough.
  2. Knead for 10 minutes.
  3. Cover and leave to rest in a warm place for 1 hour.
  4. Butter a lidded pullman loaf tin, then move the dough from the bowl into the tin. Squash the dough in quite firmly and evenly.
  5. Cover the tin with the lid and place in the fridge overnight or approx. 12 – 16 hours. It should have risen significantly during this time.

Day 3

  1. Take the pullman loaf tin out of the fridge and  preheat the oven to 190°C for 20 minutes.
  2. Bake at 190°C for 1 hour. Remove the bread from the tin approx. 15 minutes before the hour is up and put back into the oven – the bread will get a much better crust that way.
  3. Remove from the loaf pan and leave to cool on a wire rack.

What to do with leftover sourdough starter?

 

Starting the year with healthy and nutritious bread is a great way to improve your diet. In the same vein, minimising food waste should be another goal high on the list of food-related ambitions. 22.4% of all bread  (equating to 660,000t or £640 million of bread) is thrown away in UK homes every year. Bread is in the top three foods that Britons are throwing away uneaten, with potatoes and milk also making the shameful top three. Here are some tips to reduce bread waste, from storing bread in an ideal environment to using stale pieces of bread and ideas for leftover sourdough starter.

Rye sourdough starter
Rye sourdough starter

Tips for storing bread

Use a bread bin for storing bread to allow it to breathe and stay moist while shielding it from the worst of the dry air. Storing bread in plastic doesn’t let moisture escape so iwill get mushy. You can counteract this somewhat by wrapping the bread in a clean kitchen towel before putting it in a plastic bag as the fabric will absorb moisture. Don’t store bread in the fridge as it goes stale much faster. However, the freezer is a good option to go for if you’d like to keep your bread fresh for more than a few days.

Tips for using stale bread

I’m proud to report that I waste 0% of the bread I bake. Yes, we eat a lot of the tasty home-baked breads as long as they are fresh but, once a little bit stale, a splash of water and a hot oven can revive most breads to a deliciously soft state. Even really stale bread can be turned into breadcrumbs, croutons or pangrattato, used in salads such as fattoush or turned into bread dumplings or bread and butter pudding. There’s an assumption that stale bread means that it’s fit for the bin. But in actual fact stale bread is a versatile ingredient and there are many delicious recipes stale bread can be used in.

Another great way to use stale rye bread is adding some of it to your new bread dough. Old stale rye bread pieces add fantastic flavour to new loaves of bread. How to achieve this?

  • You can either keep old pieces of dried out bread. When ready to bake, soak  the stale bread in water and blend before using the ‘bread puree’ for new bread dough.
  • Alternatively, if you have a grain mill at home, cut rye bread into cubes and leave them to dry out. Put them through the mill and let the crumbs dry out again. Just before baking, combine some of the crumbs with hot water which gives a wonderfully fragrant old bread soaker to add to your new dough.

Tips for leftover sourdough starter

After this long preamble, what I’ve come to talk about specifically here is the topic of leftover sourdough starter.

There are too many recipes which frustratingly encourage people to chuck leftover sourdough starter. Why should one toss a perfectly good portion of starter? Firstly, it’s perfectly possible to produce a sensible amount of starter to begin with, without having to discard mixture along the way. Secondly, there are many good ways to use any excess starter you might have, so don’t just put it in the bin. There’s never a reason to waste and discard accumulations of old but functioning sourdough.

Leftover sourdough starter ideas

  1. Initiate your next production sourdough…
    Here is one recipe that requires a good amount of sourdough starter (100g) and I’ve added another (new) recipe below using 140g starter. Please note: A fluffy loaf of sourdough bread is best baked with a refreshed, active starter to provide fermentation and leavening power. There are other recipes, however, that do well with discarded starter.
  2. Pass it on…
    Give the gift of good bread to your friends and family!
  3. Use it as a natural bread improver…
    A small amount (up to 10% of the total dough weight) of old starter will improve any bread in terms of flavour, especially yeast breads that don’t involve any sponge, sourdough or long fermentation. Just mix the old starter in with all the other ingredients and enjoy an improvement to the dough structure, flavour and quality that comes from its rich store of organic acids.
  4. Improve the flavour of quick breads and bakes…
    Use leftover sourdough starter to improve the flavour of pancakes, muffins or crackers .

