Recently, VB had the honour of being invited to a reception at Number Ten Downing Street - yes that is right - the residence of the Prime Minister of Great Britain. Samantha Cameron hosted a reception for the winners of Red Magazine's Red Hot Women awards and Jane Mason won the Food Breakthrough award.
300gLight rye flourI used Stoate’s Flour, Cann Mills, Shaftesbury
1tspCumin seeds to sprinke at the bottom of the tin
Before you begin
Butter a little loaf tin and sprinkle cumin seeds on the bottom of it.
To make the bread
Pour the flour in a bowl and make a well in it.
Sprinkle the yeast in the well and add 100 g warm water.
Go have a cup of coffee and relax for 15 minutes while the yeast proofs. It will form a beige sludge on the top.
Note: if you are using fresh or instant yeast, you do not need to do this, you can just put it in with all the ingredients and proceed directly to step 3.
Put in the rest of the water, the honey, salt, and ground spices and stir well to incorporate all of the ingredients evenly. The texture should be soft and sticky – like your very favourite mud pie. It is it stiff or hard, add a bit more water until it is mud pie like.
Wet your hand (REALLY WET) and pick up the dough. Pass it from hand to hand like clay and smooth and shape it into a little oblong to fit into the tin.
Place it gently in the tin and leave it be. Don’t squish it into the corners or smooth it down. It will find its own level.
Cover it with clingflim (a shower hat is perfect because it leaves room above the loaf) and leave it for 1.5-2 hours on the counter. Don’t put it in the airing cupboard or anything like that. If you would like to stick it in the fridge at this point you can and it will rise in about 8 hours. You can do this overnight while you sleep and bake in the morning or all day if you have to go out (Imagine, the Prime Minister needing to go out!) and bake it in the evening.
Pre heat oven to 200 degrees and bake the bread for 45 minutes.
Cool completely on a wire rack.
This bread is best the next day and keeps for days.