I’m having such fun with the Even Faster No Knead Bread recipe. The usual white bread flour one has become a total staple, but I wanted to branch out a bit, so I bought some wholemeal rye flour. I use measuring cups, as it’s easier, and you can buy them in most supermarkets now or online.
I do like the lighter rye breads, they feel autumnal and comforting, which is definitely the feeling I’m getting about the weather at the moment! Dark rye isn’t something I’m used to, but I might make that my next treacly and caraway scented project. This one turned out very light in colour, with a slight dense chew, and a happily well behaved dough. I did wing it, so I was very happy. I used some yoghurt as I wanted a slightly sour tang.
The Lékué silicone bread maker is a boon. I’d run out of bowls, and was casting around for what to mix and prove the dough in, and then there was my new toy. Yes, it can take some getting used to as it’s flexible, but stand it on a towel to mix, cup your hand round the side to provide a steady wall, and you’re there. Make sure you give the flour a bit of a mix before you measure it out, else it can pack down too heavily into the cup. (I’m so tempted to buy huge canisters to keep my flours in, but I don’t have the room for them, really.)
1 cup wholemeal rye flour (I have Dove’s Farm brand)
2 cups white strong bread flour (Just Waitrose essential)
1.5 cups tap hot water with 2 tbs Greek yoghurt and 1 tbs honey mixed in
1 tsp fine sea salt (don’t skimp.)
1 sachet instant yeast
Put the flours in the Lékué.
Put the yeast on one side and the salt on the other. (Salt on top of yeast can retard it)
Pour in the water/yoghurt/honey mixture.
Get a silicone spatula and mix it all together well, making sure all the flour has been incorporated. Of course you can use a wooden spoon, but a silicone spatula seems to work better at getting the flour in and off the sides. I use this one.
Close the Lékué and let the dough sit for about an hour. It should double in size and start to look a little less shaggy.
Take it out of the Lékué and shape it into a torpedo, use a bit more bread flour if it’s too sticky, it won’t hurt it, then pop it back in to prove again for maybe 15-30 minutes with the Lékué closed. The oven can be pre-heating at 200C for this time.
Open the Lékué, slash the top of the dough lengthways once with a sharp knife, then pop the whole thing into the oven STILL OPEN and leave to bake for 35 minutes. If your dough is quite wet, it may need 40-45.
Turn it out onto a wire rack to cool, the bottom should give a hollow sound when you tap it. It will have spread out and flattened a bit.
I made another variation later on, using my cast iron casserole pot. (It’s basically all Nigel Slater’s fault. You’ll need to read Christmas Chronicles to see why.)
2 cups strong white bread flour
1 cup wholemeal rye flour
1 tsp sea salt
1 sachet dried yeast
1.5 cups hot water
1 tbs black treacle
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
10 pecans chopped.
Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Dissolve the treacle in the hot water.
Pour the mixture into the flours, and mix it all together with a spatula until all the flour has been absorbed.
Cover with a towel, and just leave to rise 1 to 2 hours.
I then shape into a ball on a well floured surface (it’s quite sticky so you might need more flour to make it easier to handle. I use a dough scraper to help me here.)
Line the dough bowl with non stick baking paper, pop the dough ball back in and cover for 15/30 minutes while a lidded crock pot heats up at 200°C in the oven.
After 15/30, take the pot out of the oven, and carefully lift the dough, paper and all, into the pot. Lid on.
Bake for 30 minutes at 200, then take the lid off and bake another 15 minutes to crisp the crust.
It’s a light bread, springy, with a good crust. It’s going to be amazing with cheese.