Leftover sourdough bread recipe

This is a new sourdough recipe I put together with the purpose of using some spare starter I had. Due to the large amount of sourdough starter used, it’s a very vigorous dough so will prove more quickly than other recipes using only a fraction of the starter.

White rye sourdough bread
White rye sourdough bread

Ingredients

For the sourdough

  • 140g leftover/spare sourdough starter
  • 200g light/white rye flour
  • 200g water

For the main dough

  • 50g piece of stale rye bread (+hot water to soak)
  • 280g light/white rye flour
  • 220g strong white bread flour
  • 305g water
  • 15g salt

How to make bread with spare sourdough starter

Day 1

  1. Combine the sourdough starter, rye flour and water in a medium bowl, cover and leave to rest at room temperature for about 16 hours until ripe and bubbly.

Day 2

  1. An hour before you start making the dough, take a small bowl to soak the piece of stale rye bread in water. Make sure all of the old bread is covered. Leave to soak.
  2. Drain all the water from the bowl, then puree the bread until completely lump free.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the sourdough mixture from day 1 (all of it) with the main dough ingredients, including the pureed old bread.
  4. Form a dough and knead for a good 10 minutes. The dough will be quite soft, so you may want to knead it in a stand mixer.
  5. Place back in the bowl if you had taken the dough out onto your work surface and cover. Rest for about an hour at room temperature. You should see a good rise from the bread in that time.
  6. Oil a large bread baking tin and fill the punched down dough into the form.
  7. Dust with flour, cover with a polythene bag and prove for a few hours at room temperature until fully proved (e.g. if it filled your tin by half, it should now come almost to the top).
  8. Preheat your oven to 230°C in time for baking, then bake for 10 minutes at 230°C and a further 40 minutes at 190°C.
  9. Cool on a wire rack.

Healthy whole grain bread recipe

 

New Year’s resolutions abound and healthier living and eating aspirations are plentiful with the beginning of the New Year. I’m hoping that for many, a healthier bread diet constitutes part of their New Year’s resolutions. For you special people, I have put together a healthy bread recipe to get you on the right track. If you are in an energetic, I-will-eat-better-in-2017 phase right now, give it a go!

Healthy Bread Recipe
Healthy Bread Recipe

What constitutes healthy bread?

Here is my checklist for the make-up of a healthy bread.

  • Organic ingredients

    As beautifully described by Andrew Whitley in the book Bread Matters (see page 43), “when we choose a loaf of bread,… we can also choose how its basic ingredient is grown. We can opt for bread made with organic flour, milled from wheat grown in soil kept fertile by compost, crop rotation and green manures… Bread’s roots are in the soil.”

“In bread we gain access to the vitality of the seed.”
Andrew Whitley

  • Naturally leavened

    The process of slow fermentation and using sourdough makes the nutrients in wheat flour more available for digestion and the simple sugars less available, which helps with blood sugar control, particularly for people with Diabetes.

  • Wholemeal flour

    White flour is made from heavily refined and processed wheat grains, while wholemeal flour is made from grains that have not undergone heavy processing. Wholemeal and white flours differ in their nutritional value, with wholemeal containing additional fibre and vitamin content as well as a lower GI (Glycaemic Index) value.

  • Whole grains

    For the same reasons, I like to add whole grains to my healthy bread recipes. While wholemeal flour undergoes some processing, whole grains are as good as it gets when it comes to adding cereal into your bread; they come with lots of fibre, minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.

  • Seeds

    Seeds contain protein, essential fats, dietary fibre and micronutrients and I particularly like adding sunflower seeds to bread. Toasted, they taste amazing and add significant amounts of vitamin E, magnesium and selenium.

  • Spices

    Bread spices such as fennel, coriander, caraway and anise seeds provide properties which are beneficial to the digestive system and plenty of flavour. Take a look at my post on bread spices and prepare a batch for your next bake.

  • No sugar

    Baking breads at home allows you to avoid hidden sugars found in some shop-bought loaves. Read my post about sugar-free baking for additional information.

  • DOn’t let ‘Gluten-free’ deceive you

    Gluten-free bread isn’t ‘a healthier option’ if you don’t suffer from coeliac disease or other gluten-related disorders. The majority of flours and starches used to make gluten-free breads are high glycaemic with little fibre. Shop-bought varieties often contain certain industrial type binders such as xanthan gum which is highly processed and far away from the basic ingredients (flour, water, salt) of bread. If there is no medical reason for eating gluten-free, I would discourage you from seeking gluten-free bread options for health reasons. Healthy bread is based on natural ingredients and slow fermentation – rarely something connected to gluten-free nor supermarket-bought breads.

