This is as close to proper Danish rye bread as I’m apt to ever manage. Mr Misky says there’s no call for buying the imported German stuff anymore because the bread from this recipe is better. Well, in my opinion that pretty much says it all. When Mr Misky likes – I like it. If you make it, I hope that you will, too.
A word of warning is needed here for anyone who thinks this is like American-style deli rye bread. It’s not; it’s not light in texture or colour. It’s heavy, dark, and very strong on flavour. It’s what Danes use for their open-face sandwiches. We often eat it with a bit of butter served with soup, too.
100g strong bread flour
300g rye flour
234g water or strong coffee at room temperature
100g warm water (for yeast)
4g Dry Active Yeast
1 tablespoon Malt Syrup (or 1/2 T Dark Syrup)
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
1/8 teaspoon fine ground black pepper
10 g salt
Measure flours, pepper and caraway seeds into a large bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour, add 100g water into the well and then gently stir in the yeast. Wait for 15-20 minutes until the yeast activates and foams. Then add the rest of the water/coffee, the malt syrup. Stir and mix completely with dough hook.
Your dough should be very soft – if it is the slightest bit stiff add some more liquid. Wait for 5 minutes, and then add salt. Mix well. Scrape the dough into a ball in the bowl.
Grease a 500g/1 lb bread tin.
Wet your hands and pick up the dough. Shape and smooth it gently until the dough fits the length of the bread tin. Put the dough in the greased tin, enclose it in a plastic bag secured with an elastic band or clothes peg, and leave to rise in a warm location until the dough peeks above the top of the tin (2-4 hours). Don’t bother pressing the dough into the corners of the tin or try to smooth it out, as it will do this itself as it rises. When it’s ready, you’ll see little holes all along the top of the dough.
Preheat the oven to 190C/Fan 160C/Gas 5. Cover the tin and dough with an oiled sheet of foil. Bake for 60-mins and then lower temperature to 170C/Fan 150C/Gas3 for 25-30 minutes. Wrap the loaf in a clean (non-fluffy!) tea towel, and allow it to cool completely. Transfer to a plastic bag so the crust remains pliable and soft. Rye is easier to slice 1-2 days after it has been baked.
This recipe is loosely based on one at the Virtuous Bread website.