Here at the global HQ of Virtuous Bread we just LOVE rye bread. We have been crushed, though, recently, under the weight of messages and comments from people who are following the recipes on the website but who are not finding success with them. Of course I was huffing and puffing and generally muttering about how people could CLEARLY not follow recipes and decided to test the recipes again. The short answer is that I found some interesting things and feel a whole sale apology is due to those against whom I muttered. SORRY.
Before I go into the results, let's just spend the next few posts going over the recipes again. First a simple recipe for rye bread with yeast and second for a simple recipe for sourdough rye. Over the next few posts I will explore, photographically and then, if you can wait that long without spontaneously combusting, I will share some fascinating conclusions.
Easy Recipe for Rye Bread
300 g dark or light rye flour
250 g water
50 g molasses
1.5 g instant/3 g dry/6 g fresh yeast
6 g salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander
mixed seeds to decorate
If using dry or instant yeast:
Measure the flour into a bowl and make a "well" in it. Measure in the yeast, and pour enough of the water over it to fill the well. Let it stand for 15 minutes or so to dissolve the yeast. Measure in the rest of the ingredients including the remaining water.
If using fresh yeast:
Measure all of the ingredients into a big bowl.
Mix well into a VERY wet dough. If your dough is not really soft and slippery when you push your finger in it (give it a good push) your dough is too dry. Add a bit more water. I cannot emphasise enough that you need a very wet dough.
Butter a tin and with soaking wet hands, shape the rye into a little oblong and gently slip it into the tin. Just holding the dough, you should leave a handprint in it (that is how wet it should be). Don't squash it into an oblong - just run your wet hands over it to smooth the outside. Leave as much air in it as you can.
Cover and let rise for 3-5 hours. It is done with it has come to the top of the tin and there are little holes all over the top of the dough.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Decorate the top of the loaf and pop it in for 45 minutes.
HA! You have to wait for this photo!
Remove and let cool. Better the next day when it has dried out a bit. Good for 3-4 days.
HA! you have to wait for this photo too!