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simple danish rye bread

I don't know what came over me but a few weeks ago I suddenly decided I needed to make rye bread. I tried making rye bread using a sourdough starter and while it tasted delicious the bread was as heavy as a brick. I threw out most of the loaf and decided to try again.



I tracked down a recipe for a simple Danish rye bread that used a tiny bit of yeast and then set about sourcing the remaining ingredients.



Linseeds came from the supermarket; sunflower seeds from the fruit shop; I didn't try to source malt I just used molasses instead. The sticking point was the cracked rye. I couldn't find it anywhere. I tried my local health food shop without success; searched online but could only locate 20kg bags of the stuff. In the end I bought the rye from the US and waited a week for it to arrive. 

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As I started the soaking process on Thursday night I thought to myself, this bread had better turn out. Friday I made the dough and stored it overnight in the fridge. The dough was very sticky and only rose a little. I baked the bread on Saturday and reading other recommendations I stored the bread overnight in a plastic bag. It looked okay but how would it taste? 

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Thankfully it tasted very good. If you like me suddenly get the urge to make some danish rye bread, I have the recipe for you.

Simple Danish Rye Bread from The New Nordic by Simon Bajada

INGREDIENTS (MAKES 1 X 800G LOAF)
150g cracked rye
75g sunflower seeds
75g linseeds (flax seeds)
480ml cold water
250g wholemeal rye flour
½ tsp dried instant yeast
2 tsp salt
1½ tbs golden syrup or honey
1 tbs malt
Sunflower oil, for greasing

METHOD
Day 1 Combine the cracked rye, sunflower seeds and linseeds together in a bowl with 300ml of the water. Cover with a clean tea towel (dish towel), lid or plastic wrap, but don’t make it airtight, and leave to soak at room temperature for 18–24 hours.

In a second bowl, mix the wholemeal rye flour with the yeast and the remaining 180ml of cold water. Cover with a clean tea towel and set aside at room temperature for 18–24 hours.

Day 2 Combine the two mixtures together, adding the salt, golden syrup or honey, and malt. Knead together thoroughly for at least 5 minutes; all the ingredients need to be well combined and evenly distributed. The dough will be wet, like cement, and it should fall off your hands if held up.

Grease a 25 cm x 10 cm (10 in x 4 in) loaf (bar) tin with sunflower oil. Transfer the dough to the tin and smooth over the surface. Leave in a warm place for 2–3 hours, until the dough has risen to the rim of the tin.

Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and cook the loaf for about 1 hour 20 minutes. It won’t have risen dramatically but there should be a visible crack along the top of the loaf.

Remove from the oven and turn the loaf out on to a wire rack. If the base and sides are still a bit moist, cook the bread upside down without its tin in the oven for a further 5 minutes. Allow to cool completely on the wire rack. This can take 2–3 hours, depending on the environment. The loaf will stay fresh for 3 or 4 days if it is stored in a paper bag at room temperature.

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On Sunday for my lunch I made this egg and tomato smørrebrød from a Trine Hahnemann recipe. It was absolutely delicious.

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Now that I have a bag of cracked rye in my fridge I guess I'll be making this bread again but not for a while as in just two weeks time I'll be flying to London for a 4 week stay in Europe. The first week I'll be attending a conference then the remaining time will be holiday. I'm starting to get a little bit excited. 

See you all again next week.

Jillian
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