Rågbröd or rye bread as we might know it is a beloved Scandinavian staple.
With a rich and dense crumb and a deep, strong flavour, rye bread is often something we buy but seldom bake.
Rye is actually a grass unlike wheat that is a grain
Although it can be a tricky flour to work with, you just need a few tricks to make it work and in no time it’ll become one of your regular bakes.
First of all, rye flour is weird to knead because it contains very little gluten proteins and gluten is what makes dough elastic when activated by water and friction.
So you often find that it is mixed with wheat flour to compensate for that, also to give it a lighter texture and a softer crumb.
Using a little extra yeast or pre-soaking the flour are good things to consider.
I picked some good advice on how to pre-prepare the rye flour from a great scandi book.
You can swap cranberries for prunes, if you prefer a crunchy texture add 50g. of chopped and toasted pecans.
To make one big loaf you will need:
- 180g. Rye flour
- 220g. Wheat strong flour
- 4tsp. Yeast
- 2 tbsp. Olive oil
- 360 ml Hot water + 3 tbsp lukewarm
- 5g salt
- 1 tbsp. Fennel seeds
- 100g Wensleydale cheese
- 50g. dried cranberries
In bowl put the rye flour and fennel seeds, add the 360 ml. of hot water and mix with a strong spoon.
This will turn into a hot, dense paste.
Just make sure all the flour is perfectly soaked. Cover and let it rest overnight.
Add the yeast to the 3 tbsp lukewarm water. Let it rest for ten minutes.
In a bowl place the wheat flour, salt and olive oil, add the yeast and mix. Add a couple of tbsps. of water if needed, the dough should be a bit hard.
Add the previously soaked rye and knead for 10 minutes. Then add the crumbled cheese and cranberries.
Cheese-chunks should be about the size of half an olive.
Cover and let rise for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven at 200C
Bake for about 40 minutes.
In an airtight container or a bag this loaf can keep well for up to 3 days.