Baking Sourdough Bread: The Traditional Art of Sourdough
Source: Fix.com Blog

Healthy bread recipe

Here’s my healthy bread recipe for your new healthier lifestyle! As per my notes above, use organic ingredients throughout.

Healthy Bread
Healthy Bread

First of all, a summary of all ingredients for my healthy bread recipe:

  • 50g rye sourdough starter (make from scratch or use a starter you have previously prepared)
  • 250g wholemeal wheat flour
  • 50g cracked rye kernels
  • 175g wholemeal rye flour
  • 100g sunflower seeds
  • 10g salt
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds and 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 415g water
  • A splash of sunflower oil
Healthy whole grain bread
Healthy whole grain bread

How to bake my healthy whole grain bread

If you don’t already have a sourdough starter, start by preparing this from scratch. Follow my guide to make a rye sourdough starter – with all organic ingredients. You’ll only need to complete this process once, so don’t be put off by it taking a few days to complete. It’s worth it! I’ve had my starter since January 2012 and have not looked back since.

Day 1

Step 1 – Refresh your sourdough starter

  • In a medium bowl, combine 50g of your rye sourdough starter with 50g wholemeal wheat flour, 50g cracked rye kernels and 100g water.
  • Cover with a lid or plastic foil and leave to stand at room temperature for 12 to 14 hours.

Step 2 – Prepare the seed and grain soaker

  • Dry roast 100g sunflower seeds in a frying pan releasing the wonderful nutty flavours.
  • Place the toasted seeds in a bowl and cover with 125g boiling water.
  • Cover and leave to rest at room temperature for 12 to 14 hours.

Day 2

Step 3 – Prepare the production dough

Combine the following ingredients in a large bowl and form into a dough

  • 200g of your refreshed starter mixture from day 1 (the rest goes back into the fridge for your next bake)
  • The sunflower seed soaker from day 1
  • 200g wholemeal wheat flour
  • 175g wholemeal rye flour
  • 160g water
  • 10g salt
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds and 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed

Knead for 10 minutes, then place the dough back into the large bowl, cover with a lid and leave to rest for about an 1 hour at room temperature.

Step 4 – Prove the dough

  • Once rested, give the dough another quick knead.
  • Prepare a loaf tin for baking and lightly oil the tin using sunflower oil and a baking brush.
  • Prove for several hours at room temperature until the loaf has risen well.

Step 5 – Bake

  • Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  • Bake for 10 minutes at 220°C and a further 40 minutes at 180°C.
  • Cool on a wire rack.

I’m in good company with my healthy whole grain bread recipe this month. Check out the healthy breads that my fellow #BreadBakers have baked:

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

BreadBakers

Black treacle bread recipe

 

On my latest visit to Dublin, I tasted a delicious loaf of Irish treacle bread. Dark, heavy and deliciously earthy. However, it was of course a soda bread and when I returned home, I decided to make a sourdough version of the Irish black treacle bread. The black treacle bread recipe I developed uses cracked rye and rye flour to support the rich and aromatic flavours of the treacle.

Black treacle bread slice
Black treacle bread slice

Before I jump into the recipe, I wanted to share a few facts about treacle. I was astounded when, at a conference in Powerscourt Hotel in Co. Wicklow, someone mentioned that Dublin was built around the largest natural treacle lake – a fake fact which was quickly dispelled by a quick Wikipedia check on the matter.

Lyle's black treacle
Britain’s black treacle brand Lyle’s

What is black treacle?

  • Uncrystallised dark syrup, a byproduct of sugar cane refining, obtained from later boilings in the process
  • About 55% sucrose
  • Also known as dark molasses
  • Almost-black with an otherworldly, thick, viscous consistency (for any Star Trek fans here, it really reminds me of Armus in the episode “Skin of Evil”!)
Armus Skin of Evil Star Trek
Armus in “Skin of Evil”  – Star Trek

Back to actual treacle… so why use treacle in baking?

