Recipe by Kylie Archer
There are a few reasons why I make my own bread:
- I’m lazy. I can make my own bread in my pj’s, without going to the shops and without washing my hair.
- I discovered in 2011 that all the bread I had bought from Coles that was “baked today” etc was actually brought in frozen. (We lived above Coles and I went down to ask for boxes for moving and they gave me boxes the frozen bread arrived in.)
- I like the experience of playing with the dough, experimenting with flavours and additions.
- Unlike making my own cheese, it’s a mindless, easy and rather relaxing experience.
So, after reading Artisan bread in 5 Minutes a Day, I have made some changes to one of their basic recipes and now have a fresh, easy to make bread ready to go in the fridge every single day.
I used to have a bread machine but I FreeCycled it after discovering this method because I never really made a loaf that I was happy with. I’d had the machine since 2004 and only ever used it for pizza dough for about a year. Now I do that by hand too. You don’t even need a mixer for this bread.
So here goes, my best rye bread recipe so far (and there’s been a lot of experimentation)!
Wholemeal and Rye Loaf
(makes 4 loaves)
A large plastic container with a lid (holds about 5 litres
A pizza peel (not essential- you can do it on bake paper)
A pizza stone- not essential- you can use an oven tray if you like, but it won’t have a stone baked base
Large spatula/ spoon
A baking tray
A pastry brush
3 cups of lukewarm water
1 ½ tablespoons of yeast
1 tablespoon of cooking salt
1 cup rye flour
2 cups wholemeal flour
3 ½ cups white bread flour
Polenta (if you’re using a pizza peel) or Baking paper
Flour for dusting
- Mix the yeast, water and salt in the large container.
- Mix in the flours using the spoon/ spatula until all combined.
- Leave it for about two hours at room temp. You’ll know when it’s good to go as it will have risen and then collapsed (it’ll be flat on top).
- You can now use the dough, but it’s easier to manage after about 3 hours in the fridge as it is quite a slack dough.
Baking: (DO NOT TURN THE OVEN ON YET!)
- Take your dough out of the fridge, dust it with some flour and break of a piece about the size of a grapefruit. Dust it with more flour.
- In your hands (DO NOT KNEAD) stretch it out and then fold the dges under to make a ball.
- Stretch the ball out to make a long baguette shape, a round ball or an oval (up to you!).
- Now put it either on the pizza peel with polenta underneath or on some bake paper.
- Leave it to rise for 20 minutes.
- Now turn the oven on as high as it will go and put a baking tray in the bottom. Put your pizza stone in as well or the tray you will be baking on.
- After another 20 minutes (40 minutes total rising), paint the top of the dough with water using your pastry brush. Dust with flour if you like at this point. Slash the loaf with deep cuts across the loaf using a serrated knife.
- Slide the loaf onto your pizza stone or tray and pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the bottom tray.
- Shut the door!
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until deep brown and firm.
The hard part: Leave to cool before slicing or eating.
Read my book review on Artisan bread in Five Minutes a Day?
Make Cheesy Pull-a-Parts from this recipe too!