Today was not my best day. I should have just gone back to bed after turning up at school with my kids in free dress – it seems I was the only mum who didn’t get the memo that it was cancelled! Hopefully my kids aren’t scarred for life. I did drive them home straight away and got them in uniform and back to school.
My reprieve was lunch – warm vegetable soup with Finnish rye bread. I have been reading Tartine Bread and been inspired to start my own sourdough. It has only been one day since I began the starter so it will be some time until I try my sourdough loaf. In the meantime I thought I would make a loaf of basic bread with yeast.
From getting the flour in the mixmaster to pulling the baked loaf out of the oven was a total of 3 and a half hours. Because I did most of the kneading in the mixer there wasn’t a great deal for me to do. If you can measure ingredients, you can make this bread and baking a loaf of bread is always satisfying.
finnish rye bread
(from Nigella Lawson’s book ‘How To Be A Domestic Goddess’)
225g rye flour
300g strong white flour
7g easy-blend yeast or 15g fresh yeast
1 tablespoon dark muscovado sugar
2 teaspoons salt
300ml warm water
45g unsalted butter, melted
In a large bowl, mix together the flours, yeast, sugar and salt. Slowly add the water whilst continuing to mix either by hand, with a wooden spoon, or in a mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add a tablespoon of the melted butter and mix.
Knead, either by hand or in a mixer with a dough hook, until smooth then form a ball. Add more water or flour if need be. Use some of the melted butter to grease a bowl and turn the dough ball in the bowl to prevent the dough from drying out. Cover the bowl and leave to rise until doubled.
Punch the dough down and knead. Shape the dough into a round loaf and sit on a baking sheet. Cover with a tea towel and leave for roughly 30 minutes to rise again.
Preheat oven to 190 degrees C and bake the loaf for 45 – 55 minutes until the loaf is cooked and when you tap the loaf on the underside it sounds hollow. Brush with remaining melted butter and leave to cool.