From the Kitchen
Mastering homemade bread is surprisingly easy. Even chewy and crusty bread like you would find in a bakery is not that hard once you know a few secrets!
You can easily make the kind of bread you have with meals, for starters, or for dips, or even to eat on their own. No need to worry if you haven’t baked before, it’s really quite easy.
There’s only six ingredients to this and you don’t even need any special equipment (no bread making machine!). Once you have done this once or twice, you will might find you want to explore different flavours and styles, but first, let’s start with this simple recipe.
Reasons You’ll Love This Bread
- It’s almost too easy to make
- The texture is soft on the inside
- Crispy crust on the outside
- Fashion it to a multitude of shapes
- So simple with just 6 ingredients
- Flexible resting time
- No special tools required
Just 6 Ingredients
- Bread Flour. This kind of flour makes more chewy bread.
- Rye Flour. Gives the bread a wonderful texture and taste.
1 & ¼ cups
- Instant Yeast.
- Caraway Seeds
- Luke warm water. (around 30 degrees)
You can use an electric mixer with a dough hook or do it by hand, we’ve used a mixer to speed things along a bit. In any case, combine all of the ingredients in the bowl, check you have done them all:
both kinds of flour, yeast, salt, caraway seeds and water.
Mix for between 5 to 10 minutes until the dough is supple and smooth. Sometimes, the electric mixer needs a bit of help to get things together, so turn it off, then use your hands to press the ingredients together before starting the mixer again.
Once it is ready, you can take it out and form it into a ball, then return it to the bowl. You do this so you have an idea of what the size is. Here’s how it looks:
Now over the bowl with some cling wrap, place a tea towel over the top and let it rest in a warm(ish) area for about 90 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size.
You can now remove the dough form the bowl and knead it over a floured surface for around a minute to de-gas the dough. It should return to roughly the same size as when it finished mixing before rising.
Shape it how you like. Maybe into a bit of a torpedo shape or round if you prefer. We will make it rise again now.
Place the shaped dough on a baking tray lined with baking paper, then sprinkled with a little flour to stop it from sticking.
Sprinkle a little flour over the top of the dough now. Then cover the shaped dough with some cling wrap and a tea towel again. The flour on the top allows you to gauge how moist the dough is after it’s risen. It also helps with not getting too sticky.
Leave this now until the dough rises to about ⅔ bigger than it started.
Here’s how it looks after 0ne hour at room temperature , in this case, the room was sround 24 degrees C. Warmer environments will achieve this rise faster, and cooler will take longer.
You should preheat the oven now, to around 220 degrees C.
The secret to crusty bread is to give it a gentle spray of water before putting it in the oven.
Once you have sprayed it with water, drop on some caraway seeds on top and make a few deep slits in the bread using a very sharp knife or razor. It’s up to you how you slice it and thats part of the fun in experimenting!
Here’s how this loaf looked before putting it into the oven:
40 minutes later, crusty and deliciously aromatic rye bread is filling the kitchen with that freshly baked bread aroma!
Try to resist the temptation to cut it now. Let it cool for around 40 minutes, maybe an hour if you can manage. During this time the crust is getting crispy and the bread is gently finishing off its cook inside. Cutting it too early can make it difficult to manage and even go stale more quickly.
SLicing this bread open will give you the most wonderful traditional rye bread style with a tight and firm core. In other recipes, we will explore how to make a light airy inside, like a vienna style or similar. That will have to wait until next time!
Enjoy your bread making, soon you can call yourself an artisan too!