  • Black treacle is rich in vitamins, minerals and iron
  • It adds a distinctively dark colour, intense and distinctive bitter-sweet burnt caramel flavour and moisture to baked dishes
  • When baking with dried fruits, black treacle accentuates the fruit flavour and adds a deep, rich note
Black treacle bread
Rye-based black treacle bread

Black treacle bread recipe

Treacle bread ingredients

Sourdough

  • 50g rye sourdough starter
  • 150g wholemeal rye flour
  • 150g water

Boiled rye grain soaker

  • 150g chopped rye grains
  • 150g boiling water
  • 5g salt

Main dough

  • 500g wholemeal rye flour
  • 50g black treacle
  • 10g salt
  • 350g water, warm
  • Sunflower oil (for greasing the baking tin)

Baking equipment I used for this recipe

 How to make black treacle bread

  1. Prepare the sourdough and boiled rye grain soaker by combining the respective ingredients in two separate bowls and mixing thoroughly. I use a silicone spatula to do this which works well.
  2. Cover the bowls with their lids and keep at room temperature for about 16 to 24 hours.
  3. On day 2, after the 16 to 24 hour wait, dissolve the black treacle in the warm water. Use a small bowl or pan to do so.
  4. Combine 300g of the sourdough (the rest goes back into the fridge for your next bake) and all of the rye grain soaker with the treacle water and the remaining dough ingredients (except the sunflower oil).
  5. Work the dough for a few minutes. You won’t be able to knead it but mix it well. Cover and rest for an hour or two.
  6. Give the dough another quick mix, then place in an oil-brushed baking tin (I use a dough scraper to help with this process). The dough should only fill about half the tin, giving it room to proof and rise to the top.
  7. Wrap a polythene bag around the loaf tin to prevent the dough from drying out.
  8. Proof for about 5 hours until almost doubled in size. Please note, the time required will depend on the room temperature. This process may happen more quickly if you live in warmer climes!
  9. Preheat the oven in time, then bake for 20 minutes at 240°C on the second lowest shelf, then at 200°C for another 50 minutes.
  10. Cool on a wire rack.

Millet bread recipe (no yeast)

 

This millet bread recipe makes a perfect breakfast bread and delicious accompaniment for vegetarian stews. The recipe bakes a bread with a moist and spongy crumb and crunchy crust. Little grainy millet beads are baked into the dough. It keeps well and stays moist for days as the millet grains are great for retaining moisture.

Millet seed bread
Millet seed bread

I use yellow millet (panicum miliaceum) grains in this recipe. The toasted, soaked and boiled grains form part of the dough and a small quantity of grains can also be used as topping for an interesting appearance and texture.

Millet bread recipe

This millet bread recipe uses sourdough as the raising agent, no yeast.

Refresh your sourdough on the day before baking and also prepare the toasted millet seed soaker. You’ll then prepare the millet polenta, the main dough and proof the dough before baking it.

Millet bread
Millet bread

Day 1 – Prepare millet bread sourdough and soaker

Prepare sourdough

  • 40g sourdough starter
  • 100g white rye flour
  • 110g water

Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl, mix well, cover and leave to rest at room temperature for about 24 hours.

Prepare millet grain soaker

  • 100g millet grains
  • 250g water

Gently toast the millet grains to darken slightly and release their nutty flavour. Soak the millet grains in the cold water. Cover and keep at room temperature for about 24 hours.

Day 2 – How to make millet bread

Prepare main dough

  • 450g white bread flour (wheat)
  • 245g water
  • 55g yoghurt
  • 9g salt

For the loaf tin

  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 1-2 tbsp millet grains
  1. Pour the millet grains and water into a saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer and cover for about 15 minutes until all the water has cooked away. Be watchful and stir often.
  2. Fluff up the millet with a fork, cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside to cool.
  3. Combine 210g sourdough (rest goes back into the fridge for your next bake) and all main dough ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Turn out onto your work surface and knead for about 10 minutes until you get a smooth, elastic dough.
  5. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover with a lid and leave to rest for about an hour.
  6. Add the boiled and cooled down millet, knead in carefully until evenly distributed.
  7. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover and leave to rest for about an hour.
  8. Oil a loaf tin with the sunflower oil. I use a pastry brush to do this.
  9. Deflate the dough, shape into a boule to fit into the loaf tin and carefully place the dough into the tin.
  10. Cover with a polythene bag to proof for 2 to 5 hours (depending on the temperature in your room). Alternatively, you can also proof the dough in the fridge for about 24 hours.
  11. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
  12. Bake for 10 minutes at 220°C, then for a further 40 minutes at 200°C.
  13. Cool on a wire rack.

