The Crust

One of my plans this year is to bake more bread.  Those of you who have been reading this blog for sometime will know that I have never considered myself a baker and, generally, this still holds true for making cakes and biscuits really doesn’t excite me at all.

Yet, I would no longer say that I cannot bake.  The wedding cake I made was perfectly edible; I can whip up a few different kinds of more-ish cookies; my Finnish apple cake always goes down well and I have recently discovered the secret to making a very good sourdough loaf

It was not until this past week, however, that I have been one hundred percent, truly and utterly happy with a baked good of my own.   Happy I am, though.  This maple and carraway rye bread is fantastic.  Especially the crust.

Oh, the crust…

You must taste this crust, people.  You must.

Maple and Carraway Rye Bread (adapted from Bacheldre Recipe Collection)

1 tblspn dried active yeast (if you have fresh yeast then great.  Use it as you normally would but ensure you incorporate all 350 ml of water in the final mixing stages)

220g rye flour

320g strong white flour

1 tblspn salt

60g maple syrup

40g unsalted butter

2 tblspn carraway seeds

3 tblspn seeds (I used mixed but sunflower or pumpkin would be good)

350ml warm water

  • Add the yeast to 150ml of warm water and whisk.  Leave in a warm place for 15 minutes until mixture begins to froth.  Stir in 2 tablespoons of the rye flour and leave again in a warm place for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add the butter and maple syrup to a small pan and heat very gently until butter has melted.  Sift the remaining rye flour with the white flour and salt.  Stir in the seeds.
  • Add the yeast mixture and the buttery syrup to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.  Cover with a tea-towel and leave in a warm, draftless place for 10 minutes.
  • Lightly oil a work surface, turn dough out onto it and knead firmly for 10 seconds.  Place back in bowl and leave for another 10 minutes.  Knead for another 10 seconds then again return to bowl and leave, this time for 45 minutes.
  • Remove dough from bowl and punch the air out.  Place in oiled circular tin and leave in a warm place for 1.5 hours.
  • Heat the oven to 200 oC.  Sprinkle the loaf with rye flour and bake in the centre of the oven for 50 minutes.
  • Remove from tin and cool thoroughly.

Best eaten toasted and topped with something cool and creamy (ricotta, cottage cheese, cream cheese etc).

Happy New Year to You All!

New Year’s Plans

  • Run
  • Be more sociable
  • Camp
  • Play guitar
  • Go to a new country
  • Get Marco to stop barking at my neighbours’ granddaughters (two gorgeous wee redheads that my pup can’t stand!)
  • Climb a couple of Munros
  • Drink less wine
  • Bake more bread
  • Update:  sing more

And yourselves?  Any plans?