That first bread recipe needed far too much explanatory detail for a daily-posting blog, but as I add a few more I’ll gloss over the details a bit.
My other experiment last weekend was inspired by picking up a kilo of white rye flour from Sainsbury’s, when normally at Tesco I’ve only ever seen wholemeal rye. I thought I’d try it in one of my favourite James Morton recipes, his rye and raisin loaf, which doesn’t use sourdough starter but is still full of flavour.
White Rye and Craisin Bread
200g white rye flour
300g strong white flour
7g dried yeast
100g craisins soaked overnight in water to cover
375g tepid water made up using the drained craisin water
1. The night before, or a few hours before at a pinch, measure 100g of Craisins®-brand dried cranberries (let’s see how long that trademark lasts) into a small bowl. Cover with water and leave to soak.
2. When you’re ready to start, weigh the flours into your large bread-mixing bowl, then add the yeast on one side and the salt on the other.
3. Drain the craisins, reserving the red liquid, and make the liquid up to 375g of tepid pink water (using some boiling water and the rest cold). Add the fruit and water to the bowl.
4. Bring it together with your Danish whisk, cover the bowl and rest for 30 minutes.
5. Turn out the dough and knead it for several minutes until stretchy. The craisins will get a bit smushed up, but it’s easier to add them at the first stage than work them in after this. Put it back into the bowl and cover with clingfilm.
vi. Rest the dough at room temperature for an hour or an hour and a half, until doubled in size. Or rest it overnight in the fridge.
vii. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and shape it. I put mine into an oval proving basket. Prove for an hour or so, until nearly doubled. Halfway through the prove, start preheating your oven to 240°C with the baking stone inside.
viiiiii. Turn out the dough onto a peel dusted with semolina, score the top in a chevron pattern (a cut down the length, then three angled cuts either side, like a leaf), chuck 1/2 cup of water into the side of the oven and quickly slide the loaf onto the baking stone. Turn the oven down to 220°C and bake for 35 minutes.
This is a close relative to Morton’s loaf, but the white rye gives it a slightly paler complexion, with even a hint of pink from the craisin liquid. It tastes remarkably like the spiced fruit loaves I grew up eating in Australia, without having any spices or sultanas in it. Like its wholemeal rye and raisin relative, it’s delicious.