Date and walnut bread recipe

 

This is a wonderfully easy and delicious recipe I put together for my friend Victoria. Having tasted an exceptional date and walnut bread on a recent trip to the Scottish Highlands, Victoria was looking to replicate this delectable treat at home. It’s always nice to be inspired by food when you’re travelling and even better to recreate it back in your own home.

This easy date and walnut bread recipe uses white wheat flour and wholemeal rye flour. Chopped dates and walnuts are soaked before being added to the dough. The result is a moist, sweet and nutty loaf of bread. Works great with soft cheeses.

Date and walnut bread
Date and walnut bread

If you are baking this date and walnut bread, make sure you take the time to soak the dried dates and walnuts before adding to the dough in order to prevent them taking moisture from the dough itself during the bake.

Date Walnut Rye Bread Loaf
Date & Walnut Rye Bread Loaf
Date Walnut Rye Bread
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4.75 from 4 votes

Date and walnut bread recipe

Don't be alarmed if the dough is quite soft and sticky, it's meant to be like that. It's due to the high rye flour content. When you add the pre-soaked dates and nuts, it'll get particularly squidgy, but stick with it, it'll all come together in the end.

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 300 g strong white wheat flour
  • 200 wholemeal rye flour
  • 7 g dried yeast
  • 8 g salt
  • 370 g water
  • 50 g shelled walnuts chopped into quarters
  • 125 g dates chopped into thirds

Instructions

How to make date and walnut bread

  • Place the chopped dates and walnuts into a medium bowl. Add 175g of the water, mix well, then cover the bowl. The fruit and nuts should be covered by the water. Leave overnight or for at least 4 hours.
  • Once soaked, strain the fruit and nut mix and set aside. Make sure to keep the strained water for the dough. It'll add extra flavour to the bread.
  • Combine the flours, yeast, salt and water (use the strained date and walnut water and add additional water to make up 370g in total) in a bowl. The dough should be quite firm at this stage, although it will be slightly sticky due to the rye content.
  • Turn the dough out to your working surface and knead for 10 minutes. Use a dough cutter or two to handle the dough.
  • Shape the dough into a ball, place it back into the bowl, cover and rest for 30 minutes. The dough will visibly expand during that time.
  • After this 30 minute rest, carefully work the moist date and walnut mix into the dough. This isn't the easiest task but combine it all until the dates and walnuts are evenly distributed. More moisture is being added to the dough here from the soaked fruit and nuts, so it's a very squidgy task.
  • Once incorporated, shape the dough into a ball, place it back into the bowl, cover and rest for 1 hour or more until the dough has grown significantly in size.
  • Turn out the dough onto a floured surface.
  • Use your dough cutter to divide the dough into two even parts.
  • With floury hands, shape each part into a neat round loaf. Try to cover the outside of the dough with a thin layer of flour to help with the shaping but try not to fold any additional flour into the dough itself. It'll become much easier to handle once you flour the outside.
  • Place the date and walnut loaves on a baking tray covered with baking paper. I usually try to fit both loaves onto one sheet of baking paper. Leave enough space between the loaves and the baking tray edges to allow for expansion.
  • Cover with a clean kitchen towel and prove for 1 hour or more. The loaves will almost double in size during this final proof.
  • Preheat the oven to 220°C  approximately 1/2 hour before baking.
  • Score the loaves at the top, a simple cross pattern works well.
  • Bake at 220°C for 10 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 200°C for a further 25 - 30 minutes until the loaf has fully baked through (I use my Thermapen to ensure the loaf is at least 95°C in the centre).
  • Cool on a wire rack.

Rye Crispbread Recipe

 

Very happy with this month’s #TwelveLoaves theme as I LOVE crispbreads. Wonderfully practical for snacking, they keep for a long time and are light, thin and snappy! I find rye-based crisp breads particularly tasty, so I’ve opted to make a rye crispbread recipe which is both full of flavour and easy to prepare.

Rye crispbreads
Rye crispbreads

If you are new to baking crispbreads at home, you’ll find that they are no bother at all and it’s easy to achieve an interesting artisan look and feel. I also like the fact that these long-life breads and primitive convenience foods of the past have reinvented themselves as a tasty modern snack.

Rye crispbread
Rye crispbread with a pretty artisanal look

 

Rye crispbread recipe

Baking crispbreads tends to work better with less glutinous flours such as rye, oat or barley flour as a light, aerated crumb structure is not desirable. On the other hand, using a tiny amount of dried yeast in the sponge helps to lift the texture and improve the structure to ensure the crispbreads are not too dense.

