Rye and stout just works! There’s a harmony there. I’ve been wanting to use stout in a recipe for a while now. The deep, full flavours mingle perfectly with the big flavours of rye and dark treacle. Nutritious and really flavourful, wholesome in the best possible way.
Of course, there are many other amazing stouts and dark ales which will be equally as nice in this bread, adding ale to a bread really boosts the flavour, deep and malty is this loaf (did I sound a bit like yoda there?) and the recipe calls for a layer of beer batter before baking, which made for a nice crust and finish.
This is a dense and delicious loaf which makes incredible toast! I’m using a lot of Rye at the minute in baking, its a healthy flour option, low in gluten. Its a great choice for a hearty wintery loaf. Although I’d eat this bread at any time of year, anywhere, anyhow….
I’ve been making apple and walnut scones with a rye and white flour mix, they’re great. The addition of white flour gives just enough lightness to the texture. I find that this goes for most rye baking, add a little white flour, maybe 1/4 of the total flour quantity, for best results. Although I regularly go 100% for bread with lots of seeds. This combo makes a loaf that slices nice and thin, with a great texture.
Rye has always seemed a treat for me, we don’t use it so much in Britian, but in Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and Germany, it is common place. Rye used to be popular in the UK, but bizarrely, was always seen as being inferior to wheat.
I wasn’t sure about the bread in Portugal, I’m not keen on light and flighty white, so I took a loaf of heavily seeded rye bread on the plane with me. It probably weighed a few kilos, but it was so worth it. Rye toast with Portugese tomatoes, oregano and olive oil. Yes please! I seemed to get stopped consistently at airport security and they love having a good look through my old green rucksack. The chap emptying the contents out this time seemed a bit surprised to find a loaf of seedy bread; “Did you bake this loaf yourself sir?” My small umbrella was also a bit of an issue and they were not sure about my stash of chia seeds, but I got through in the end and Lisbon was an amazing city (more to come about that…..)
This recipe is based on one by Paul Holywood that I played with it a bit. Thanks Paul! I liked the batter idea. I don’t actually watch Bake Off, I find that when I’m cooking most of the day, watching more people cooking is a bit much, but the program has had a massive effect on Britain, when I cook for people and do demos, the level of baking knowledge is incredible! Most people seem to know there way around a sourdough now lets put it that way!!
Wales has been shining this autumn/ winter, thought I’d share a few snaps of beautiful Snowdonia. We’ve loved being back up here at this time of year and long may it continue. Bit of frost livening up the mornings but generally, all has been bright and reasonably dry (weather report over!;)
So here it is, try it with some vegan smoked salmon (made with tomatoes or carrots, we may post a recipe soon) and cream cheese is my whole hearted serving suggestion!!
Vegan butter recipe I’ve been working on, if you’d like, I’ll post it soon.
Due to the low gluten in rye, it can take much longer to rise than wheat loaves. Be patient and leave it for as long as it takes, we’re generally looking for around double the size it started. You can leave it overnight in a fridge, which has worked for me in the past.
Because of the low gluten, there’s no need to go overboard with the kneading either. Which I’m sure some of you are quite pleased about!
Sticky is good for me when making bread, better that the dough is a little sticky, than a little dry. When kneading the bread, only add a small amount, a thin layer, of flour for dusting.
Rye & Stout Loaf
The Bits – For one medium-sized loaf
375g rye flour
125g strong white bread flour (plus extra for flouring)
2-3 teas salt
7g yeast (small packet)
3 tbs black treacle/ molasses
250ml stout or dark ale
Beer Batter Topping
150ml stout or dark ale
100g rye flour
Large pinch brown sugar
Handful jumbo oats
Mix your dry bits together in a large bowl and add the wet bits, adding 150ml of the ale and more if needed. Mix together until a wet dough forms. The dough should be sticky but comes away from the edges of the bowl.
Tip onto a lightly floured surface and knead for a few minutes. The dough will be wet, use slightly wet hands to make the kneading easier and less sticky. It will gradually become smoother, but not as smooth as a normal bread dough. This is fine. Form into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Loosely cover and leave in a warm spot for 2 hours.
Beer Batter Topping – Mix the ale, flour and sugar together into a thick batter.
On a baking tray, lined with parchment, and lightly oiled, form your dough into a ball and spread over the ale paste, sprinkling the oats all over. Leave to prove for 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat your oven to 220oC and bake for 25 minutes, then reduce heat to 200oC and bake for 10 more minutes.
The loaf will have a nice crust and be golden brown, tap the bottom, it should sound nice and hollow. Leave it to cool on a wire rack.
Rye is quite similar to wheat, but has different nutritional properties. It’s lower in gluten, high in protein and is full of fibre with good levels of vitamins and minerals. In fact, Rye is way up there in the fibre stakes. Here’s a quick top three……….
1- Barley 2- Raspberries 3- Rye
Raspberries!!! I know. That seems a bit of a brilliant nutritional curve ball.
I’d like to thank the good people of the BHK Vegan Cooking group, over on Facebook, who have inspired me to share a Rye Loaf recipe. (Judy, I finally got around to it;)
Do you like rye bread? How do you feel about it’s heavy texture and flavour? Let us know if you try it in the comments below:)
Originally I listed Guinness in the ingredients for this recipe by mistake. Guinness is only vegan draught, but cans and bottles will hopefully follow soon.