I’ve finally assuaged my white bread guilt and made a successfully dark and flavoursome loaf after weeks of turning out lead bricks. There are various recipes floating around for no-knead brown breads that you mix up and stick in a cold oven, but I can’t seem to make any of them work. This one, however, adapted from something I copied down from A Pod And Three Peas ages ago, does the trick. It’s a bit like homemade Vogels rye bread, only nicer.
Rye and Molasses Bread
This bread came out of the oven looking so dark and brooding I wanted to call it Heathcliff, but thought that might be a Wuthering Heights pun too far. The molasses gives it a distinctive flavour, but you could always substitute treacle or golden syrup. Either way, this bread is really, really good with slabs of cold unsalted butter.
2tsp dried yeast
650ml warm water
500g wholemeal flour
100g rye flour
100g rolled oats
Put the water and yeast into a large bowl (or the bowl of your freestanding mixer) and whisk together. Add the molasses and whisk again. Add all the other ingredients and mix well. Leave for five minutes, then either plug into your mixer and let the dough hook work its magic for about five minutes or turn it out and knead it for five minutes. It is a really, really wet and sticky dough – the mixer is far easier.
Scrape the dough into a well-greased and lined large loaf tin (mine has an internal measurement of about 25cm x 8cm), slash the top and put the whole thing into a plastic bag. Leave until doubled – around 60-90 minutes – then bake at 200C for about 45 minutes. I turn it out of the tin at this point and return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes to get a nice, crusty bottom. Let cool completely on a rack before slicing.