Rye cracker flatbread
Rye cracker flatbread – perfect with smoked fish and cream cheese

This crispbread recipe uses mainly rye four and I’ve also mixed in a little bit of oat flour. However, feel free to experiment with any combination of low gluten flours.

Prepare the yeasted sponge of this rye crispbread recipe a day before you bake. Although the recipe uses dried yeast, it’s easy to make a sourdough version of this crispbread by swapping the yeast for sourdough starter.

Sponge (Day 1)

  • 1g dried yeast
  • 150g water
  • 100g dark rye flour
  • 50g oat flour

Combine the sponge ingredients in a bowl, cover with a lid and keep at room temperature for approximately 16 hours. For a sourdough version of this recipe, simple replace the dried yeast with 10g of sourdough starter. All other steps can remain the same.

Final Dough (Day 2)

  • 125g dark rye flour
  • 50g oat flour
  • 5g salt
  • 10g olive oil
  • 85g water
  • Some more flour for dusting: use rice flour for a nice smooth effect

How to make rye crispbreads

  1. Combine the sponge from day 1 and the final dough ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Cover the bowl with a lid and rest for about an hour.
  3. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, shape the pieces into balls.
  5. Lightly dust the dough balls, cover with a tea towel and rest for 10 minutes.
  6. With lightly floured hands, shape each piece into a round flat bread (3 mm thick). Alternatively, use a notched rolling pin which automatically scores the breads, preventing them from rising during the back. Please note that you can then omit step 8 if you use a notched rolling pin.
  7. Place the pieces on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  8. Using a fork, prick the tops of the breads (this will have a nice decorative effect and will also prevent the dough from creating air pockets during baking).
  9. Using a shot glass, cut a hole out of the centre of each dough round. Traditionally, these rye crispbreads were made in large batches only a few times a year, then hung on poles or cords high up near the ceiling to dry, crisp and store them. It’s useful to do this if you intend storing them around a pole or hang them on a cord to dry. Shape another little crispbread out of the dough cuttings to avoid wastage.
  10. Rest for 1 hour.
  11. Place in a preheated oven at 210°C and bake for about 20 minutes until almost completely dried out.
  12. Remove and cool on a rack.

Serve with any number of accompaniments. Try them with marinated herring, cured salmon and beet and dill salad.

If you like this rye crispbread recipe, you might also want to explore this traditional South Tyrolean Schüttelbrot recipe.

More crispbread recipes

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess and runs smoothly with the help of Heather of All Roads Lead to the Kitchen, and the rest of our fabulous bakers.

Our host this month is Camilla from Culinary Aventures with Camilla, and our theme is Crackers, Crisps, and Flatbreads. For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month’s mouthwatering selection of #TwelveLoaves enter last month’s #TwelveLoaves Seeded Breads!

If you’d like to bake along with us this month, share your Crackers, Crisps, and Flatbreads using hashtag #TwelveLoaves!

Danish seeded rye bread with malted flour

 

This month’s theme for the #TwelveLoaves bakers is Malt. I have previously used malt extract for dark wholemeal breads to add flavour and as a source of sugar for the yeast. However, with malt taking centre stage this month, I wanted to do more and decided to home-malt rye grains to make my own malted flour.

Malt is created when simple grains such as rye, barley or wheat are left to germinate and sprout. When this happens, active enzymes in the grain convert the starch into a simple sugar called maltose. If the grain is then dried and toasted, the maltose darkens in colour and takes on a complex, rich caramel flavour.

In this post, I’ll show how I made malted flour at home and then used it to bake a delicious Danish rye bread loaf.

Malted rye bread
Malted, seeded rye bread

How to make malted flour at home?

  1. Germinate a handful of grains such as rye, barley or wheat – I used a germinator to do this. The process takes about 2 – 4 days depending on the temperature in your room. Germinate until the shoot is about the length of the seed itself.
  2. Dry the sprouted grains by laying them out on kitchen paper and leaving them to dry at room temperature for 12 hours. Move the air-dried grains onto a baking tray covered with baking paper and roast at a low temperature (50 – 75°C) for 2 to 3 hours. Drying the grains halts the germination process but the temperature at which the grains are roasted is important.
  3. Lightly roasting the grains at a low temperature (as above) ensures that the the flour remains ‘diastatic’ i.e. the malted flour will still contain considerable enzyme activity to increase the extraction of sugars from the flours for use as food during the fermentation process, yielding a strong rise, great oven-spring and increased crust-browning.
  4. More heavily roasted grains result in a much darker flour but the enzyme activity is destroyed. Flour made from such grains are used for purely for colour and flavour.
  5. Grind the sprouted and dried grains into flour. Very finely ground malted flour can sometimes also be referred to as malt powder.
Malted rye grains
Malted rye grains

And here we have it! Malted flour i.e. flour ground from sprouted, dried and roasted grains.

