My mother never baked bread and she would only occasionally bake cakes for our birthdays but for many years we would only have “artisanal bread” which wasn’t called like that in the eighties, it was simply bread, always rye, soya, oatmeal or wholemeal wheat that my parents bought from organic food shops.
When I was a kid my parents used to prepare peanut butter and jam sandwiches for my brother and I with a strong, dark and sour German bread, somehow the contrast between the hard bread and the sweet filling of our sandwiches made them all the more gratifying.
Many years had to pass until I took up teaching myself how to bake and amongst my favourite loafs are of course those that remind me of my lunch box treats.
Wholemeal flours require 3 things:
Rye and spelt contain so little gluten that they often require being combined with wheat flour both to make make the dough lighter and develop the necessary gluten to make bread with a softer crumb.
Before I get down to the recipe, here are some interesting facts I found about wholemeal flours and grains:
According to a document called “Whole grain foods and health, a Scandinavian perspective” the consumption of whole grain foods lower risk of cardio vascular diseases in adult populations; also they reduce by 21% the chance of developing type 2 diabetes. Also eating whole grain foods reduce the risk of developing cancer in the gastrointestinal tract.
To make this rye loaf (or 8 individual buns)you will need:
- 300g wheat flour
- 200g whole rye flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp dry yeast
- 380 ml warm water
- 4 tbsp olive oil plus extra oil for kneading
In a large bowl combine the remaining water with the salt, stir to dissolve it and add the olive oil, wheat flour and incorporate the mixes.
When the dough begins to hold shape oil your work surface and knead for 15 minutes. Add more water if needed. Shape into a ball and let it prove covered for 1 hour. Since the rye has a low gluten content It’s normal if the dough doesn’t quite double in size.
After proving uncover, take the dough out and shape it, you can either use a bread mould or shape it by hand. Cover again and prove for another hour.
Preheat the oven at 220C
Bake for 30 minutes.
Variations on this recipe:
- Add a tablespoon of treacle, this will complement the flavour of rye and will add a nice dark colour.
- Add ¼ cup of crunched mixed seeds like sun flour and flaxseed.
- Add ¼ cup of chopped walnuts and ¼ cup of chopped dates + 1 tbsp of treacle