Farmer’s Rye Loaf

This loaf is quick to make (compared to a sourdough) but still has a complex rye flavour, helped along by the addition of molasses.

The molasses also give colour I the finished loaf, which can be baked free form, like this one, or in a loaf tin. If baking in a loaf tin, decrease the temperature by 10 degrees and cook for the full 45 minutes to ensure it is cooked through.20140713-195340-71620200.jpg
Farmer ‘s Rye Loaf makes one loaf

350g strong white flour
225g wholemeal rye flour
12g salt
25g butter, diced
7g instant yeast
30g molasses
150g warm milk
150g warm water

1. Combine the dry ingredients, and then mix in the wet ingredients and the butter. Mix well to combine all ingredients.
2. At this stage an autolyse is optional, but will make kneading a little easier. Autolyse for 20 min if you want to.
3. Knead for 10 min and place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and bulk ferment for 2 hours or until doubled.
4. Tip the dough out onto a clean surface and shape into a round, or shape for a loaf tin. If making a round, place onto a sheet of baking paper and cover loosely with cling film.
5. Proof for 1 1/2 hours or until visibly risen and springy to the touch. Preheat oven to 200C. If using, place a baking stone or pizza stone Ito the oven.
6. Score the loaf with an X on top, then slide onto a baking tray and place into the oven, or directly into the oven if using a stone. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the loaf is hollow sounding when tapped on the bottom and a dark golden brown colour.
7. Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour.




Sunflower seed sourdough

This loaf was inspired by one in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice; a sunflower seed studded sourdough with great taste and texture. Mine is much lighter, which comes from substituting rye flour with strong white flour, whilst still using a rye starter.
I have also added more sunflower seeds, and ground half of them in a pestle and mortar to really get the flavour through the entire loaf.

My rye sourdough starter turned two at the weekend and is still going strong, so this was the perfect opportunity to try it out on a new loaf.


Sunflower seed sourdough makes one large boule

200g rye starter @ 100% hydration
700g strong white flour
400g water
12g salt
70g toasted sunflower seeds, half ground

1. Refresh the starter the night before
2. Mix all of the ingredients except the seeds. Autolyse for 20 min.
3. Work the seeds into the dough, kneading for about 5 min.
4. Bulk ferment in a bowl for 5 hours. Stretch and fold the dough six times: every half an hour, for the first three hours.
5. Turn the dough out onto a clean bench and shape into a round. Rest for 5 min, reshape, and place into a banneton or bowl that is well floured with rice flour. Proof for 2 hours.
6. Preheat oven to max with a Dutch Oven on the middle shelf.
7. Turn the loaf into a floured peel or the back of a baking tray. Slide into the Dutch Oven and place back onto the middle shelf. Bake for 30 min with the lid on, then remove the lid and bake for a further 15 min. Reduce oven temperature slightly if needed.
8. Cool on a wire rack.





Light spelt sandwich loaf

I’ve been fairly slack in the bread making department lately. Every now and again I seem to reach a point where there are enough odd scraps of bread in the freezer to keep me going for a couple of weeks; however, I just reached the end of that time and found myself in need of a quick and easy loaf that could be put together in a few hours – sourdough this is not.

Combining wholemeal spelt with strong white bread flour both lightens the texture and makes the dough easier to work, and the little bit of sugar in the recipe gives the yeast an extra boost. There are other ways to speed the process – increase the temperature of the dough or the room, for example – but I don’t really like to sacrifice too much flavour for time.

This time around there wasn’t as much oven spring as I would have liked, so the dough did not rise as much as usual. I later found out that my suffering old oven has started to pack in… More on that in a later post.

Teaspoon measurements refer to Australian sizes.


Light spelt sourdough makes one loaf
110g strong white flour
225g wholemeal spelt flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp yeast
12g butter, melted
225g lukewarm water

1. Combine all of the ingredients and mix to combine
2. Knead on a clean surface for 10-15 min, until the dough is smooth and elastic
3. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with cling film, and rest for 2 hours or until doubled in size
4. Tip dough out onto a clean surface. Shape into a rectangle and then roll up, sealing the seam tightly. Place into a greased 900g loaf tin and cover loosely with cling film
5. Proof for 1 1/2 – 2 hours, until the loaf has risen about 2cm above the lip of the tin. Preheat oven to 230C.
6. Bake for 15 min, then reduce the temperature to 200C and bake for a further 15-20 min, until the loaf is browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom
7. Cool on a wire rack