Rye, malted rye grains, malted rye flour
Rye berries; Malted rye grains; Malted rye flour

In bread baking, malt ingredients are used in small quantities (around 1% diastatic malt flour as a % of overall flour used) while for sweet malt bakes (e.g. for malt loaves, malted cookies and malted chocolate tarts) generous quantities of malt extract and malt flour are used to achieve the distinctive flavour, colour and stickiness.

Malted rye slice
Danish malted, seeded rye slice

How to bake Danish seeded rye bread with malted flour

16 – 24 hours before preparing the final dough

Sourdough

Combine the starter, flours and water in a bowl, mix well, cover with a lid and leave to rest at room temperature for 16 – 24 hours.

Toasted seed soaker

  • 100g sunflower seeds
  • 50g oats
  • 50g flaxseed
  • 200g cracked whole rye
  • 8g salt
  • 400g boiling water (the cracked rye doesn’t soften easily with cold water, so boiling water is recommended)

Toast the sunflower seeds and oats in a non-stick frying pan. Turn them often and watch the seeds and oats closely to avoid burning. Combine the toasted seeds and oats, the flaxseed and cracked whole rye in a  bowl, add the salt and the boiling water. Mix well, cover with a lid and leave to rest for 16 – 24 hours.

1 hour before preparing the final dough

Boiled rye berries

  • 65g whole rye berries

Place the rye berries in a small pot and cover with cold water. Bring to boil and continue for about 45 minutes. Top up with more water if needed. Using a sieve, discard any remaining water. Leave to cool.

Preparing the final dough

  • 500g rye flour
  • 200g strong white wheat flour
  • 2 tbsp malted flour
  • 435g water
  • 22g salt
  1. Combine 400g of the sourdough, the toasted seed and oat mix, the boiled rye berries and the final dough ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Mix with your hands – you won’t be able to knead the dough as it’s too sticky.
  3. Cover the bowl and leave the mixture to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  4. Butter a large loaf tin (I used a tin 33 x 10 x 10 cm).
  5. Give the dough mixture another good mix with your hands.
  6. Move the dough into the loaf tin and spread evenly. Cover the loaf tin and place the dough in the fridge overnight (approx. 12 hours).
  7. Remove the tin from the fridge for approx. 1 hour before baking to bring the dough back to room temperature.
  8. Bake for 15 mins at 250°C and for a further 50 mins at 200°C.

Danish malted rye bread

Perfectly delicious with just butter, with all types of strong cheeses, all salty food as well as pickled or smoked fish.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess and runs smoothly with the help of Heather of girlichef, and the rest of our fabulous bakers.

Our host this month is Heather from girlichef, and our theme is Malt. For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month’s selection of #TwelveLoaves Jewish Breads!

If you’d like to bake along with us this month, share your Malt Bread using hashtag #TwelveLoaves!

Jewish Marbled Rye Bread Recipe

 

It’s all about Jewish breads this month for the Twelve-Loafers. And while I’m baking challah and light deli-style rye breads regularly, I wanted to do some research before deciding on this month’s bake.

I decided to purchase the book ‘Secrets of a Jewish Baker – Authentic Jewish Rye and Other Breads’ by George Greenstein and although it’s a slightly dated book (published in 1993), it provides a great range of recipes and features many interesting anecdotes from George Greenstein’s life as well as – of course – many of his Baker’s Secrets.

A more modern book (with photos!) that is focused on distinctive Ashkenazi breads and baked goods in Eastern Europe and America is Inside the Jewish Bakery: Recipes and Memories from the Golden Age of Jewish Baking’ by Stanley Ginsberg and Norman Berg (published in 2011). It beautifully captures the heyday of Jewish bakeries in the United States.

Having a weakness for rye baking, I decided to go for the marble rye loaf – a bread very closely associated with Jewish-American cuisine, particularly the delicatessen.

Rye Sandwich Bread
Rye Sandwich Bread

It’s such a Jewish mainstay that the TV show Seinfeld created a full episode around it in “The Rye”.

My aim with marble rye was to achieve an even and distinct swirl for maximum aesthetic impact when sliced. Contrary to popular belief, the dark swirl in a marbled loaf is not pumpernickel (for an authentic way of baking German pumpernickel follow this recipe). It’s the same rye dough as the light swirl, but made darker by adding a colouring agent. The dark swirl in my recipe is achieved by colouring part of the dough with cocoa powder and black treacle. The key to baking a perfectly proportioned marble rye bread is therefore to use the same base dough for both the light and dark parts.

Marble Rye Bread Recipe

Ingredients

Light rye

  • 375g strong white bread flour
  • 100g light rye flour
  • 50g dark rye flour
  • 4g caraway seeds, lightly cracked with pestle and mortar
  • 9g salt
  • 5g instant dried yeast
  • 400g water, lukewarm
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil (I used rapeseed oil)

Dark rye

  • 375g strong white bread flour
  • 100g light rye flour
  • 50g dark rye flour
  • 16g unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4g caraway seeds, lightly cracked with pestle and mortar
  • 9g salt
  • 5g instant dried yeast
  • 400g water, lukewarm
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil (I used rapeseed oil)

Also…

  • 1 egg for egg wash

How to make marble rye bread

(I baked two loaves with the above ingredients in two 29 cm x 10 cm loaf tins)

  1. Prepare the two doughs separately. In two separate bowls, combine the light rye dough and dark rye dough ingredients – don’t add the vegetable oil at this stage. Add additional tablespoon of water to the dark dough if needed.
  2. Knead each dough for 5 minutes, adding the vegetable oil at the end, shape the dough into a boule, then place it back into the bowl and cover. The doughs should feel the same in terms of texture with the colour being the only difference. This will ensure they rise at the same speed.
  3. Leave to rest in a warm place until the dough has risen to double its original size (1 or 1.5 hours should suffice).
  4. Prepare two loaf tins and lightly oil the insides with a brush.
  5. Divide both rye doughs into four equal pieces with your dough scraper.
  6. On a lightly oiled surface, flatten the first dough part into a long rectangle with your hands or a rolling pin. Based on the baking tin you will be using, the dough rectangles should be wider than the tin but not as long as the full tin as the length will extend as you add the dough parts together. My dough pieces were roughly 23 cm long, 18 cm wide and 5 mm thick. Of course, it’s possible to bake free form, but the baking tin will make for more evenly shaped slices. Straighten the edges as needed but try to achieve an even thickness – the dough should be nice and pliable.
  7. Prepare one light and one dark dough part next to each other in order to achieve the same size and thickness.
  8. Stack one dough on top of the other and continue with this process in alternating colours – first light, then dark, then light, then dark – the bottom dough piece will form the outside of the loaf. Ensure the dough pieces stick to each other by patting the dough lightly with your hands. Form two loaves with four dough pieces each.
  9. Roll up the dough to form a loaf, keep it tight and ensure to eliminate any air pockets. Try to roll the first part quite tightly for the top dough layer not to form a huge middle shape in your swirl.
  10. Stretch and pinch the seam of the dough at the bottom of the loaf to secure the edges at the bottom of the loaf. Try and stretch the outer layer seam to connect into a full single-colour outer layer.
  11. All rolled up, place the loaves seam-side down in the baking pans and cover tightly. If needed, elongate and carefully pat the loaf to fit nicely.
  12. Rest at room temperature for the second rise until fully proofed (press the dough with your finger – if the indentation doesn’t spring back, the dough is fully proofed), about 1 to 1.5 hours. Make sure the dough is fully proofed – otherwise the top of your loaf might crack open.
  13. Preheat the oven 1/2 hour before baking.
  14. Bake for 40 minutes at 180°C.
    After 20 minutes, briefly take the loaf tins out of the oven to brush with egg wash for a nice shine, then bake for a further 20 minutes.
  15. Take out from the loaf tins and cool on a wire rack.

Leave to cool completely and enjoy with pastrami and mustard.

 

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess and runs smoothly with the help of Heather of girlichef, and the rest of our fabulous bakers.

Our host this month is Karen from Karen’s Kitchen Stories, and our theme is Jewish Breads. For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month’s mouthwatering selection of #TwelveLoaves enter last month’s “A Little Something Sweet” Breads!

If you’d like to bake along with us this month, share your Jewish bread using hashtag #TwelveLoaves!